Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ibn Majid Regretted Helping Vasco da Gama Reach India

There are 15 reasons I believe that Majid met Vasco da Gama in West Africa, and Majid was a West African.

1) Bazan says that West Africans claimed Majid invented the compass and Vasco da Gama met Majid in West Africa;

2) Da Gama had been stationed and sailed along the West African coast so he could have met Majid there;

3) Da Gama, was a junior officer but he was chosen to make the voyage to India;

4) Portuguese had only rounded the Cape of Good Hope; but Da Gama sailed safely to Malindi;

5) the successful voyage to Malindi suggest Da Gama had good information on navigation in the Indian Ocean up to the Swahili cities;

6) the first mention of Majid by a Muslim writer is 50 years after Majid's death;

7)The Ottoman Historian Qutb al Din insist Da Gama met Majid in Malindi, and that he was born in Arabia;

8) Qutb al Din says Da Gama got Majid drunk and that while intoxicated , Majid told Da Gama how to get to India;

9) Portuguese say a Gujurati Christian, recommended by the ruler of Malindi guided Da Gama to India

10) it is clear that Majid’s Kitab al-Fawa’id fi Usul ‘Ilm al-Bahr wa ’l-Qawa’id, was a popular book on navigation in the Indian Ocean, it was not known before 1490 and maybe as late as 1500.

11) Ferrand does not cite any Arab source that mentions Majid’s Kitab al-Fawa’id, before the Ottoman historian Qutb al Din mentions him, 50 years after Majid had died.

12) Fijians claim they came from Africa;


13)West African placenames on the Pacific Islands and in India;

14) West African place names suggest a West African community formerly existed in South Asia, the Pacific region ;


15) Omanis carry the Benin haplotype (34%), which is common in West Africa; West African sickle cell in Oman, suggest prior West African population in region.

 We already know that Majid was not at Malindi, so their was no way he could have become intoxicated and told Da Gama how to sail to India. If Qutb lied about how Majid and da Gama met, why couldn't he lie about where Majid was born. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, in the The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama, goes back to Qutb for the myth that Majid was intoxicated when he met Da Gama.

There is a lot of intrigue in Da Gama's voyage to India. It appears that it was well planned and the Portuguese had already prepared the way for the Da Gama voyage.They may have already sent a spy to Calicut to lay the groundwork for the eventual meeting of the Indians and the Portuguese. This spy was probably Monçaide, who came on board Vasco da Gama’s vessel at Calicut In the journal we read:


“On Tuesday [August 28], in the morning, whilst at anchor, a Moor of Tunis, who spoke our language, took refuge on board one of our ships, saying, that all he had had been taken from him, that worse might happen, and that this was his usual luck”. The people of the country, he said, charged him with being a Christian, who had come to Calecut by order of the King of Portugal; for this reason he preferred going away with us, rather than remain in a country where any day he might be killed.

It has to be more than a coincidence that someone was already in Calicut who could serve as an interpreter for the Portuguese .

I have stated why I believe Majid was West African. We see from the A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama 1497-1499, by Author: Unknown

that there were all types of nationalities in the Indian Ocean at this time, so who are we to say that West Africans were not trading in the area since there are many West African placenames in India.Moreover, there is nothing in the Subrahmanyam book that discounts the story that da Gama met Majid in West Africa and learned the route to India. The arjuza in which Majid regrets telling da Gama how to get to India, shows that Majid probably knew da Gama. See pg.124-26:,&source=bl&ots=6HVJtJOlnv&sig=CHQRrqNZ2DWUN6ZtAaMWH8O-L8M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YR89Ve6lC JPWgwSx3YBA&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=Ahmad%20ibn%20Majid&f=false

Since Majid was not the pilot from Malindi who guided da Gama to India; Majid had to have met him elsewhere. This supports the comments of Bazan, that Majid met da Gama in West Africa. If Majid lived in West Africa, he was a West African.

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