Muslims claim: First to discover the earth is round and first to discover America. Wrong on both counts.
The first claim:
Muslim scientists working around 1,200 years ago were the first to determine that the Earth is a sphere, Turkey’s science, industry and technology minister, becoming the latest Turkish official to inform the world about apparent scientific firsts on the part of Islamic world.
Speaking at a reception for business leader in the Central Anatolian province of Konya late Nov. 28, Minister Fikri Işık stressed the contributions of the Islamic world to science throughout history. “Some 700-800 years before Galileo, 71 Muslim scientists led by al-Khwarizmi convened by the order of the Caliph Al-Ma’mun and revealed that the Earth is a sphere,” he said. Işık added that a copy of the original document is currently in the Museum of Islamic Science and Technology in Istanbul. (Hurriet Daily News, Turkey, Nov 29, 2014).
This claim is easy to refute.
In the Holy Bible, the prophet Isaiah says in chapter 40, verse 22.
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
When Isaiah wrote this verse he used the Hebrew word “khug” to describe the shape of the earth. Although this word is commonly translated into the English word “circle,” the literal meaning of this word is “a sphere.”
This was written more than 2800 years ago. The earliest scroll of the Prophet Isaiah is from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and was copied about 125 B.C. clearly before there were any Muslims.
The second claim:
America was discovered by Muslims, not by Christopher Columbus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed, vowing to build a mosque “on that hill” in Cuba if the authorities of the Caribbean nation grant the permit.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the first Latin American Muslim leaders summit in Istanbul on Nov. 15, Erdoğan slammed colonialism before referring to a controversial claim about the discovery of the Americas.
“Muslim sailors had arrived in the shores of America in 1178. In his diaries, Christopher Columbus referred to the presence of a mosque on top of a mountain in Cuba,” Erdoğan said, claiming the diary is a proof that “the religion of Islam was widespread” when the first European explorer discovered the New World in 1492.
Dr. Youssef Mroueh of the As-Sunnah Foundation of America had publicized the claim about a pre-Columbian mosque in Cuba. In 1996, he wrote that “Columbus admitted in his papers that on Monday, October 21, 1492 CE while his ship was sailing near Gibara on the north-east coast of Cuba, he saw a mosque on top of a beautiful mountain.”
Some Muslim scholars aside, the same diary entry is widely understood as a metaphoric reference to a protuberance on the summit of a mountain that resembles a mosque’s dome or minaret. Moreover, although the first “widespread” habitation of the Americas is dated around 16,500–13,000 years ago, a pre-Columbian ruin of an Islamic structure has yet to be discovered.
What has been discovered though is at least one Viking settlement, in L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. Vinland was first recorded by Adam of Bremen, a geographer and historian, in his book Descriptio insularum Aquilonis of approximately A.D. 1075. Most of what is written about the Viking voyages to Vinland are from the two Icelandic sagas, The Saga of Eric the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders. These Sagas, while written down about 250 years after the expeditions took place are believable, since they are backed up by archaeological finds, as opposed to the hill of the mosque.
To sum it up: The Holy Bible and the Vikings are more believable than the Muslims.