Pre-Columbian Muslims in the Americas

4. In 1498 CE, on his third voyage to the new world, Columbus landed in Trinidad. Later, he sighted the South American continent, where some of his crew went ashore and found natives using colorful handkerchiefs of symmetrically woven cotton. Columbus noticed that these handkerchiefs resembled the headdresses and loinclothes of Guinea in their colors, style and function. He refered to them as ALMAYZARS. ALMAYZAR is an Arabic word for ‘wrapper’,'cover’,'apron’ and/or ‘skirting’ which was the cloth the Moors (Spanish or North African Muslims) imported from west Africa (Guinea) into Morocco, Spain and Portugal. During this voyage, Columbus was surprised that the married women wore cotton panties (bragas) and he wondered where these natives learned their modesty. Hernan Cortes, Spanish conqueror, described the dress of the Indian women as ‘long veils’ and the dress of Indian men as ‘breechcloth painted in the style of Moorish draperies’. Ferdinand Columbus called the native cotton garments ‘breechclothes of the same design and cloth as the shawls worn by the Moorish women of Granada’. Even the similarity of the children’s hammocks to those found in North Africa was uncanny.(15)

5. Dr. Barry Fell (Harvard University) introduced in his book ‘Saga America-1980′ solid scientific evidence supporting the arrival, centuries before Columbus, of Muslims from North and West Africa. Dr. Fell discovered the existence of the Muslim schools at Valley of Fire, Allan Springs, Logomarsino, Keyhole, Canyon, Washoe and Hickison Summit Pass (Nevada), Mesa Verde (Colorado), Mimbres Valley (New Mexico) and Tipper Canoe(Indiana) dating back to 700-800 CE. Engraved on rocks in the arid western U.S, he found texts, diagrams and charts representing the last surviving fragments of what was once a system of schools – at both an elementary and higher level. The language of instruction was North African Arabic written with old Kufic Arabic scripts. The subjects of instruction included writing, reading, arithmetic, religion, history, geography, mathematics, astronomy and sea navigation. The descendants of the Muslim visitors of North America are members of the present Iroquois, Algonquin, Anasazi, Hohokam and Olmec native people..(16)

6. There are 565 names of places (villages, towns, cities, mountains, lakes, rivers,.. etc. ) in U.S.A. (484) and Canada (81) which derived from Islamic and Arabic roots. These places were originally named by the natives in precolumbian periods. Some of these names carried holy meanings such as: Mecca-720 inhabitants (Indiana), Makkah Indian tribe (Washington), Medina-2100 (Idaho), Medina-8500 (N.Y.), Medina-1100, Hazen-5000 (North Dakota), Medina-17000/Medina-120000 (Ohio), Medina-1100 (Tennessee), Medina-26000 (Texas), Medina-1200 (Ontario), Mahomet-3200 (Illinois), Mona-1000 (Utah), Arva-700 (Ontario)…etc. A careful study of the names of the native Indian tribes revealed that many names are derived from Arab and Islamic roots and origins, i.e. Anasazi, Apache, Arawak, Arikana, Chavin, Cherokee, Cree, Hohokam, Hupa, Hopi, Makkah, Mahigan, Mohawk, Nazca, Zulu, Zuni…etc..

Based on the above historical, geographical and linguistic notes, a call to celebrate the millennium of the Muslim arrival to the Americas, five centuries before Columbus, has been issued to all Muslim nations and communities around the world. We hope that this call will receive complete understanding and attract enough support.

Footnotes:

(1)See ref 4 (2)See ref. 9 (3)See ref. 3 (4)See ref. 1, 2 and 5

(5)See ref. 6 (6)See ref. 14 (7)See ref. 21 and 22 (8)See ref. 15

(9)See ref. 4 (10)See ref. 15 (11)See ref. 15 (12)See ref. 6

(13)See ref. 20 (14)See ref. 16 (15)See ref. 7 (16)See ref. 10 &12

REFERENCES:

1. AGHA HAKIM, AL-MIRZA Riyaadh Al-Ulama(Arabic),Vol.2 P.386/Vol.4 P.175

2. AL-AMEEN, SAYED MOHSIN Aayan Ash-Shia(Arabic),Vol.7 P.158/Vol 8

P.302-3

3. AL-IDRISSI Nuzhat Al-Mushtaq fi Ikhtiraq Al-Afaaq(Arabic)

4. AL-MASUDI Muruj Adh-Dhahab (Arabic), Vol. 1, P. 138

5. AL-ASFAHANI, AR-RAGHIB Adharea Ila Makarim Ash-Shia,Vol.16,P.343

6. CAUVET, GILES Les Berbers de L’Amerique,Paris 1912,P.100-101

7. COLUMBUS, FERDINAND The Life of Admiral Christopher Columbus,Rutgers Univ.Press, 1959, P.232

8. DAVIES, NIGEL Voyagers to the New World,New York 1979

9. ON MANUEL OSUNAY SAVINON Resumen de la Geografia Fisica…,Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1844

10. FELL,BARRY Saga America, New York 1980

11. FELL,BARRY America BC, New York 1976

12. GORDON,CYRUS Before Columbus,New York 1971

13. GYR,DONALD Exploring Rock Art,Santa Barbara 1989

14. HUYGHE,PATRICK Columbus was Last,New York 1992

15. OBREGON ,MAURICIO The Columbus Papers,The Barcelona Letter of 1493,

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