Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Al-Idrisi's Map of the World

Al-Idrisi's Map of the World

According to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Al-Idrisi, a Muslim cartographer, knowingly drew the map as what we would consider being "upside down" because he refused to have Europe be placed above Makkah. Silly? - Not really, the Europeans picked up on the connotation, too, and refused to let Africa be above them on the map! Interestingly, Shaykh Hamza mentions maps oriented in this way are still readily found in Australia.

1 comment:

  1. As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

    Remember that it's only convention that places north "above" south. In reality they could be either way around. Up means away from a centre of gravity - when we are standing on the earth, the moon is "up" above us, but if a man stands on the moon and turns his face to the sky, does he think he's looking down?