NASA honour's famed scholar Al-Idrisi by naming one of Pluto's mountain range after his namesake

NURUL FATIHA MUAH
14 Jan 2022 11:00am
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The silver globe map created by Al-Idrisi was one of the great discoveries of the great Muslim scholar in his time and centuries later.
The silver globe map created by Al-Idrisi was one of the great discoveries of the great Muslim scholar in his time and centuries later.

AL-IDRISI or his full name is Abu Abdullah Muhammad Al-Idrisi who came from the noble ancestry of the Prophet Muhammad SAW through his eldest grandson, Hasan bin Ali.

Due to his great lineage, he was called al-Sharif (a noble person).

The great figure was born in the year 1100 in Ceita, Maghribi.

The most famous opinion stated that Al-Idrisi succeeded in completing his religious education in his birthplace.

During his teenage years, Al-Idrisi had visited many places in North Africa and Andalusia and he collected myriads of information about both regions.

According to a story, Al-Idrisi had chosen to live in Cordoba to learn to accumulate knowledge but he prioritized learning geography.

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After completing his study, Al-Idrisi who was 16 years old at that time, travelled to Europe, northern Spain, Portugal, France Atlantic coast, South of England and Asia continents.

To expand his horizons, he continued travelling all around the world and within the period, he was said to be writing about all the things he had seen and heard.

One of the world map drawn by Al-Idrisi for King Roger II in 1954 Century AD that was said to be the most advanced world map of the era.
One of the world map drawn by Al-Idrisi for King Roger II in 1954 Century AD that was said to be the most advanced world map of the era.

His persistence has caught the attention of King Roger II from Sicily, Italy who was known as a knowledgeable king and funded the translation of academic works as well as Arabic and Greek philosophy into Latin.

When he heard about the extraordinary works of Al-Idrisi, he sent a letter inviting the Islamic figure to visit and live in Sicily.

The invitation was well-received by Al-Idrisi.

Al-Idrisi was then asked by the king to create a world map to attain a huge project that would be implemented by King Roger II.

With the knowledge that he had, the scholar succeeded in producing a globe construction and a disk-shaped map made through a large plate of solid silver.

The map was made by Al-Idrisi and quoted in Muzhah al-Musytaq fi Ishtiraq al-Afaq Scripture that was known as ar-Rujari Scripture (Roger’s Book) which is Al-Idrisi’s geography descriptive works.

The discovery was classified as his greatest legacy that was then known as Idrisi’s world map and he began compiling maps and geographical books.

Al- Idrisi monument was built in Ceuta, Morocco as a commemoration of the services of the eminent geographical figure.
Al- Idrisi monument was built in Ceuta, Morocco as a commemoration of the services of the eminent geographical figure.

Even after King Roger II had passed, Al-Idrisi resumed his efforts by producing three main geographical works for 15 years.

It includes the Planisphere or silver globe map, a world map consisting of 70 parts formed by dividing the earth, north of the Equator into seven climate zones of equal width and a geographical encyclopedia.

Although the silver Planisphere was reported to be lost, the world map and the monumental Roger’s Book have been used for centuries as main references by scholars and researchers.

The discovery by the great Islamic figure was definitely colossal and Al-Idrisi also combined descriptive geography and astronomy.

In honour of giving respects to the eminent geographer and cartographer, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named Plutos' Mountainous Shoreline of Sputnik Planum as the Al-Idrisi Mountains.