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The First Person Who Measured the Distance of the Earth.

The first person who measured the distance of the earth was a Muslim ruller(Caliph).

It was reported that the Caliph Al-Ma'moon who ruled the Islamic empire within (198AH - 218AH) was the first person who tried to measure the distance of the earth; As the the Caliph Al-Ma'moon had so much interests on Education and Science. He thought about this issue and sent for two groups who are specialized in Astronomy and Geography. He agreed with them that they should go to two different places of the greater circle of the Earth's perimeter east and west, and then measure the distance of one level of the length which was estimated to be 360.

Each group selected a large flat place, focused on a place of a peg, made the pole star a stagnant and then measured the corner between the peg, the pole star and the earth. And then went towards the North to a place where the corner increased and each group measured between the two pegs. They were measuring the distance on the earth using ropes tightening them on pegs.

They were able to arrive at surprising and accurate results that was very close to the results modern scientists arrived at in present times.

Al-Ma'amoon took the medium measurement of the outcome from the two groups, which he found out to be nearly 56.66 miles. While modern Science arrived at 56.93 miles.

Based on Al-Ma'amoon's measurement the perimeter of the earth is 20.400 miles which is approximately 41.248 km.

By comparing this value with the value measured by satellites in modern times which is 40.070km, it is clear that the rate of error in the measurements of Al-Ma'amoon's team did not exceed 3%.

This shows that Islam and Muslims preceded modern science and scientists to these realities. It is the undoubtable uniqueness of Islam and Muslims derived from the teachings of the Qur'an the Muslims holy book and main doctrine which contains everything.

Allah said in the Qur'an:

{وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلَّا أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم ۚ مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ} (الأنعام: 38).

{And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.} (Al-An'aam: 38).

(Read more of this in: "The Contributions of Muslim Scholars in Geography" written by Dr. Ragheb Al-Sarjani.


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