The Arabs at Sea in Later Times

The history of the Arabs at sea was one of growing trade, which reached its peak in the ninth century CE. After the tenth century, there was mostly continuation along established lines. Arabs continued to sail to India, the East Indies and East Africa. Up to the late fifteenth century, the Arabs were the most powerful traders and mariners on the Indian Ocean. This all changed when the Portuguese invaded the eastern waters. In 1498, Vasco da Gama took an Arab seaman, Ahmad ibn-Majid, as a pilot to guide him to India from Africa. Ahmad ibn-Majid successfully piloted the Portuguese ship to Calicut. It was an Arab mariner, then, who helped the Europeans bring about the end of Arab domination of these waters.