2 Answers

  1. At that time, there were simply no accurate enough maps to calculate this. For example, the Uqba Mosque, 670, and the real direction to Mecca along the arc of the great circle:

    At the same time, the very fact of the Earth's spherical shape was naturally well-known among more or less educated people of that time, even in the Islamic world, even in the Christian one.

  2. Well, not exactly, but it's possible. The fact that the Earth has the shape of a ball was known in ancient Greece, and Arab scientists had access to the Greek heritage and actively cultivated it.

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