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IBN BATTUTA…………………………………….

……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD

Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta
Islamic scholar/Explorer
Medieval era

Full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta
Born February, 1304 Tangier, Morocco
Died 1368 or 1369 Morocco
School/tradition Sunni Maliki

Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1368 or 1369) was a Moroccan Muslim Berber scholar
and traveler who are known for the account of his travels and excursions called
the Rihla (Voyage). His journeys lasted for a period of nearly thirty years and
covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world and beyond, extending
from North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the
West, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia
and China in the East, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors and
his near-contemporary Marco Polo.

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In Sfax. he arrived to the port of Alexandria. then part of the Bahri Mamluk Empire. Three commonly used routes existed to Mecca. Morocco. a large important city and capital of the Mamluk kingdom. on February 25. travelling was relatively safe and he embarked on the first of his many detours. As a young man he would have studied the Sunni Maliki "school" of Muslim law which was dominant in North Africa at the time. when he was twenty one years old. after a journey of over 3. Ibn Battuta got married for the first of several occasions on his journeys. Ibn Battuta was born into a family of Muslim legal scholars in Tangier. He spent several weeks visiting the sites and then headed inland to Cairo. 1304 during the time of the Merinid dynasty. he usually chose to travel as part of a caravan. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. In the early spring of 1326.000 miles). His route passed through Tlemcen. but he would not see Morocco again for 24 years. Ibn Battuta set off from his hometown on a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Early life and his first Hajj An interactive display about Ibn Battuta in Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. and Ibn Battuta chose the least-travelled: a journey up the Nile. and followed the North African coast crossing the sultanates of Abd al-Wadid and Hafsid. a journey that would take 16 months. In June 1325. Béjaïa and then to Tunis where he stayed for two months. His journey to Mecca was by land. where he stayed for about a month. Within Mamluk territory. United Arab Emirates All that is known about Ibn Battuta's life comes from the autobiographical information included in the account of his travels.500 kms (2. As there was always a risk of being attacked. then east by land to the Red Sea port of 2 .

There he completed the usual rituals of a Muslim pilgrim. having encountered a holy man during his first trip who prophesied that Ibn Battuta would only reach Mecca after a journey through Syria. to Damascus (then controlled by the Mamluks). Jerusalem. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. he journeyed on to Mecca. Ibn Battuta joined up with a caravan traveling the 1.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Aydhab. he took a second side trip. for example—and the Mamluk authorities put special effort into keeping the journey safe for pilgrims. After spending the Muslim month of Ramadan in Damascus. and having graduated to the status of al-Hajji as a result. Upon reflection. An additional advantage to the side journey was that other holy places were along the route— Hebron. burial place of Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Iraq and Persia 3 . Returning to Cairo.500 kms (800 miles) from Damascus to Medina. now faced his return home. However. upon approaching the town he was forced to turn back due to a local rebellion. and Bethlehem. he decided to continue journeying instead. After four days. His next destination was the Ilkhanate in modern-day Iraq and Iran.

Finally. visiting Mosul. he headed back across the mountains to Baghdad arriving there in June 1327. Ibn Battuta joined a large caravan of pilgrims returning across the Arabian Peninsula to Mesopotamia.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD On 17 November 1326. Ibn Battuta was ill with diarrhea on this crossing and arrived back in Mecca weak and exhausted for his second hajj. then Cizre and Mardin. It had been the first major city in the region to open its gates to the Mongols and had become an important trading centre after most of its nearby rivals were razed. headed northeastwards across the Nejd plateau to al-Najaf. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. East Africa 4 . and then turned north to Tabriz on the Silk Road. both in modern Turkey. a large flourishing city which had been spared the destruction wrought by the Mongol invasion on many more northerly towns. Ibn Battuta travelled with the royal caravan for a while. instead of continuing on to Baghdad with the caravan. In al-Najaf he visited the mausoleum of Ali ibn Abi Talib. Parts of the city were in ruins as it had been heavily damaged by the army of Hulagu Khan. His next destination was the town of Isfahan across the Zagros Mountains in Persia. On returning again to Baghdad. From al-Najaf he journeyed to Wasit and then south following the Tigris to Basra. Ibn Battuta started a 6 month detour that took him into Persia. At this point. he took an excursion northwards following the Tigris. a journey lasting approximately 44 days. after a month in Mecca. the fourth Caliph and son-in-law of the prophet. the last Mongol ruler of the unified Ilkhanid state was leaving the city and heading north with a large retinue. travelling at night. a site venerated by all Muslims but particularly the Shi’a community. On returning to Mosul he joined a "feeder" caravan of pilgrims heading south for Baghdad where they met up with the main caravan that crossed the Arabian Desert to Mecca. probably in July. In Baghdad he found that Abu Sa'id. From there he headed south to Shiraz. The caravan first went north to Medina and then.

because of problems with the chronology. but whether he actually did is doubtful. among others. and then the highland town of Ta'izz where he met the Rasulid king Malik Mujahid Nur al-Din Ali. He suggests in the Rihla that he remained in the town for three years: from September 1327 until autumn 1330. His progress was slow as the vessels had to beat against the south easterly winds. With the change of the monsoon. and Kilwa. Aden was an important transit centre in the trade between India and Europe. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. However. Central Asia and India 5 . Golden Horde. Byzantine Empire. In Aden he embarked on a ship heading first to Zeila on the African shore of the gulf and then on around Cape Guardafui and down the East African coast. He then returned to Mecca for the hajj of 1330 (or 1332). Anatolia.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Ibn Battuta then stayed for some time in Mecca. commentators have suggested that he may have spent only one year and left after the hajj of 1328. Spending about a week in each of his destinations. Ibn Battuta also mentions visiting Sana'a. Leaving Mecca after the hajj in 1328 (or 1330) he made his way to the port of Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea and from there caught a series of boats down the coast. he returned by ship to Arabia and visited Oman and the Straits of Hormuz. he visited Mogadishu. It is more likely that he went directly from Ta'izz to the port of Aden. arriving at around the beginning of 1329 (or 1331). Arriving in the Yemen he visited Zabid. Mombassa. Zanzibar.

and then carried on past the Caspian and Aral Seas to Bokhara and Samarkand. the Khan allowed one of his pregnant wives Princess Bayalun to go give birth back in her home city—Constantinople. Eventually he resolved to leave on the pretext of taking another hajj. Needing a guide and translator if he was to travel there. and Ibn Battuta veered between living the high life of a trusted subordinate. Ibn Battuta landed in Caffa (now Theodosia). Ibn Battuta was employed as a qadi ("judge") by the sultan. After a month in the city. There he bought a wagon and fortuitously joined the caravan of Ozbeg. A sea voyage from Damascus on a Genoese ship landed him in Alanya on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey. Ibn Battuta took it. From there he traveled by land to Konya and then Sinope on the Black Sea coast. the mountain passes of which he used to cross into India. Upon reaching Astrakhan. Tughlaq was erratic even by the standards of the time. he went to Anatolia. in the Crimea.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Spending another year there. and Sultan Muhammed Tughlaq had resolved to import as many Muslim scholars and other functionaries as possible to consolidate his rule. Arriving there towards the end of 1332. then under the control of the Seljuqs. to join up with one of the caravans that went from there to India. On the strength of his years of studies while in Mecca. the Golden Horde's Khan. but the Sultan offered the alternative of being ambassador to China. and entered the lands of the Golden Horde. his first beyond the boundaries of the Islamic world. on a journey as far as Astrakhan on the Volga River. he then resolved to seek employment with the Muslim Sultan of Delhi. From there. Crossing the Black Sea. Southeast Asia and China 6 . The Sultanate of Delhi was a new addition to Dar al-Islam. he journeyed south to Afghanistan. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. he retraced his route to Astrakhan. he met the emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus and saw the outside of Hagia Sophia. and being under suspicion for a variety of treasons against the government. Ibn Battuta talked his way into this expedition. Given the opportunity to both get away from the Sultan and visit new lands.

From there. his skills were highly desirable in these formerly Buddhist islands that had been recently converted to Islam. from where he then sailed to the Maldives again before getting on board a Chinese junk and trying once again to get to Yuan Dynasty China. he carried on to Sri Lanka for a visit to Sri Pada (Adam's Peak). through the Grand Canal to Beijing. half- kidnapped into staying. Fearful of returning to Delhi as a failure. Nevertheless. He also traveled even further north. but being ignored by the locals. separated from the others. he and his party were attacked by Hindus. Return home and the Black Death 7 . and two of the ships of his expedition were sunk. This time he succeeded. however. and then the ship that rescued him was attacked by pirates. In the Rihla he mentions his dismay at the local women going about with no clothing above the waist. Jamaluddin was ruler of a small but powerful Nawayath sultanate on the banks of the river Sharavathi on the Arabian Sea coast. his ship nearly sank in a storm. reaching in quick succession Chittagong. he was robbed and nearly lost his life. with a detour near the beginning of the journey to the Maldives. From there. and he was half-bribed. and. Ibn Battuta once again worked his way back to Calicut. he became embroiled in local politics and ended up leaving after wearing out his welcome by imposing strict judgments in the laissez-faire island kingdom. He resolved to carry on to China. a storm blew up. He spent nine months in the Maldive Islands. Setting sail from Sri Lanka. China. As a qadi. it became necessary for Ibn Battuta to leave India altogether.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD En route to the coast. Sumatra. When the sultanate was overthrown. he went north to Hangzhou. they sailed to Calicut (two centuries later. Appointed chief judge and marrying into the royal family. much longer than he had intended. From there. Vietnam. and remarking his criticism of this practice. Stranded on shore. The Philippines and then finally Quanzhou in Fujian Province. The third then sailed away without him and ended up seized by a local king in Sumatra a few months later. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. not far from modern-day Shanghai. he managed to catch up with his group within two days and continued the journey to Cambay. he stayed for a time in the south of India under the protection of Jamal al-Din. While Ibn Battuta visited a mosque on shore. Vasco da Gama also landed at the same place). although there has been some doubt about whether this actually occurred. This place is presently known as Hosapattana and is located in the Honnavar taluka of Uttara Kannada district.

During the trip he made one last detour to Sardinia. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. he saw that state dissolved into civil war. Abu Sa'id having died since his previous trip there. and Ibn Battuta was on hand as it spread through Syria. and then returned to Tangier to discover that his mother had also died. Ibn Battuta decided to return home—though exactly where "home" was a bit of a problem. he decided to return to Morocco. for the Black Death had begun. he pondered throwing himself on the mercy of Muhammed Tughlaq but thought better of it and decided to carry on to Mecca once again. Returning via Hormuz and the Il-Khanate. Death was the theme of the next year or so. After reaching Mecca. House in the Medina of Tangier perhaps lodging Ibn Battuta's grave 8 . and Arabia.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Returning to Quanzhou. Palestine. a few months before. he learned that his father had died. Returning to Damascus with the intention of retracing the route of his first hajj. nearly a quarter century after leaving it. Returning to Calicut once again.

Two years before his own first visit to Cairo. the Malian king Mansa Musa had passed through the same city on his own hajj and had caused a sensation with his extravagant riches—West Africa contained vast quantities of gold. which was nearly a ghost town after the recent plague and the transfer of the capital to Fez. so Ibn Battuta decided to visit for pleasure instead. he stopped for a while in Marrakesh. Leaving al-Andalus.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Andalus and North Africa Having settled in Tangier for all of a few days. On his return home. the Black Death had killed Alfonso. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. he decided to travel through one of the few parts of the Muslim world that he had never explored: Morocco. hearing of this during his own trip must have planted a seed in his mind. Once more he returned to Tangier. Ibn Battuta then set out for a trip to al-Andalus—Muslim Iberia. 9 . He traveled through Valencia and ended up in Granada. Alfonso XI of Castile was threatening the conquest of Gibraltar. and the threat had receded. for he decided to set out and visit the Muslim kingdom on the far side of the Sahara Desert. While Ibn Battuta never mentions this specifically. and once more he moved on. and Ibn Battuta joined up with a group of Muslims leaving Tangier with the intention of defending the port. By the time he arrived. previously unknown to the rest of the world.

and Ibn Battuta noted the difficulty of navigating without landmarks. Traversing the open wastes of the Sahara Desert was therefore terrifying to many travelers.the water was brackish and the place was plagued with flies. writing that there was "no visible road or track in these parts. requiring special advance guides or takshif with local experience to arrange a passage. A long and difficult journey lay ahead. There he met Mansa Suleyman. Ibn Battuta disapproved that female slaves. He arrived back in Morocco early in 1354. who cut the salt in thick slabs for transport by camel. While at the oasis of Takedda on his journey back across the desert. He left the capital in February and journeyed overland by camel to Timbuktu. The Rihla 10 . Ibn Battuta set out from Fez. arrived at the settlement of Taghaza which was situated in a dry salt lake bed. Ibn Battuta finally arrived at the oasis town of Iwalatan (Walata) which had recently become part of the Mali Empire. he traveled southwest along a river he believed to be the Nile (it was actually the Niger River) until he reached the capital of the Mali Empire. He set out again with a caravan in February 1352 and after 25 days. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. king since 1341. The buildings were constructed from slabs of salt by slaves of the Massufa tribe. at the time it was small and unimpressive. though Ibn Battuta did not have a favorable impression of the place . reaching the Moroccan town of Sijilmasa a bit more than a week later. he received a message from the Sultan of Morocco commanding him to return home.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD The Sahara Desert to Mali and Timbuktu In the autumn of 1351. and Ibn Battuta soon moved on by boat to Gao where he spent a month. he nevertheless stayed for eight months." After another 900 harrowing km through the worst part of the desert. From there. Dubious about the miserly hospitality of the king. When the takshif became lost. nothing but sand blown here and there by the wind. He set off for Sijilmasa in September 1353 accompanying a large caravan transporting 600 black female slaves. Taghaza was a profitable commercial center and awash with Malian gold. the entire caravan could disappear without a trace. Though in the next two centuries it would become the most important city in the region. servants and even the daughters of the sultan went about stark naked. There he bought some camels and stayed for four months.

it is considered very unlikely that Ibn Battuta made a trip up the Volga river from New Saray to visit Bolghar and there are serious doubts about a number of other journeys such as his trip to Sana'a in Yemen. Ibn Batuta often experienced culture shock in regions he visited where local customs did not fit his straight-laced background. but in the early 1800s extracts were published in German and English based on manuscripts discovered in the Middle East containing abridged versions of Ibn Juzayy’s Arabic text. with gifts that seemed applicable to his social status. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. the Rihla provides an important account of many areas of the world in the 14th century. or "The Journey". Medina and some other places in the Middle East. most of Ibn Juzayy’s descriptions of places in Palestine were copied from an account by the thirteenth century traveler Muhammad al-Abdari. Nevertheless. There is no indication that Ibn Battuta made any notes during his approximate 29 years of traveling so when he came to dictate an account of his adventures he had to rely on his memory and to make use of manuscripts produced by earlier travelers. After the completion of the Rihla in 1355. Some commentators have also questioned whether he really visited China. Modern commentators do not believe that Ibn Battutta visited all the places that he described and argue that in order to provide a comprehensive description of places in the Moslem world Ibn Battutta relied on hearsay evidence while Ibn Juzayy made use of accounts by earlier travelers. whom he had previously met while in Granada. and some sub-Saharan regions in Africa. recorded by Ibn Juzayy and interspersed with the latter's own comments. Abu Inan Faris. his journey from Balkh to Bistam in Khorasan and his trip around Anatolia. and eventually to be sent on his way after a time from such regions. When describing Damascus. Similarly. When French forces occupied Algeria in the 1830’s they 11 . were too revealing. He may have been appointed a qadi in Morocco. Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar named Ibn Juzayy. whilst apparently fictional in places. For centuries his book was obscure. and he felt that dress customs in the Maldives. he was astonished at the freedom that women had. is the only source of information on his adventures. Among Turks and Mongols recently converted to Islam. Ibn Juzayy clearly copied passages from the twelfth century account by Ibn Jubayr. He tended to be somewhat irritating to locals. even within the Muslim world. little is known about Ibn Battuta's life.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD After returning from his travels in 1354 and at the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco. This account. Mecca. The title of the manuscript ‫ تحفة النظار في غرائب المصار وعجائب السفار‬may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling but is often simply referred to as the Rihla ‫الرحلة‬. Ibn Battuta died in Morocco in 1368 or 1369. For example.

Beginning in 1853. they published a series of four volumes containing the Arabic text. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. SUMMARY 12 . These manuscripts were brought back to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and studied by the French scholars. Ibn Battuta has grown in fame and is now a well-known figure. Charles Defrémery and Beniamino Sanguinetti. Defrémery and Sanguinetti’s printed text has now been translated into many other languages. extensive notes and a translation into French.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD discovered five manuscripts in Constantine including two that contained more complete versions of the text.

……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1368 or 1369) was a Moroccan Muslim Berber scholar and traveler who are known for the account of his travels and excursions called the Rihla (Voyage). Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar named Ibn Juzayy. it is considered very unlikely that Ibn Battuta made a trip up the Volga river from New Saray to visit Bolghar and there are serious doubts about a number of other journeys such as his trip to Sana'a in Yemen. whom he had previously met while in Granada.important account of many areas of the world in the 14th century Ibn Batuta often experienced culture shock in regions he visited where local customs did not fit his straight-laced background. Nevertheless. whilst apparently fictional in places. and some sub-Saharan regions in Africa. or "The Journey". After returning from his travels in 1354 and at the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco. and eventually to be sent on his way after a time from such regions. little is known about Ibn Battuta's life. Southeast Asia and China in the East. This account. and he felt that dress customs in the Maldives. recorded by Ibn Juzayy and interspersed with the latter's own comments. the Rihla provides an . with gifts that seemed applicable to his social status. he was astonished at the freedom that women had. Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West. Indian subcontinent. 13 . is the only source of information on his adventures. Among Turks and Mongols recently converted to Islam. After the completion of the Rihla in 1355. Central Asia. Ibn Battuta died in Morocco in 1368 or 1369. For example. He tended to be somewhat irritating to locals. to the Middle East. were too revealing. extending from North Africa. Abu Inan Faris. Modern commentators do not believe that Ibn Battutta visited all the places that he described and argue that in order to provide a comprehensive description of places in the Moslem world Ibn Battutta relied on hearsay evidence while Ibn Juzayy made use of accounts by earlier travelers. He may have been appointed a qadi in Morocco. The title of the manuscript ‫ تحفة النظار في غرائب المصار وعجائب السفار‬may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling but is often simply referred to as the Rihla ‫الرحلة‬. a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors and his near-contemporary Marco Polo. West Africa. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. His journeys lasted for a period of nearly thirty years and covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world and beyond. Some commentators have also questioned whether he really visited China. his journey from Balkh to Bistam in Khorasan and his trip around Anatolia.

and The Sahara Desert to Mali and Timbuktu. The title of the manuscript ‫تحفة النظار في غرائب المصار وعجائب‬ ‫ السفار‬may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling but is often simply referred to as the Rihla. 1325 C. also known as Shams ad . (2nd Rajab 725 A. There is no indication that Ibn Battuta made any notes during his approximate 29 years of traveling so when he came to dictate an account of his adventures he had to rely on his memory and to make use of manuscripts produced by earlier travelers.……… BY MOSTAFA RAAD Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta . Byzantine Empire. Andalus and North Africa.).Din. Anatolia. even within the Muslim world. Golden Horde. on the 24th February 1304 C. but in the early 1800s extracts were published in German and English based on manuscripts discovered in the Middle East containing abridged versions of Ibn Juzayy’s Arabic text. IBN BATTUTA……………………………………. Central Asia and India. This account is the only source of information on his adventures.E. For centuries his book was obscure.E. Southeast Asia and China. 14 . Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar named Ibn Juzayy. After returning from his travels in 1354 and at the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco. He may have been appointed a qadi in Morocco. Morocco. little is known about Ibn Battuta's life. Persia. Abu Inan Faris. 14th June. His travels lasted for about thirty years. He visited Iraq. East Africa. After the completion of the Rihla in 1355. He left Tangier on Thursday. and covered almost the entirely of the known Islamic world and beyond. (703 Hijra). or "The Journey". was born at Tangier. Ibn Battuta died in Morocco in 1368 or 1369.H. when he was twenty one years of age.