Ibn BATTUTA – The Greatest EXPLORER of All time – KJ Vids

by Media Desk Published on: 9th November 2017

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Ibn Battuta – The Greatest Explorer of All time...

Born in Tangier, Morocco, Ibn Battuta came of age in a family of Islamic judges. In 1325, at age 21, he left his homeland for the Middle East. He intended to complete his hajj—the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca—but he also wished to study Islamic law along the way. Battuta began his journey riding solo on a donkey, but soon linked up with a pilgrim caravan as it snaked its way east across North Africa. In Egypt, Battuta studied Islamic law and toured Alexandria and the metropolis of Cairo, which he called “peerless in beauty and splendor.” He then continued on to Mecca, where he took part in the hajj. Having completed his pilgrimage, he decided to continue wandering the Muslim world, or “Dar al-Islam.” Battuta claimed to be driven by a dream in which a large bird took him on its wing and “made a long flight towards the east…and left me there.” Battuta’s next few years were a whirlwind of travel. He joined a caravan and toured Persia and Iraq, and ventured north to what is now Azerbaijan. Following a sojourn in Mecca, he trekked across Yemen and made a sea voyage to the Horn of Africa. From there, he visited the Somali city of Mogadishu before dipping below the equator and exploring the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania. Upon leaving Africa, Battuta hatched a plan to travel to India, where he hoped to secure a lucrative post as a “qadi,” or Islamic judge. He followed a winding route east, first cutting through Egypt and Syria before sailing for Turkey. From Turkey, Battuta crossed the Black Sea and entered the domain of a Golden Horde Khan known as Uzbeg. Battuta next traveled east across the Eurasian steppe before entering India via Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush. Muhammad Tughluq, a Sultan in Delhi, made Battuta as his envoy to the Mongol court of China. After making a stopover in Sri Lanka, he rode merchant vessels through Southeast Asia. In 1345, four years after first leaving India, he arrived at the bustling Chinese port of Quanzhou. He finally turned around and journeyed home to Morocco, arriving back in Tangier in 1349. He then embarked on a multi-year excursion across the Sahara to the Mali Empire, where he visited Timbuktu. Battuta had never kept journals during his adventures, but when he returned to Morocco for good in 1354, the country’s sultan ordered him to compile a travelogue. He spent the next year dictating his story to a writer named Ibn Juzayy. The result was an oral history called A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling, better known as the Rihla (or “travels”). Following the completion of the Rihla, Ibn Battuta all but vanished from the historical record. He is believed to have worked as a judge in Morocco and died sometime around 1368, but little else is known about him. It appears that after a lifetime spent on the road, the great wanderer was finally content to stay in one place.

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