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Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
Maghrebi scholar and explorer who travelled extensively in the lands of
Afro-Eurasia Afro-Eurasia (or Afroeurasia, Field, Henry.The University of California African Expedition: I, Egypt, ''American Anthropologist,'' New Series Vol. 50, No. 3, Part 1 (Jul. - Sep., 1948), pp. 479-493. or Eurafrasia), nicknamed the World Island, ...

Afro-Eurasia
, largely in the lands of
Dar al-Islam In classical Islamic law, the major divisions are ''dar al-islam'' (lit. territory of Islam/voluntary submission to God), denoting regions where Islamic law prevails, ''dar al-sulh'' (lit. territory of treaty) denoting non-Islamic lands which have ...
, travelling more than any other explorer in pre-modern
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
, totalling around , surpassing
Zheng He Zheng He (; 1371 – 1433 or 1435) was a Chinese , , , , and during China's . He was originally born as Ma He in a family and later adopted the surname Zheng conferred by the . Zheng commanded expeditionary to , the , , and from 1405 to ...

Zheng He
with about and
Marco Polo Marco Polo (, , ; September 15, 1254January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and W ...

Marco Polo
with . Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of southern Eurasia, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, and the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
. Near the end of his life, he dictated an account of his journeys, titled ''
A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling ''The Rihla'', formal title ''A Masterpiece to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling'', is the travelogue written by Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Muslim ...
'', but commonly known as ''The Rihla.''


Early life

All that is known about Ibn Battuta's life comes from the autobiographical information included in the account of his travels, which records that he was of
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
descent, born into a family of Islamic
legal scholars Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has bee ...
in
Tangier Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Tangier
, known as qadis in the Muslim tradition in
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
, on 24 February 1304, during the reign of the
Marinid dynasty The Marinid Sultanate was a Berbers, Berber empire from the mid-13th to the 15th century which controlled present-day Morocco and, intermittently, other parts of North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia) and of southern Spain around Gibraltar. It was ...
. His family belonged to a Berber tribe known as the Lawata. As a young man, he would have studied at a
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
Maliki The ( ar, مَالِكِي) school is one of the four major madhhab A ' ( ar, مذهب ', , "way to act") is a school of thought within '' fiqh'' (Islamic jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Sc ...
''
madh'hab A ' ( ar, مذهب ', , "way to act") is a school of thought within ''fiqh ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nat ...

madh'hab
'' (
Islamic jurisprudence ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence. Muhammad-> Sahabah, Companions-> Tabi‘un, Followers-> Fiqh. The commands and prohibitions chosen by God were revealed through the agency of the Prophet in both the Quran and the Sunnah (words, de ...
school), the dominant form of education in
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
at that time. Maliki Muslims requested Ibn Battuta serve as their religious judge as he was from an area where it was practised.


His name

Europeans are sometimes puzzled by Arabic/Islamic naming conventions, which mostly don't include a given, middle, or family name. Instead they tend to have a potentially lengthy series of
epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, ...
ic, aspirational, and/or
patronym A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. Other cultures use ...
ic names. In this case, ibn Battuta simply means "son of Battuta", but this may have just been a nickname since "battuta" means "duckling". His most common "full name" is given as Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Battuta, which simply means "Father of Abdullah (and Abdullah means "worshipper of Allah"), Praiseworthy son of Battuta". But many authoritative texts will go on longer, adding more of his acquired name sequence. In his travelogue, ''
the Rihla ''The Rihla'', formal title ''A Masterpiece to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling'', is the travelogue written by Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber ...
'', he gives his full name as ’ ibn Muhammad .


Rihla


Itinerary 1325–1332


First pilgrimage

In June 1325, at the age of twenty-one, Ibn Battuta set off from his home town on a ''
hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ ' "wikt:pilgrimage, ''pilgrimage''"; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Far ...
'', or pilgrimage, to
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
, a journey that would ordinarily take sixteen months. He was eager to learn more about far-away lands and craved adventure. No one knew that he would not return to Morocco again for twenty-four years.
"I set out alone, having neither fellow-traveller in whose companionship I might find cheer, nor caravan whose part I might join, but swayed by an overmastering impulse within me and a desire long-cherished in my bosom to visit these illustrious sanctuaries. So I braced my resolution to quit my dear ones, female and male, and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests. My parents being yet in the bonds of life, it weighed sorely upon me to part from them, and both they and I were afflicted with sorrow at this separation."
He travelled to Mecca overland, following the North African coast across the sultanates of Abd al-Wadid and
Hafsid The Hafsids ( ar, الحفصيون ''al-Ḥafṣiyūn'') were a Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or secon ...
. The route took him through
Tlemcen Tlemcen (; ar, تلمسان ''Tilimsān'') is the second-largest city in north-western Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers Algiers ( ...

Tlemcen
,
Béjaïa Béjaïa (; ar, بِجَايَة, ''Bijayah''; ber, Bgayet, Bgayeth), formerly Bougie and Bugia, is a Mediterranean seaport, port city on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Béjaïa is the largest ...

Béjaïa
, and then
Tunis Tunis ( ar, تونس ') is the and largest city of . The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as "", has about 2,700,000 inhabitants. , it is the fourth-largest city in the region (after , and ) and the in the . Situated on ...

Tunis
, where he stayed for two months. For safety, Ibn Battuta usually joined a
caravan Caravan or caravans may refer to: Transport and travel *Caravan (travellers), a group of travellers journeying together **Caravanserai, a place where a caravan could stop *Camel train, a convoy using camels as pack animals *Convoy, a group of veh ...
to reduce the risk of being robbed. He took a bride in the town of
Sfax Sfax (; ar, صفاقس, Ṣafāqis ) is a city in Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital ...

Sfax
, but soon left her due to a dispute with the father. That was the first in a series of marriages that would feature in his travels. In the early spring of 1326, after a journey of over , Ibn Battuta arrived at the port of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
, at the time part of the Bahri Mamluk empire. He met two ascetic pious men in Alexandria. One was Sheikh Burhanuddin, who is supposed to have foretold the destiny of Ibn Battuta as a world traveller and told him "It seems to me that you are fond of foreign travel. You must visit my brother Fariduddin in India, Rukonuddin in Sind, and Burhanuddin in China. Convey my greetings to them". Another pious man Sheikh Murshidi interpreted the meaning of a dream of Ibn Battuta that he was meant to be a world traveller. He spent several weeks visiting sites in the area, and then headed inland to
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
, the capital of the Mamluk Sultanate and an important city. After spending about a month in Cairo, he embarked on the first of many detours within the relative safety of Mamluk territory. Of the three usual routes to Mecca, Ibn Battuta chose the least-travelled, which involved a journey up the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
valley, then east to the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
port of Aydhab. Upon approaching the town, however, a local rebellion forced him to turn back. Ibn Battuta returned to Cairo and took a second side trip, this time to Mamluk-controlled
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
. During his first trip he had encountered a holy man who prophesied that he would only reach Mecca by travelling through
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
. The diversion held an added advantage; because of the holy places that lay along the way, including
Hebron Hebron ( ar, الخليل أو الخليل الرحمن ; he, חֶבְרוֹן ) is a State of Palestine, Palestinian. city in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies Above mean sea level, above ...

Hebron
,
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
, and
Bethlehem Bethlehem (; ar, بيت لحم , "House of Meat"; he, בֵּית לֶחֶם ', , "House of Bread"; ; la, Bethleem; initially named after Canaanite fertility god Lehem) is a city in the central West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضف ...

Bethlehem
, the Mamluk authorities spared no efforts in keeping the route safe for pilgrims. Without this help many travellers would be robbed and murdered. After spending the Muslim month of
Ramadan * fa, رمضان, Ramazān * hi, रमज़ान, Ramzān * ku, ڕەمەزان, Remezan * ps, روژه, Rozha * so, Rabadaan or Rabmadaan * tr, Ramazan * ur, رمضان, Ramzān * diq, Remezan * sq, Ramazani , type = islam , longty ...
in Damascus, he joined a caravan travelling the south to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
, site of the Mosque of the Islamic prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. After four days in the town, he journeyed on to Mecca while visiting holy sites along the way; upon his arrival to Mecca he completed his first pilgrimage and he took the honorific status of '' El-Hajji''. Rather than returning home, Ibn Battuta decided to continue travelling, choosing as his next destination the
Ilkhanate The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate ( fa, ایل خانان, ''Ilxānān''), known to the Mongols as ''Hülegü Ulus'' ( mn, Хүлэгийн улс, , ''Qulug-un Ulus'') was a khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity rul ...

Ilkhanate
, a
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
Khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity ruled by a Khan (title), khan, khagan, khatun, or khanum. This political entity was typically found on the Eurasian Steppe and could be equivalent in status to tribe, tribal chiefdom, principality, ...

Khanate
, to the northeast.


Iraq and Iran

On 17 November 1326, following a month spent in Mecca, Ibn Battuta joined a large caravan of pilgrims returning to
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
across the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
. The group headed north to Medina and then, travelling at night, turned northeast across the
Najd Najd ( ar, نَجْدٌ, ), or the Nejd, forms the geographic center of Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pilla ...

Najd
plateau to
Najaf Najaf ( ar, ٱلنَّجَف) or An-Najaf al-Ashraf ( ar, ٱلنَّجَف ٱلْأَشْرَف), also known as Baniqia ( ar, بَانِيقِيَا), is a city in central Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێر ...

Najaf
, on a journey that lasted about two weeks. In Najaf, he visited the
mausoleum A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type ...
of
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, the Fourth Caliph. Then, instead of continuing to
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
with the caravan, Ibn Battuta started a six-month detour that took him into
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
. From Najaf, he journeyed to
Wasit Wasit ( ar, وَاسِط, Wāsiṭ) is a place in Wasit Governorate Wasit Governorate ( ar, واسط, translit=Wāsit) is a Governorates of Iraq, governorate in eastern Iraq, south-east of Baghdad and bordering Iran. Prior to 1976 it was known as ...
, then followed the river
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
south to
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
. His next destination was the town of
Isfahan Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahān ), from its Achaemenid empire, ancient designation ''Aspadana'' and later ''Spahan'' in Sassanian Empire, middle Persian, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in Greater Isfahan Region, Is ...

Isfahan
across the
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس, ''Kuh hā-ye Zāgros;'' Luri language, Luri: کویل زاگروس‎, ''Koyal Zagros;'' Turkish language, Turkish: ''Zagros Dağları;'' ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyakani ...
in Iran. He then headed south to
Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the fifth-most-populous city of Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or So ...

Shiraz
, a large, flourishing city spared the destruction wrought by
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Mongol
invaders on many more northerly towns. Finally, he returned across the mountains to Baghdad, arriving there in June 1327. Parts of the city were still ruined from the damage inflicted by
Hulago Khan's
Hulago Khan's
invading army in 1258. In Baghdad, he found Abu Sa'id, the last Mongol ruler of the unified Ilkhanate, leaving the city and heading north with a large retinue. Ibn Battuta joined the royal caravan for a while, then turned north on the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
to
Tabriz Tabriz ( fa, تبریز ; ) is a city in northwestern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the w ...

Tabriz
, the first major city in the region to open its gates to the Mongols and by then an important trading centre as most of its nearby rivals had been razed by the Mongol invaders. Ibn Battuta left again for Baghdad, probably in July, but first took an excursion northwards along the river Tigris. He visited
Mosul Mosul ( ar, الموصل, al-Mawṣil, ku, مووسڵ, translit=Mûsil, Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe a ...

Mosul
, where he was the guest of the Ilkhanate governor, and then the towns of
Cizre Cizre (; ar, جَزِيْرَة ٱبْن عُمَر, Jazīrat Ibn ʿUmar, or ''Madinat al-Jazira'', he, גזירא, Gzira, ku, Cizîr, ''Cizîra Botan'', or ''Cizîre'', syr, ܓܙܪܬܐ ܕܒܪ ܥܘܡܪ, Gāzartā,) is a city and district in ...
(Jazirat ibn 'Umar) and
Mardin Mardin ( ku, Mêrdîn, ar, ماردين, syr, ܡܪܕܝܢ, Merdīn) is a city in southeastern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small port ...

Mardin
in modern-day Turkey. At a hermitage on a mountain near
Sinjar Sinjar ( ar, سنجار, Sinjār; ku, شنگال ,Şingal, syr, ܫܝܓܪ, Shingar) is a town in the Sinjar District of the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq. It is located about five kilometers south of the Sinjar Mountains. Its population ...

Sinjar
, he met a
Kurdish
Kurdish
mystic who gave him some silver coins. Once back in Mosul, he joined a "feeder" caravan of pilgrims heading south to Baghdad, where they would meet up with the main caravan that crossed the
Arabian Desert The Arabian Desert ( ar, ٱلصَّحْرَاء ٱلْعَرَبِيَّة) is a vast desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand ...

Arabian Desert
to Mecca. Ill with
diarrhoea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movement frame, Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation is the final act of digestion Digestion is the breakdown of large ins ...
, he arrived in the city weak and exhausted for his second ''hajj''.


Arabia

Ibn Battuta remained in Mecca for some time (the ''
Rihla ''Riḥla'' ( ar, رحلة) refers to both a journey and the written account of that journey, or travelogue. Associated with the medieval Islamic notion of "travel in search of knowledge" (الرحلة في طلب العلم), the ''riḥla'' as ...
'' suggests about three years, from September 1327 until autumn 1330). Problems with chronology, however, lead commentators to suggest that he may have left after the 1328 ''hajj''. After the ''hajj'' in either 1328 or 1330, he made his way to the port of
Jeddah Jeddah ( ), also spelled Jedda, Jiddah or Jidda ( ; ar, جِدَّة, Jidda, ), is a city in the Hejaz The Hejaz (, also ; ar, ٱلْحِجَاز, al-Ḥijāz, lit=the Barrier, ) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia (''Shahada ...

Jeddah
on the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
coast. From there he followed the coast in a series of boats (known as a jalbah, these were small craft made of wooden planks sewn together, lacking an established phrase) making slow progress against the prevailing south-easterly winds. Once in
Yemen ) , image_map = Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a Sanaa ( ar, صَنْعَاء, ' , Yemeni Arabic: ; Old South Arabian: 𐩮 ...
he visited Zabīd and later the highland town of
Ta'izz Taiz ( ar, تَعِزّ, Taʿizz) is a city in southwestern Yemen. It is located in the Yemeni Highlands, near the port city of Mocha, Yemen, Mocha on the Red Sea, at an elevation of about above sea level. It is the capital of Taiz Governorate. Wi ...

Ta'izz
, where he met the
Rasulid The Rasulids ( ar, بنو رسول, Banū Rasūl) were a Sunni Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic religion. The derivation of "Muslim" is from an Arabic languag ...
dynasty king ''(
Malik Malik, Melik, Malka, Malek, Maleek, Malick, or Melekh ( phn, 𐤌𐤋𐤊; ar, ملك Malik, Melik, Malka, Malek, Malick, or Melekh ( phn, 𐤌𐤋𐤊; ar, ملك; he, מֶלֶךְ) is the Semitic term translating to "king of th ...

Malik
)'' Mujahid Nur al-Din Ali. Ibn Battuta also mentions visiting
Sana'a Sanaa ( ar, صَنْعَاء, ' , Yemeni Arabic: ; Ancient South Arabian script, Old South Arabian: 𐩮𐩬𐩲𐩥 ''Ṣnʿw''), also spelled Sanaʽa or Sana, is the largest city in Yemen and the centre of Sanaa Governorate. The city is not ...

Sana'a
, but whether he actually did so is doubtful. In all likelihood, he went directly from Ta'izz to the important trading port of
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...

Aden
, arriving around the beginning of 1329 or 1331.


Somalia

From
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...

Aden
, Ibn Battuta embarked on a ship heading for
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
on the coast of
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
. He then moved on to
Cape Guardafui Cape Guardafui ( so, Gees Gardafuul, or Raas Caseyr, or Ras Asir, it, Capo Guardafui) is a headland in the autonomous Puntland region in Somalia. Coextensive with Puntland's Gardafuul administrative province, it forms the geographical apex of the ...
further down the Somalia seaboard, spending about a week in each location. Later he would visit
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
, the then pre-eminent city of the " Land of the Berbers" (بلد البربر ''Balad al-Barbar'', the medieval Arabic term for the
Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula of East Africa.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the ea ...

Horn of Africa
).Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ''The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama'', (Cambridge University Press: 1998), pp. 120–21. When Ibn Battuta arrived in 1332, Mogadishu stood at the zenith of its prosperity. He described it as "an exceedingly large city" with many rich merchants, noted for its high-quality fabric that was exported to other countries, including
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
. Ibn Battuta added that the city was ruled by a Somali
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

Sultan
, Abu Bakr ibn Sayx 'Umar,David D. Laitin, Said S. Samatar, ''Somalia: Nation in Search of a State'', (Westview Press: 1987), p. 15. who was originally from
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...
in northern Somalia and spoke both
Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, D ...
(referred to by Battuta as ''Mogadishan'', the Benadir dialect of Somali) and Arabic with equal fluency. The Sultan, had a son and heir apparent, Hamza. Hamza was noted for bravery in battle and being exceedingly cunning as well as being dashingly handsome. Hamza led men into battle at the very ripe age of 9; his prowess on field of battle was so legendary that his enemies would rather negotiate than foolishly meet Hamza on the open field. In addition to being commanding presence on the battlefield, Hamza was a well-travelled man, as he was the first Somali to step foot in mainland China, where Hamza established ties with the Ming Dynasty of the 14th century. Hamza was a man of great generosity and known for supporting the poor and was known locally as Hamza Habibi حمزة حبيب(ي) The Sultan also claimed lineage to the Prophet through Abu Taleb, and his son
Aqeel Aqeel (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transconti ...
The Sultan also had a retinue of
wazir Wazir often refers to: * Vizier or wazir, a high-ranking political advisor or minister Wazir may also refer to: Places * Waziristan, a region in tribal belt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan * Wazir Akbar Khan (Kabul), a neighborhood in Kabul, Afgh ...
s (ministers), legal experts, commanders, royal
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot ...

eunuch
s, and assorted hangers-on at his beck and call.


Swahili Coast

Ibn Battuta continued by ship south to the , a region then known in Arabic as the ''Bilad al-Zanj'' ("Land of the
Zanj Zanj ( ar, زَنْج, adj. , ''Zanjī''; fa, زنگی, Zangi, Ottoman Turkish Ottoman Turkish ( ota, لِسانِ عُثمانى, , ; tr, Osmanlı Türkçesi) was the standardized register (sociolinguistics), register of the Turkish langu ...
"), with an overnight stop at the island town of
Mombasa Mombasa ( , also ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally writ ...

Mombasa
. Although relatively small at the time, Mombasa would become important in the following century. After a journey along the coast, Ibn Battuta next arrived in the island town of
Kilwa Kilwa Kisiwani (English: ''Kilwa Island'') is an island, national historic site, and hamlet community located in the township of Kilwa Masoko, the district seat of Kilwa District in the Tanzanian region of Lindi Region in southern Tanzania. Kilw ...
in present-day
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
, which had become an important transit centre of the gold trade. He described the city as "one of the finest and most beautifully built towns; all the buildings are of wood, and the houses are roofed with ''dīs'' reeds". Ibn Battuta recorded his visit to the
Kilwa Sultanate The Kilwa Sultanate ( ar, سلطنة كيلوة) was a , centered at (an island off modern-day ), whose authority, at its height, stretched over the entire length of the . According to the legend, it was founded in the 10th century by , a prin ...
in 1330, and commented favourably on the humility and religion of its ruler,
Sultan al-Hasan ibn SulaimanSultan al-Hasan ibn Sulaiman, often referred to as "Abu'l-Muwahib" ("father of gifts"), was an Arab ruler of Kilwa Kisiwani, in present-day Tanzania Tanzania (;This approximates the Kiswahili pronunciation. However, is also heard in English. ...
, a descendant of the legendary
Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi Sultan Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi (c.10th century), was the founder of the Kilwa Sultanate. According to legend, Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi was one of seven sons of the Emir Al-Hassan of Shiraz, Persia, his mother an Habesha people, Abyssinian slave. ...
. He further wrote that the authority of the Sultan extended from
Malindi Malindi (known as Melinde in antiquity) is a town on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River The Athi-Galana-Sabaki River is the second longest river in Kenya (after the Tana River (Kenya), Tana River). It has a total length of , and drain ...

Malindi
in the north to
Inhambane Inhambane, also known as Terra de Boa Gente (''Land of Good People''), is a city located in southern Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), i ...
in the south and was particularly impressed by the planning of the city, believing it to be the reason for Kilwa's success along the coast. During this period, he described the construction of the Palace of Husuni Kubwa and a significant extension to the Great Mosque of Kilwa, which was made of coral stones and was the largest
Mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Salah, Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, w ...

Mosque
of its kind. With a change in the
monsoon A monsoon () is traditionally a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology ...

monsoon
winds, Ibn Battuta sailed back to Arabia, first to
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Formerly a maritime empire, Oman is the oldest continuously in ...

Oman
and the
Strait of Hormuz The Strait of Hormuz ( fa, تنگه هرمز ''Tangeh-ye Hormoz'' ar, مَضيق هُرمُز ''Maḍīq Hurmuz'') is a between the and the . It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the wo ...

Strait of Hormuz
then on to Mecca for the ''hajj'' of 1330 (or 1332).


Itinerary 1332–1347


Anatolia

After his third pilgrimage to Mecca, Ibn Battuta decided to seek employment with the
Sultan of Delhi The earliest Indian rulers are known only from Sanskrit literature Image:Devimahatmya Sanskrit MS Nepal 11c.jpg, 300px, The 11th-century Sanskrit manuscript of the Devi Mahatmya, Devi Māhātmya on palm-leaf, from Bihar or Nepal. Sanskrit liter ...
,
Muhammad bin Tughluq Muhammad bin Tughluq (also known as Prince Fakhr Malik Jauna Khan, Ulugh Khan); ) was the Delhi Sultanate, Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. He was the eldest son of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, Ghiyas-ud-Din-Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughluq dyn ...
. In the autumn of 1330 (or 1332), he set off for the
SeljukSeljuk may refer to: * Seljuk (warlord) (died c. 1038), founder of the Turko-Persian Seljuk dynasty in the Middle East and central Asia * Seljuq dynasty (c. 950–1307), the dynasty founded by Seljuk * Seljuk Empire (1051–1153), a medieval empire ...

Seljuk
controlled territory of
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
to take an overland route to India. He crossed the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
and the
Eastern Desert The Eastern Desert is the part of the Sahara desert that is located east of the Nile The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a natural flowing water ...
to reach the
Nile valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile valley
and then headed north to
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
. From there he crossed the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other ...

Sinai Peninsula
to
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
and then travelled north again through some of the towns that he had visited in 1326. From the Syrian port of
Latakia Latakia ( ar, ٱللَّاذْقِيَّة \ ٱللَّاذِقِيَّة, '; Syrian Arabic, Syrian pronunciation: ) is the principal port city of Syria, as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. Historically, it has also been known as L ...
, a
Genoese Genoese may refer to: * a person from Genoa * Genoese dialect, a dialect of the Ligurian language * Republic of Genoa (–1805), a former state in Liguria See also

* Genovese, a surname * Genovesi, a surname * * * * * Genova (disambiguati ...
ship took him (and his companions) to
Alanya Alanya (; ), formerly Alaiye, is a beach resort town, resort city and a district of Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey, in the country's Mediterranean Region, Turkey, Mediterranean Region, east of the city of Antalya. As of Turkey's ...

Alanya
on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey. He then journeyed westwards along the coast to the port of
Antalya Antalya (, from grc, Ἀττάλεια) is the fifth-most populous city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balka ...

Antalya
. In the town he met members of one of the semi-religious ''fityan'' associations. These were a feature of most Anatolian towns in the 13th and 14th centuries. The members were young artisans and had at their head a leader with the title of ''Akhil''. The associations specialised in welcoming travellers. Ibn Battuta was very impressed with the hospitality that he received and would later stay in their hospices in more than 25 towns in Anatolia. From Antalya Ibn Battuta headed inland to Eğirdir which was the capital of the
HamididsHamidids or Hamed Dynasty ( Modern Turkish: ''Hamidoğulları'' or ''Hamidoğulları Beyliği'') also known as the Beylik of Hamid, was one of the 14th century Anatolian beyliks Anatolian beyliks ( tr, Anadolu beylikleri, Ottoman Turkish: ''Tavâ ...
. He spent
Ramadan * fa, رمضان, Ramazān * hi, रमज़ान, Ramzān * ku, ڕەمەزان, Remezan * ps, روژه, Rozha * so, Rabadaan or Rabmadaan * tr, Ramazan * ur, رمضان, Ramzān * diq, Remezan * sq, Ramazani , type = islam , longty ...

Ramadan
(June 1331 or May 1333) in the city. From this point his itinerary across Anatolia in the ''Rihla'' becomes confused. Ibn Battuta describes travelling westwards from Eğirdir to
Milas Milas ( grc, Μύλασα, Mylasa) is an ancient city and the seat of the district of the same name in Muğla Province Muğla Province ( tr, , ) is a Provinces of Turkey, province of Turkey, at the country's south-western corner, on the Aegean S ...

Milas
and then skipping eastward past Eğirdir to
Konya Konya () is a major city in south-central Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ...

Konya
. He then continues travelling in an easterly direction, reaching
Erzurum Erzurum (, ) is a List of cities in Turkey, city in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is the largest city in and capital of Erzurum Province. It is situated 1,900 meters (6,233 feet) above sea level. Erzurum had a population of 361,235 in the 2000 cen ...

Erzurum
from where he skips back to
Birgi Birgi is a small town located in the Ödemiş district of İzmir province İzmir Province ( tr, İzmir ili) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient ...
which lies north of
Milas Milas ( grc, Μύλασα, Mylasa) is an ancient city and the seat of the district of the same name in Muğla Province Muğla Province ( tr, , ) is a Provinces of Turkey, province of Turkey, at the country's south-western corner, on the Aegean S ...

Milas
. Historians believe that Ibn Battuta visited a number of towns in central Anatolia, but not in the order in which he describes.; ; . When Ibn Battuta arrived in , which had just been conquered by Orhan, Orhan was away and his wife was in command of the nearby stationed soldiers, Ibn Battuta gave this account of Orhan's wife: “A pious and excellent woman. She treated me honourably, gave me hospitality and sent gifts.”The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire
- Leslie P. Peirce Oxford University Press, 1993
Ibn Battuta's account of
Orhan Orhan Ghazi ( ota, اورخان غازی; tr, Orhan Gazi, also spelled Orkhan, 1281 – March 1362) was the second bey "Bey" ( ota, بك “''Beik''”, chg, بك “''Bek''”, tk, beg, uz, bek, kz, бек, tt, bäk, sq, beu, bs ...

Orhan
: Ibn Battuta had also visited
Bursa (ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). Ancient Greek wa ...

Bursa
which at the time was the capital of the Ottoman Beylik, he described Bursa as “a great and important city with fine
bazaar A bazaar or souk, is a permanently enclosed marketplace or street where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term bazaar originates from the Persian language, Persian word ''bāzār''. The term bazaar is sometimes also used to refer ...

bazaar
s and wide streets, surrounded on all sides with gardens and running springs.” He also visited the Beylik of Aydin. Ibn Battuta stated that the ruler of the Beylik of Aydin had twenty Greek slaves at the entrance of his palace and Ibn Battuta was given a Greek slave as a gift. his visit to Anatolia was the first time in his travels he acquired a servant, the ruler of Aydin gifted him his first slave, he purchased a young Greek girl for 40 dinars in Ephesus, in Izmir the Sultan gifted him another slave, and in Balikesir he purchased a second girl. The conspicuous evidence of his wealth and prestige continued to grow.


Central Asia

From Sinop, Turkey, Sinope he took a sea route to the Crimean Peninsula, arriving in the Golden Horde realm. He went to the port town of Azov, where he met with the emir of the Khan, then to the large and rich city of Majar. He left Majar to meet with Uzbeg Khan's travelling court (ordo (palace), ''Orda''), which was at the time near Mount Beshtau. From there he made a journey to Bolghar, which became the northernmost point he reached, and noted its unusually short nights in summer (by the standards of the subtropics). Then he returned to the Khan's court and with it moved to Astrakhan. Ibn Battuta recorded that while in Bolghar he wanted to travel further north into the land of darkness. The land is snow-covered throughout (northern Siberia) and the only means of transport is dog-drawn sled. There lived a mysterious people who were reluctant to show themselves. They traded with southern people in a peculiar way. Southern merchants brought various goods and placed them in an open area on the snow in the night, then returned to their tents. Next morning they came to the place again and found their merchandise taken by the mysterious people, but in exchange they found fur-skins which could be used for making valuable coats, jackets, and other winter garments. The trade was done between merchants and the mysterious people without seeing each other. As Ibn Battuta was not a merchant and saw no benefit of going there he abandoned the travel to this land of darkness. When they reached Astrakhan, Öz Beg Khan had just given permission for one of his pregnant wives, Princess Bayalun, a daughter of List of Byzantine emperors, Byzantine emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos, to return to her home city of Constantinople to give birth. Ibn Battuta talked his way into this expedition, which would be his first beyond the boundaries of the Islamic world. Arriving in Constantinople towards the end of 1332 (or 1334), he met the Byzantine Empire, Byzantine emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos. He visited the great church of Hagia Sophia and spoke with an Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox priest about his travels in the city of Jerusalem. After a month in the city, Ibn Battuta returned to Astrakhan, then arrived in the capital city Sarai (city), Sarai al-Jadid and reported the accounts of his travels to Sultan Öz Beg Khan (r. 1313–1341). Then he continued past the Caspian Sea, Caspian and Aral Seas to Bukhara and Samarkand, where he visited the court of another Mongolian king, Tarmashirin (r. 1331–1334) of the Chagatai Khanate. From there, he journeyed south to Afghanistan, then crossed into India via the mountain passes of the Hindu Kush. In the ''Rihla'', he mentions these mountains and the history of the range in slave trading. He wrote, Ibn Battuta and his party reached the Indus River on 12 September 1333. From there, he made his way to Delhi and became acquainted with the sultan,
Muhammad bin Tughluq Muhammad bin Tughluq (also known as Prince Fakhr Malik Jauna Khan, Ulugh Khan); ) was the Delhi Sultanate, Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. He was the eldest son of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, Ghiyas-ud-Din-Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughluq dyn ...
.


India

Muhammad bin Tughluq Muhammad bin Tughluq (also known as Prince Fakhr Malik Jauna Khan, Ulugh Khan); ) was the Delhi Sultanate, Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. He was the eldest son of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq, Ghiyas-ud-Din-Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughluq dyn ...
was renowned as the wealthiest man in the Muslim world at that time. He patronized various scholars, Sufis, qadis, viziers, and other functionaries in order to consolidate his rule. As with Mamluk Egypt, the Tughlaq Dynasty was a rare vestigial example of Muslim rule after a Mongol invasion. On the strength of his years of study in Mecca, Ibn Battuta was appointed a ''qadi'', or judge, by the sultan. However, he found it difficult to enforce Sharia, Islamic law beyond the sultan's court in Delhi, due to lack of Islamic appeal in India. It is uncertain by which route Ibn Battuta entered the Indian subcontinent but it is known that he was kidnapped and robbed by Hindu rebels on his journey to the Indian coast. He may have entered via the Khyber Pass and Peshawar, or further south. He crossed the Sutlej river near the city of Pakpattan, in modern-day Pakistan, where he paid obeisance at the shrine of Baba Farid, before crossing southwest into Rajput country. From the Rajput kingdom of Sarsatti, Battuta visited Hansi in India, describing it as "among the most beautiful cities, the best constructed and the most populated; it is surrounded with a strong wall, and its founder is said to be one of the great non-Muslim kings, called Tara". Upon his arrival in Sindh, Ibn Battuta mentions the Indian rhinoceros that lived on the banks of the Indus River, Indus. The Sultan was erratic even by the standards of the time and for six years Ibn Battuta veered between living the high life of a trusted subordinate and falling under suspicion of treason for a variety of offences. His plan to leave on the pretext of taking another ''hajj'' was stymied by the Sultan. The opportunity for Battuta to leave Delhi finally arose in 1341 when an embassy arrived from Yuan dynasty China asking for permission to rebuild a Himalayan Buddhist temple popular with Chinese pilgrims. Ibn Battuta was given charge of the embassy but en route to the coast at the start of the journey to China, he and his large retinue were attacked by a group of thuggee, bandits. Separated from his companions, he was robbed, kidnapped, and nearly lost his life. Despite this setback, within ten days he had caught up with his group and continued on to Khambhat in the Indian state of Gujarat. From there, they sailed to Kozhikode, Calicut (now known as Kozhikode), where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama would land two centuries later. While in Calicut, Battuta was the guest of the ruling Zamorin of Calicut, Zamorin. While Ibn Battuta visited a mosque on shore, a storm arose and one of the ships of his expedition sank. The other ship then sailed without him only to be seized by a local Sumatran king a few months later. Afraid to return to Delhi and be seen as a failure, he stayed for a time in southern India under the protection of Jalaluddin Ahsan Khan, Jamal-ud-Din, ruler of the small but powerful Madurai Sultanate, Nawayath sultanate on the banks of the Sharavathi river next to the Arabian Sea. This area is today known as Hosapattana and lies in the Honavar tehsil, administrative district of Uttara Kannada. Following the overthrow of the sultanate, Ibn Battuta had no choice but to leave India. Although determined to continue his journey to China, he first took a detour to visit the Maldives, Maldive Islands where he worked as a judge. He spent nine months on the islands, much longer than he had intended. When he arrived at the capital, Malé, Ibn Battuta did not plan to stay. However, the leaders of the formerly Buddhism, Buddhist nation that had recently Islam in the Maldives, converted to Islam were looking for a chief judge, someone who knew Arabic and Qur’an. To convince him to stay they gave him pearls, gold jewellery, and slaves, while at the same time making it impossible for him to leave by ship. Compelled into staying, he became a chief judge and married into the royal family of Omar I of the Maldives, Omar I. Ibn Battuta took on his duties as a judge with keenness and strived to transform local practices to conform to a stricter application of Muslim law. He commanded that men who did not attend Friday prayer be publicly whipped, and that robbers’ right hand be cut off. He forbade women from being topless in public, which had previously been the custom. However, these and other strict judgments began to antagonize the island nation's rulers, and involved him in power struggles and political intrigues. Ibn Battuta resigned from his job as chief qadi, although in all likelihood it was inevitable that he would have been dismissed. Throughout his travels, Ibn Battuta kept close company with women, usually taking a wife whenever he stopped for any length of time at one place, and then divorcing her when he moved on. While in the Maldives, Ibn Battuta took four wives. In his ''Travels'' he wrote that in the Maldives the effect of small dowries and female non-mobility combined to, in effect, make a marriage a convenient temporary arrangement for visiting male travellers and sailors. From the Maldives, he carried on to Sri Lanka and visited Sri Pada (Sri Lanka), Sri Pada and Tenavaram temple. Ibn Battuta's ship almost sank on embarking from Sri Lanka, only for the vessel that came to his rescue to suffer an attack by pirates. Stranded onshore, he worked his way back to the Madurai kingdom in India. Here he spent some time in the court of the short-lived Madurai Sultanate under Ghiyas-ud-Din Muhammad Damghani, from where he returned to the Maldives and boarded a Chinese Junk (ship), junk, still intending to reach China and take up his ambassadorial post. He reached the port of Chittagong in modern-day Bangladesh intending to travel to Sylhet to meet Shah Jalal, who became so renowned that Ibn Battuta, then in Chittagong, made a one-month journey through the mountains of Kamarupa, Kamaru near Sylhet to meet him. On his way to Sylhet, Ibn Battuta was greeted by several of Shah Jalal's disciples who had come to assist him on his journey many days before he had arrived. At the meeting in 1345 CE, Ibn Battuta noted that Shah Jalal was tall and lean, fair in complexion and lived by the mosque in a cave, where his only item of value was a goat he kept for milk, butter, and yogurt. He observed that the companions of the Shah Jalal were foreign and known for their strength and bravery. He also mentions that many people would visit the Shah to seek guidance. Ibn Battuta went further north into Assam, then turned around and continued with his original plan.


Southeast Asia

In 1345, Ibn Battuta travelled on to Samudra Pasai Sultanate in present-day Aceh, Northern Sumatra, where he notes in his travel log that the ruler of Samudra Pasai was a pious Muslim named Sultan Al-Malik Al-Zahir Jamal-ad-Din, who performed his religious duties with utmost zeal and often waged campaigns against animists in the region. The island of Sumatra, according to Ibn Battuta, was rich in camphor, areca nut, cloves, and tin. The ''
madh'hab A ' ( ar, مذهب ', , "way to act") is a school of thought within ''fiqh ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nat ...

madh'hab
'' he observed was Imam Al-Shafi‘i, whose customs were similar to those he had previously seen in coastal India, especially among the Mappila Muslims, who were also followers of Imam Al-Shafi‘i. At that time Samudra Pasai marked the end of Divisions of the world in Islam#Dar al-Islam (House of Islam), Dar al-Islam, because no territory east of this was ruled by a Muslim. Here he stayed for about two weeks in the wooden walled town as a guest of the sultan, and then the sultan provided him with supplies and sent him on his way on one of his own Junk (ship), junks to China. Ibn Battuta first sailed to Malacca on the Malay Peninsula which he called "Mul Jawi". He met the ruler of Malacca and stayed as a guest for three days. Ibn Battuta then sailed to a state called Kaylukari in the land of Tawalisi, where he met Urduja, a local princess. Urduja was a brave warrior, and her people were opponents of the Yuan dynasty. She was described as an "idolater", but could write the phrase Basmala, Bismillah in Islamic calligraphy. The locations of Kaylukari and Tawalisi are disputed. Kaylukari might referred to Po Klong Garai in Champa (now southern Vietnam), and Urduja might be an aristocrat of Champa or Đại Việt, Dai Viet. Filipinos widely believe that Kaylukari was in present-day Pangasinan Province of the Philippines. In modern times, Urduja has been featured in Filipino textbooks and films as a national heroine. Numerous other locations have been proposed, ranging from Java to somewhere in Guangdong Province, China. However, Sir Henry Yule and William Henry Scott (historian), William Henry Scott consider both Tawalisi and Urduja to be entirely fictitious. (See Tawalisi for details.) From Kaylukari, Ibn Battuta finally reached Quanzhou in Fujian Province, China.


China

In the year 1345 Ibn Battuta arrived at Quanzhou in China's Fujian province, then under the rule of the Mongol Empire, Mongols of the Yuan dynasty. One of the first things he noted was that Muslims referred to the city as "Zaitun" (meaning olive), but Ibn Battuta could not find any olives anywhere. He mentioned local artists and their mastery in making portraits of newly arrived foreigners; these were for security purposes. Ibn Battuta praised the craftsmen and their silk and porcelain; as well as fruits such as plums and watermelons and the advantages of paper money. He described the manufacturing process of large ships in the city of Quanzhou. He also mentioned Chinese cuisine and its usage of animals such as frogs, pigs, and even dogs which were sold in the markets, and noted that the chickens in China were larger than those in the west. Scholars however have pointed out numerous errors given in Ibn Battuta's account of China, for example confusing the Yellow River with the Grand Canal (China), Grand Canal and other waterways, as well as believing that porcelain was made from coal. In Quanzhou, Ibn Battuta was welcomed by the head of the local Muslim merchants (possibly a fānzhǎng or "Leader of Foreigners" ) and Sheikh al-Islam (Imam), who came to meet him with flags, drums, trumpets, and musicians. Ibn Battuta noted that the Muslim populace lived within a separate portion in the city where they had their own mosques, bazaars, and hospitals. In Quanzhou, he met two prominent Iranians, Burhan al-Din of Kazerun and Sharif al-Din from
Tabriz Tabriz ( fa, تبریز ; ) is a city in northwestern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the w ...

Tabriz
(both of whom were influential figures noted in the ''History of Yuan, Yuan History'' as "A-mi-li-ding" and "Sai-fu-ding", respectively). While in Quanzhou he ascended the "Mount Qingyuan, Mount of the Hermit" and briefly visited a well-known Taoism, Taoist monk in a cave. He then travelled south along the Chinese coast to Guangzhou, where he lodged for two weeks with one of the city's wealthy merchants. From Guangzhou he went north to Quanzhou and then proceeded to the city of Fuzhou, where he took up residence with Zahir al-Din and met Kawam al-Din and a fellow countryman named Al-Bushri of Ceuta, who had become a wealthy merchant in China. Al-Bushri accompanied Ibn Battuta northwards to Hangzhou and paid for the gifts that Ibn Battuta would present to the Mongolian Emperor Togon-temür of the Yuan Dynasty. Ibn Battuta said that Hangzhou was one of the largest cities he had ever seen, and he noted its charm, describing that the city sat on a West Lake, beautiful lake surrounded by gentle green hills. He mentions the city's Muslim quarter and resided as a guest with a family of Egyptian origin. During his stay at Hangzhou he was particularly impressed by the large number of well-crafted and well-painted Chinese wooden ships, with coloured sails and silk awnings, assembling in the canals. Later he attended a banquet of the Yuan Mongol administrator of the city named Qurtai, who according to Ibn Battuta, was very fond of the skills of local Chinese Evocation, conjurers. Ibn Battuta also mentions locals who worship the Solar deity. He described floating through the Grand Canal (China), Grand Canal on a boat watching crop fields, orchids, merchants in black silk, and women in flowered silk and priests also in silk. In Beijing, Ibn Battuta referred to himself as the long-lost ambassador from the Delhi Sultanate and was invited to the Yuan imperial court of Togon-temür (who according to Ibn Battuta was worshipped by some people in China). Ibn Batutta noted that the palace of Khanbaliq was made of wood and that the ruler's "head wife" (Empress Gi) held processions in her honour. Ibn Battuta also wrote he had heard of "the rampart of Gog and Magog, Yajuj and Majuj" that was "sixty days' travel" from the city of Zeitun (Quanzhou); Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb notes that Ibn Battuta believed that the Great Wall of China was built by Dhul-Qarnayn to contain Gog and Magog as mentioned in the Quran. However, Ibn Battuta, who asked about the wall in China, could find no one who had either seen it or knew of anyone who had seen it. Ibn Battuta travelled from Beijing to Hangzhou, and then proceeded to Fuzhou. Upon his return to Quanzhou, he soon boarded a Chinese junk owned by the
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

Sultan
of Samudera Pasai Sultanate heading for Southeast Asia, whereupon Ibn Battuta was unfairly charged a hefty sum by the crew and lost much of what he had collected during his stay in China. Battuta claimed that the Mongol Khan (Qan) had interred with him in his grave six slave soldiers and four girl slaves. Silver, gold, weapons, and carpets were put into the grave.


Return

After returning to Quanzhou in 1346, Ibn Battuta began his journey back to Morocco. In Kozhikode, he once again considered throwing himself at the mercy of Muhammad bin Tughluq in Delhi, but thought better of it and decided to carry on to Mecca. On his way to
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
he passed through the
Strait of Hormuz The Strait of Hormuz ( fa, تنگه هرمز ''Tangeh-ye Hormoz'' ar, مَضيق هُرمُز ''Maḍīq Hurmuz'') is a between the and the . It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the wo ...

Strait of Hormuz
, where he learned that Abu Sa'id, last ruler of the Ilkhanate, Ilkhanate Dynasty had died in Iran. Abu Sa'id's territories had subsequently collapsed due to a fierce civil war between the Iranians and Mongols. In 1348, Ibn Battuta arrived in Damascus with the intention of retracing the route of his first ''hajj''. He then learned that his father had died 15 years earlier and death became the dominant theme for the next year or so. The Black Death had struck and he stopped in Homs as the plague spread through Syria,
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
, and Arabia. He heard of terrible death tolls in History of Gaza, Gaza, but returned to Damascus that July where the death toll had reached 2,400 victims each day. When he stopped in Gaza he found it was depopulated, and in Egypt he stayed at Abu Sir. Reportedly deaths in Cairo had reached levels of 1,100 each day. He made
hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ ' "wikt:pilgrimage, ''pilgrimage''"; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Far ...
to Mecca then he decided to return to Morocco, nearly a quarter of a century after leaving home. On the way he made one last detour to Sardinia, then in 1349, returned to Tangier by way of Fes, Fez, only to discover that his mother had also died a few months before.


Itinerary 1349–1354


Spain and North Africa

After a few days in Tangier, Ibn Battuta set out for a trip to the Muslim-controlled territory of al-Andalus on the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
. King Alfonso XI of Castile, Alfonso XI of Castile and León had threatened to attack Gibraltar, so in 1350, Ibn Battuta joined a group of Muslims leaving Tangier with the intention of defending the port. By the time he arrived, the Black Death had killed Alfonso and the threat of invasion had receded, so he turned the trip into a sight-seeing tour, travelling through Kingdom of Valencia, Valencia and ending up in Granada. After his departure from al-Andalus he decided to travel through Morocco. On his return home, he stopped for a while in Marrakech, which was almost a ghost town following the recent plague and the transfer of the capital to Fes, Fez.


Mali and Timbuktu

In the autumn of 1351, Ibn Battuta left Fez and made his way to the town of Sijilmasa on the northern edge of the Sahara in present-day Morocco. There he bought a number of camels and stayed for four months. He set out again with a caravan in February 1352 and after 25 days arrived at the dry salt lake bed of Taghaza with its salt mines. All of the local buildings were made from slabs of salt by the slaves of the Masufa tribe, who cut the salt in thick slabs for transport by camel. Taghaza was a commercial centre and awash with Malian gold, though Ibn Battuta did not form a favourable impression of the place, recording that it was plagued by flies and the water was brackish. After a ten-day stay in Taghaza, the caravan set out for the oasis of Tasarahla (probably Bir al-Ksaib) where it stopped for three days in preparation for the last and most difficult leg of the journey across the vast desert. From Tasarahla, a Masufa scout was sent ahead to the oasis town of Oualata, where he arranged for water to be transported a distance of four days travel where it would meet the thirsty caravan. Oualata was the southern terminus of the trans-Saharan trade route and had recently become part of the Mali Empire. Altogether, the caravan took two months to cross the of desert from Sijilmasa. From there, Ibn Battuta travelled southwest along a river he believed to be the Nile (it was actually the river Niger River, Niger), until he reached the capital of the Mali Empire. There he met ''Mansa'' Suleyman (mansa), Suleyman, king since 1341. Ibn Battuta disapproved of the fact that female slaves, servants, and even the daughters of the sultan went about exposing awrah, parts of their bodies not befitting a Muslim. He left the capital in February accompanied by a local Malian merchant and journeyed overland by camel to Timbuktu. Though in the next two centuries it would become the most important city in the region, at that time it was a small city and relatively unimportant. It was during this journey that Ibn Battuta first encountered a hippopotamus. The animals were feared by the local boatmen and hunted with lances to which strong cords were attached. After a short stay in Timbuktu, Ibn Battuta journeyed down the Niger to Gao in a canoe carved from a single tree. At the time Gao was an important commercial center. After spending a month in Gao, Ibn Battuta set off with a large caravan for the oasis of Takedda. On his journey across the desert, he received a message from the Abu Inan Faris, Sultan of Morocco commanding him to return home. He set off for Sijilmasa in September 1353, accompanying a large caravan transporting 600 female slaves, and arrived back in Morocco early in 1354. Ibn Battuta's itinerary gives scholars a glimpse as to when Islam first began to spread into the heart of west Africa.


Works

After returning home from his travels in 1354, and at the suggestion of the Marinid dynasty, Marinid ruler of Morocco, Abu Inan Faris, Ibn Battuta dictated an account in Arabic of his journeys to Ibn Juzayy, a scholar whom he had previously met in Granada. The account is the only source for Ibn Battuta's adventures. The full title of the manuscript may be translated as ''A Masterpiece to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling'' (, ''Tuḥfat an-Nuẓẓār fī Gharāʾib al-Amṣār wa ʿAjāʾib al-Asfār'').M-S p. ix. However, it is often simply referred to as ''TheTravels'' (, ''Rihla''),; in reference to a rihla, standard form of Arabic literature. There is no indication that Ibn Battuta made any notes or had any journal during his twenty-nine years of travelling. When he came to dictate an account of his experiences he had to rely on memory and manuscripts produced by earlier travellers. Ibn Juzayy did not acknowledge his sources and presented some of the earlier descriptions as Ibn Battuta's own observations. When describing Damascus, Mecca, Medina, and some other places in the Middle East, he clearly copied passages from the account by the Andalusian Ibn Jubayr which had been written more than 150 years earlier. Similarly, most of Ibn Juzayy's descriptions of places in Palestine were copied from an account by the 13th-century traveller Mohammed al-Abdari al-Hihi, Muhammad al-Abdari. Oriental studies, Scholars do not believe that Ibn Battuta visited all the places he described and argue that in order to provide a comprehensive description of places in the Muslim world, he relied on hearsay evidence and made use of accounts by earlier travellers. For example, it is considered very unlikely that Ibn Battuta made a trip up the Volga River from Sarai-Berke, New Sarai to visit Bolghar and there are serious doubts about a number of other journeys such as his trip to Sana'a in Yemen, his journey from Balkh to Bistam in Greater Khorasan, Khorasan, and his trip around Anatolia. Ibn Battuta's claim that a Maghrebis, Maghrebian called "Abu'l Barakat the Berber" converted the Maldives to Islam is contradicted by an entirely different story which says that the Islam in the Maldives, Maldives were converted to Islam after miracles were performed by a
Tabriz Tabriz ( fa, تبریز ; ) is a city in northwestern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the w ...

Tabriz
i named Maulana Shaikh Yusuf Shams-ud-din according to the Tarikh, the official history of the Maldives. Some scholars have also questioned whether he really visited China. Ibn Battuta may have plagiarized entire sections of his descriptions of China lifted from works by other authors like "Masalik al-absar fi mamalik al-amsar" by Shihab al-Umari, Sulaiman al-Tajir, and possibly from Ata-Malik Juvayni, Al Juwayni, Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Rashid al din, and an Alexander romance. Furthermore, Ibn Battuta's description and Marco Polo's writings share extremely similar sections and themes, with some of the same commentary, e.g. it is unlikely that the 3rd Caliph Uthman ibn Affan had someone with the identical name in China who was encountered by Ibn Battuta. However, even if the ''Rihla'' is not fully based on what its author personally witnessed, it provides an important account of much of the 14th-century world. Concubines were used by Ibn Battuta such as in Delhi. He wedded several women, divorced at least some of them, and in Damascus, Malabar, Delhi, Bukhara, and the Maldives had children by them or by concubines. Ibn Battuta insulted Greeks as "enemies of Allah", drunkards and "swine eaters", while at the same time in Ephesus he purchased and used a Greek girl who was one of his many slave girls in his "harem" through Byzantium, Khorasan, Africa, and Palestine. It was two decades before he again returned to find out what happened to one of his wives and child in Damascus. Ibn Battuta often experienced culture shock in regions he visited where the local customs of recently converted peoples did not fit in with his orthodox Muslim background. Among the Turks and Mongols, he was astonished at the freedom and respect enjoyed by women and remarked that on seeing a Turkish couple in a bazaar one might assume that the man was the woman's servant when he was in fact her husband. He also felt that dress customs in the Maldives, and some Sub-Saharan Africa, sub-Saharan regions in Africa were too revealing. Little is known about Ibn Battuta's life after completion of his ''Rihla'' in 1355. He was appointed a judge in Morocco and died in 1368 or 1369. Ibn Battuta's work was unknown outside the Muslim world until the beginning of the 19th century, when the German traveller-explorer Ulrich Jasper Seetzen (1767–1811) acquired a collection of manuscripts in the Middle East, among which was a 94-page volume containing an abridged version of Ibn Juzayy's text. Three extracts were published in 1818 by the German orientalist Johann Gottfried Ludwig Kosegarten, Johann Kosegarten. A fourth extract was published the following year. French scholars were alerted to the initial publication by a lengthy review published in the ''Journal des sçavans, Journal de Savants'' by the orientalist Silvestre de Sacy. Three copies of another abridged manuscript were acquired by the Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Johann Burckhardt and bequeathed to the University of Cambridge. He gave a brief overview of their content in a book published posthumously in 1819. The Arabic text was translated into English by the orientalist Samuel Lee (linguist), Samuel Lee and published in London in 1829. In the 1830s, during the French occupation of Algeria, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Bibliothèque Nationale (BNF) in Paris acquired five manuscripts of Ibn Battuta's travels, in which two were complete. One manuscript containing just the second part of the work is dated 1356 and is believed to be Ibn Juzayy's autograph. The BNF manuscripts were used in 1843 by the Irish-French orientalist William McGuckin de Slane, Baron de Slane to produce a translation into French of Ibn Battuta's visit to the Sudan. They were also studied by the French scholars Charles Defrémery and Beniamino Sanguinetti. Beginning in 1853 they published a series of four volumes containing a critical edition of the Arabic text together with a translation into French. In their introduction Defrémery and Sanguinetti praised Lee's annotations but were critical of his translation which they claimed lacked precision, even in straightforward passages. In 1929, exactly a century after the publication of Lee's translation, the historian and orientalist Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, Hamilton Gibb published an English translation of selected portions of Defrémery and Sanguinetti's Arabic text. Gibb had proposed to the Hakluyt Society in 1922 that he should prepare an annotated translation of the entire ''Rihla'' into English. His intention was to divide the translated text into four volumes, each volume corresponding to one of the volumes published by Defrémery and Sanguinetti. The first volume was not published until 1958. Gibb died in 1971, having completed the first three volumes. The fourth volume was prepared by Charles Beckingham and published in 1994. Defrémery and Sanguinetti's printed text has now been translated into number of other languages.


Historicity

The German Islamic studies scholar Ralph Elger views Battuta's travel account as an important literary work but doubts the historicity of much of its content, which he suspects to be a work of fiction being compiled and inspired from other contemporary travel reports. Various other scholars have raised similar doubts. Ross E. Dunn in 1987 has similarly expressed doubts that any evidence would be found to support the narrative of the ''Rihla'', but in 2010 Tim Mackintosh-Smith completed a multi-volume field study in dozens of the locales mentioned in the ''Rihla'', in which he reports on previously unknown manuscripts of Islamic law kept in the archives of Al-Azhar University in
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
that were copied by Ibn Battuta in
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
in 1326, corroborating the date in the ''Rihla'' of his sojourn in Syria.


Present day cultural references

The largest themed mall in Dubai, UAE, the Ibn Battuta Mall is named for him and features both areas designed to recreate the exotic lands he visited on his travels and statuary tableaus depicting scenes from his life history. A giant semblance of Battuta, alongside two others from the history of Arab exploration, the geographer and historian Al Bakri and the navigator and cartographer Ibn Majid is displayed at the Expo 2020#Mobility, Mobility pavillion at Expo 2020 in Dubai in a section of the exhibition designed by Weta Workshop.


See also

* List of places visited by Ibn Battuta *
Marco Polo Marco Polo (, , ; September 15, 1254January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and W ...

Marco Polo


Notes


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * *. * . The text of these volumes has been used as the source for translations into other languages. * . * . * . * . First published in 1986, . * . * . Reissued several times. Extracts are available on th
Fordham University site
* . * . * . * . This volume was translated by Beckingham after Gibb's death in 1971. A separate index was published in 2000. * . *. *. * *. The text is discussed in Defrémery & Sanguinetti (1853) Volume
pp. xvi–xvii
*. First published in 1981. pp. 279–304 contain a translation of Ibn Battuta's account of his visit to West Africa. *. * * * * * *. * * * * * *. Includes the text of Ibn Battuta's account of his visit to China. The translation is from the French text of Defrémery & Sanguinetti (1858) Volume 4. * * *. * . *. *. * . Contains an introduction by Mackintosh-Smith and then an abridged version (around 40 percent of the original) of the translation by H.A.R. Gibb and C.E. Beckingham (1958–1994). *. *. * *. * .


External links


''Travels In Asia And Africa 1325–1354''
— Gibb's 1929 translation from the Internet Archive
A Tangerine in Delhi
— ''Saudi Aramco World'' article by Tim Mackintosh-Smith (March/April 2006).

— ''Saudi Aramco World'' article by Douglas Bullis (July/August 2000).
Google Books
— link to a 2004 reissue of Gibb's 1929 translation. * French text from Defrémery and Sanguinetti (1853–1858) with an introduction and footnotes by Stéphane Yérasimos published in 1982
Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3
* * Interactive scholarly edition, with critical English translation and multimodal resources mashup (publications, images, videos
Engineering Historical Memory
{{Authority control 1304 births 1369 deaths 14th-century Berber people 14th-century explorers 14th-century geographers 14th-century scholars Berber explorers Explorers of Arabia Explorers of Asia Explorers of India Geographers of medieval Islam Malikis Medieval Islamic travel writers Medieval travel writers Moroccan explorers Moroccan travel writers Moroccan writers People from Tangier Pilgrimage accounts Slave owners Slavery in Morocco