Ny

Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Ibn Battuta (l. 1304-1368/69 CE) var en marockansk upptäcktsresande från Tanger vars expeditioner tog honom längre än någon annan känd resenär under sin tid och resulterade i det arbete som gjort honom känd, The Rihla of Ibn Battuta. Forskaren Douglas Bullis noterar att "rihla" inte är bokens titel, utan genre (ordet rihla vara arabiska för resa och a rihla som utser reselitteratur). Bokens egentliga titel är En gåva till dem som överväger städernas underverk och resans underverk (Introduktion, 1). Battuta förde ingen journal om sina resor och hans Rihla komponerades ur minnet och pryddes av forskaren Ibn Juzay al Kalbi (l. 1321-1357 CE) mellan c. 1352-1355 CE.

När han lämnade hemmet vid 21 års ålder reste Ibn Battuta den islamiska världen och Fjärran Östern på 1300 -talet CE och täckte 120 000 km mellan 1325 - c. 1352 CE, besöker 40 länder och korsar tre kontinenter. Enligt Bullis "skulle det ha fungerat till lite under 11 kilometer om dagen i nästan 11 000 dagar" (del I, 1). Efter att han avslutat sina resor återvände han hem och dikterade berättelserna om sina äventyr till Ibn Juzay. Lite är känt om hans liv efteråt. Hans nu berömda verk var nästan okänt fram till 1800-talet när tyska och engelska forskare gjorde det till världens uppmärksamhet.

Tidigt liv och pilgrimsvandring

Ibn Battuta föddes i medinan (icke-europeiska kvarteren) i Tanger, Marocko, 25 februari 1304 CE. Hans fullständiga namn, som anges i Rihla, var Shams al-Din Abu'Abdallah Muhammad ibn'Abdallah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Lawati al-Tanji ibn Battuta och allt som är känt om hans familj kommer från Rihla som registrerar referenser till hans utbildning och ger sin härkomst.

Ibn Battuta började överväga att resa helt enkelt för sin egen skull och värderade resan över destinationen.

Han verkar ha gått under namnet `` Shams al-Din '' under sin livstid. Han kom från en utbildad bakgrund, en familj av qadis (domare) och ägnade sig åt sin religion. Han memorerade Koranen och, som han rapporterar, skulle han ibland recitera den i sin helhet två gånger om dagen under sina resor. I juni 1325 fann han att det var dags att göra sin första pilgrimsfärd till Mecka och skriver:

Jag gav mig iväg ensam och hade varken medresenär i vars sällskap jag kunde finna glädje, eller husvagn vars del jag skulle kunna vara med, men svajad av en övermäktigande impuls inom mig och en längtan som jag älskade länge i mitt barm att besöka dessa berömda helgedomar. Så jag förberedde mig på att sluta med mina kära, kvinnor och män, och övergav mitt hem när fåglar övergav sina bon. Mina föräldrar var ännu i livets band, det tyngde hårt för mig att skilja mig från dem, och både de och jag drabbades av sorg över denna separation. (2)

Till en början satte han sig bara för att fullborda pilgrimsfärden och verkar inte ha haft några tankar om att gå längre än Mecka. Han reste över Nordafrika till Tunis där han, när han kom in i staden, noterar sina känslor av ensamhet och hemlängtan:

Stadsborna kom fram på alla sidor med hälsningar och frågor till varandra. Men inte en själ sa ett hälsningsord till mig, eftersom det inte fanns någon av dem som jag kände. Jag kände mig så ledsen i hjärtat på grund av min ensamhet att jag inte kunde hålla tillbaka tårarna som började i mina ögon och grät bittert. (4)

Han tröstades av en pilgrimskamrat som presenterade honom för andra utbildade män och hittade logi för honom på College of the Bookellers. Han lämnade Tunis till Alexandria, Egypten i sällskap med en husvagn för skydd på vägen (en strategi han ofta skulle använda under sina resor). I Alexandria träffade han en hängiven mystiker vid namn Burham al-Din som profeterade att han skulle besöka Sind (Pakistan), Indien och Kina och skulle njuta av gästfriheten för al Dins tre bröder som bodde i dessa regioner.

Kärlekshistoria?

Registrera dig för vårt gratis veckovisa nyhetsbrev!

Senare i Alexandria, medan han bodde hos Sheik al-Murshidi, hade Ibn Battuta en dröm där han fördes av en stor fågel till Mecka men sedan bort till länder som han aldrig hade tänkt se. Sheiken tolkade denna dröm för honom som ett tecken på att han framgångsrikt skulle nå Mecka men att hans resor skulle ta honom mycket längre. Dessa erfarenheter i Alexandria fick Ibn Battuta att tänka om sin ursprungliga plan för att återvända hem efter pilgrimsfärden och han började överväga att resa helt enkelt för sin egen skull och värderade resan över destinationen.

Från Alexandria åkte han till Kairo och därifrån gick han vidare genom Palestina och Syrien mot Mecka. Om sina resor i Palestina skriver han: ”Jag besökte Betlehem, Jesu födelseort. Platsen täcks av en stor byggnad; de kristna betraktar den med intensiv vördnad och underhåller gästvänligt alla som stiger av vid den ”och när de kom till Jerusalem förundrade sig vid Al-Aqsa-moskén och skrev:” den heliga moskén är en vackraste byggnad och sägs vara den största moskén i världen ”(20). I Damaskus, "staden som överträffar alla andra städer i skönhet", skriver han, som han skriver, regeringens och överklassens generositet när det gäller att ge gåvor till de mindre lyckligt lottade och för utvecklingen av olika aspekter av staden (29).

Battuta noterar hur det finns religiösa begåvningar för människors behov som tar hand om allt från att byta ut trasig keramik (tallrikar och vattenkannor) till utbildning för de unga. Han beskriver den nya innovationen av asfalterade gator och trottoarer och skönheten i arkitekturen i staden. Battuta anlände till Mecka i oktober 1326 CE och berättar noggrant Ka'bas upplevelse när tusentals pilgrimer rusade runt i världens centrum, där det himmelska riket korsar jordens riken.

Ytterligare resor

När pilgrimsfärden avslutades kunde Battuta nu återvända hem, men, som forskaren Ross E. Dunn konstaterar, "Han reste inte längre för att fullgöra ett religiöst uppdrag eller ens för att nå ett visst mål" - han reste nu helt enkelt av kärlek till resor (32). 1326-1331 CE passerade han Persien till Zagrosbergen, besökte staden Shiraz, känd vid den tiden för sin skönhet och magnifika trädgårdar, red i en mongolsk härskares följe, besökte Bagdad och tog fartyget till Jemen under vilken han överlevde en storm på havet.

År 1331 eller 1332 fann han honom utforska Afrika och sedan gå vidare till Anatolia (Turkiet) där han eskorterade en prinsessa till Konstantinopel och besökte Hagia Sophia. Någon gång mellan 1332-1333 CE, när han upptäckte att ett fartyg till Indien skulle ta för lång tid att komma fram, gav han sig iväg till fots och korsade Centralasien för att äntligen anlända till Indien nästan ett år efter den tid det skulle ha tagit fartyget till ta honom dit.

I Indien anställde sultanen i Delhi honom som en av stadens överdomare. Historikern Stewart Gordon skriver, "Ibn Battutas samtal med kungar var på sätt och vis dagens ledningsseminarier; snart kunde Ibn Battuta berätta en kung om en annan, informationskungar sökte ivrigt" (45). Från Indien besökte han Kina där han igen utsågs till domare och gick vidare till Maldiverna och återigen blev domare.

Under sina resor hade han gift sig sju gånger, skaffat ett antal barn, köpt och sålt slavar, haft stora rikedomar och rådgivit kungar.

Här klagade han, precis som han gjorde på andra håll, över kvinnornas klädsel och noterade att de bara bar kläder från midjan och kommenterade, "när jag innehade domarposten bland dem kunde jag inte helt få dem täckta helt" (179). Från Maldiverna åkte han till Ceylon, Malaysia, reste tillbaka genom Indien, korsade Saharaöknen och tog sig långsamt genom Mellanöstern.

Under sina resor hade han gift sig sju gånger, skaffat ett antal barn, köpt och sålt slavar, haft stora rikedomar och fina lägenheter, rådgivit kungar och åkt med prinsessor men hade också rest med ingenting till sitt namn utom byxorna och hopp om att hitta lite mat, blivit skeppsbrutna, rånade och fick sitt liv hotat av en sultan.

Återvända hem

Slutligen vände hans tankar hem och han reste genom Syrien på höjden av pesten 1348 CE och noterade hur döden var runt honom (han är idag erkänd som en av de första författarna som registrerade pesten i detalj). Battuta omväg till Sardinien och reste genom Spanien tills han träffade en grupp muslimer som var på väg till Tanger. Han kom tillbaka till Marocko någon gång i slutet av 1348 CE. När han upptäckte att hans far och mor nyligen hade dött av pesten och att hans vänner var borta eller döda, gav han sig iväg igen, återvände till Spanien och tog sedan en tur över till Timbuktu och handelscentret i Gao och återvände bara hem igen till Marocko i c. 1352 e.Kr.

Han bosatte sig i staden Fez där sultanen Abu Inan hörde hans historia och var så imponerad att han bad att den skulle skrivas ner. Sultanen tilldelade antingen skrivaren Ibn Juzay al-Kalbi eller så valde Ibn Battuta honom för jobbet (efter att ha träffat honom tidigare på sina resor). Ibn Battuta berättade historien om sina resor för Ibn Juzay och resultatet blev den nu berömda Rihla från Ibn Battuta. Efter dikteringen av hans resor till Ibn Juzay försvinner han från historien men fick troligen en regeringspost i staden av sultanen. Han dog, förmodligen i Fez, antingen 1368 eller 1369 CE. Medinan i Tanger krediteras som hans begravningsplats och en plats där som hans grav.

Kritiskt svar på hans arbete

Även om hans arbete allmänt accepteras av forskare som sakligt och tillförlitligt och verkligen är bra läsning (Ross E. Dunn kallar det "värt en episk långfilm") har vissa forskare citerat problem med detaljer i berättelsen som de tillskriver skriftlig inblandning av Ibn Juzay, överdrift av Ibn Battuta, eller båda.

Kritiken hävdar att Ibn Juzay, som domstolsskrivare, infogade avsnitt från tidigare författare eller andra berättelser för att komplettera Ibn Battutas minne. Ibn Battuta förde ingen resedagbok och förlitade sig helt på sitt minne när han berättade sina berättelser. Denna tillit har oroat senare forskare i hans arbete som hävdar att han inte kunde ha kommit ihåg så tydligt 30 års värde av information. Även om detta kan vara så skriver historikern Douglas Bullis:

När Ibn Battuta memorerade Koranen, omfamnade han den tidens kollektiva antagande att sinnet kan förlita sig på noggrannhet precis som vår era förlitar sig på skrivande och mikrochips. Således gjorde han i sina beskrivningar för sin värld något som satellit -tv gör för vår. (Del I, 4)

Det råder ingen tvekan om att Ibn Juzay, kanske i ett försök att bredda eller fördjupa beskrivningar, lånat från tidigare reseskribenter och, framför allt, verket av Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217 CE) en poet från Andalusien som reste mycket och lämnade efter sig arbete som skulle inspirera Rihla -genren. Passager från Battuta's Rihla som beskriver städer som Damaskus, Mecka och Medina är identiska med de som skrevs över ett sekel tidigare av Jubayr.

Detta har dock ingen betydelse för äktheten av Ibn Battutas verk. Det värde som läggs på originalitet i skapandet av litteratur är ett relativt nytt fenomen. Forntida läsare och författare uppskattade historien och vad den berättelsen kunde ge dem; det spelade ingen roll vem som skrev det eller hur det skrevs.

Det som betydde för en gammal eller medeltida publik var budskapet och funktionen i ett skriftligt verk och naturligtvis hur bra en berättelse det var. För ett medeltida sinne skulle Ibn Battutas verk ha tjänat exakt den funktion Bullis beskriver ovan: att göra den stora världen lite mindre och lite mer tillgänglig för en läsare hemma samtidigt som den ger en underhållande historia.

Ingen nutida forskare tvivlar på att Ibn Battuta reste så brett som han påstår men några har ifrågasatt om han kunde ha besökt alla de platser han citerar i sitt arbete. Dessa anklagelser kommer att vara bekanta för alla som har läst gammal eller modern kritik av Marco Polos World of Marvels of the World (vanligtvis översatt som Marco Polos resor, c. 1300 CE). Precis som med Battutas arbete noterar kritiker av Polos resor hur poeten Rustichello da Pisa (till vilken Polo dikterade sina resor) infogade passager från hans egna Arthurian Romances samt urval från tidigare resemanuskript för att bredda historien.

Trots det noterar forskare (inklusive Dunn och Gordon) att även om det säkert finns passager som Ibn Juzay lånat från andra verk, så påverkar det inte på något sätt Battutas berättelse eller hans bidrag till historia, geografi och kulturell förståelse. Om man skulle ta bort alla passager som kan tillskrivas Juzay, skulle man fortfarande hitta ett mycket imponerande litteraturverk.

Slutsats

Även om medvetenheten om Battutas resor långsamt ökar i dag, var Ibn Battutas Rihla okänd i århundraden efter hans död. Oavsett om det är inuti eller utanför den muslimska världen, tycks berättelsen om de stora marockanska resenärernas resor ha glömts bort strax efter att den lades ner. Historikern A.S. Chughtai kommentarer:

Ibn Battuta, en av de mest anmärkningsvärda resenärerna genom tiderna, besökte Kina sextio år efter Marco Polo och reste faktiskt 75 000 mil, mycket mer än Marco Polo. Ändå nämns Battuta aldrig i geografiböcker som används i muslimska länder, än mindre de i väst. Ibn Battutas bidrag till geografi är otvivelaktigt lika stort som någon geograf, men konton om hans resor är inte lätt tillgängliga förutom specialisten. (2)

Medan denna situation förändras har det varit länge sedan. Manuskriptet var okänt i väster fram till 1800 -talet e.Kr. då en del av verket togs tillbaka av den tyska upptäcktsresande Ulrich Jasper Seetzen. Från ungefär 1818-1900 CE gjordes olika översättningar av Rihla tills orientalisten Sir Hamilton A.R. Gibb publicerade en definitiv engelsk version 1929 CE.

Gibb hade planerat att översätta hela verket i fyra volymer men lyckades bara slutföra tre före hans död 1971 CE. Den fullständiga engelska versionen av Ibn Battuta's Rihla blev först tillgänglig så sent som 1994 CE men vikten av verket har stadigt erkänts sedan och idag anses det vara en klassiker av medeltida reseskildring.

Författarens anmärkning: Aspekter av detta stycke uppträdde först i artikeln Ibn Battuta: Den mest kända okända resenären i världen av Joshua J. Mark, publicerad i Timeless Travels Magazine, hösten 2015.


Ibn Battuta

Läser urval från Ibn Battuta ’s Rihla ger oss en specifik bild av interaktioner mellan människor från olika regioner och kulturer i Afrika. En muslimsk forskare från Tanger, Marocko, Ibn Battuta besökte Mali 1552-53.

Du kan se hans afrikanska resor i samband med hans resor över Afroeurasia på denna interaktiva karta.

  • Varför skulle Ibn Battuta ha valt att skilja på narrativ rapportering och “anekdoter ” i sin text? Vilket syfte tjänar anekdoterna?
  • Vad är linsen genom vilken Ibn Battuta utvärderar vad han ser i Mali?
  • Vad uppskattar Ibn Battuta om det han möter i Mali?
  • Vilka aspekter av livet i Mali kritiserar Ibn Battuta? Varför?
  • Vad kan du dra slutsatser om interaktioner mellan islamisk praxis och äldre vanor och övertygelser i Mali från Ibn Battuta?
  • Vad tyckte du var förvånande eller underhållande med den här texten?

Tidiga dagar

Inte mycket är känt om Battuta innan han började sina resor. Hans fullständiga namn var ʾAbū ʿAbd al-Lāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Lāh l-Lawātī ṭ-Ṭanǧī ibn Baṭūṭah. Han föddes i Tanger, i Marocko, 1304. Han var från en ganska välbärgad familj av muslimska juridiska forskare. Vid 21 års ålder bestämde han sig för att ge sig ut på hajj, den heliga pilgrimsfärden till Mecka som alla arbetsföra muslimer förväntas genomföra. Han lämnade Tanger 1325 med sikte på den heliga staden. Lite visste han, han skulle inte återvända till sitt hem på 24 år.

Battuta började ensam på en åsna och anslöt med en husvagn av andra pilgrimer som arbetade sig över Nordafrika mot det heliga landet. Hans första stora stopp var staden Alexandria i Egypten, då en blomstrande knutpunkt vid Nildeltat. Därifrån reste han söderut till Kairo - även om hans destination var Mecka, redan från början längtade Battuta efter att få se så mycket av världen som möjligt. Han tog sällan den mest direkta vägen någonstans.

Wikimedia Commons

Efter en misslyckad resa till Röda havet talade Battuta med en helig man som sa att han bara skulle ta sig till Mecka genom att resa genom Syrien - så det var precis vad han gjorde. Genom att ta denna väg, som inkluderade städer som Hebron, Jerusalem, Betlehem och Damaskus, fick Battuta åtnjuta relativ säkerhet från banditerna som hade plågat hans resor till denna punkt. Det härskande Mamluk Sultanatet uppskattade vikten av dessa heliga platser, och så höll de vägen säker.


Varför är Ibn Battuta viktigt?

Se ytterligare detaljer relaterade till det här. På vilket sätt var syftet med Ibn Battuta -resor?

Hans främsta anledning till resa skulle åka på en Hajj, eller en pilgrimsfärd till Mecka, för att uppfylla Islas femte pelare .. Men hans reser fortsatte i cirka 29 år och han körde cirka 75 000 mil och besökte motsvarande 44 moderna länder som då mestadels var under regeringarna av muslimska ledare i världen av

Vet också, vad är Marco Polo och Ibn Battuta mest kända för? Marco Polo i Venedig är förmodligen mest känd överlandsresenär genom tiderna berättelser om hans resor introducerade först européer i Centralasien och Kina. Ibn Battuta av Tanger är känd som de störst Muslimska upptäcktsresande i historien reste han över 75 000 mil till nästan alla muslimska länder i världen.

Hur påverkade dessutom Ibn Battuta världen?

Battuta bidragit till Dar al islams rörelse och bevarat de influenser som islam hade på klot. Hans skrifter kan användas som ett fönster in i det förflutna för historiker att se värld genom hans ögon som det var under denna tidsperiod.


Ibn Battutas äventyr

För många tusen år sedan insåg grekiska filosofer att haven och haven var avgörande platser för resor och därmed för socialt och kulturellt engagemang. Till exempel blev Medelhavet och Indiska oceanen under senare dagar föremål för studier som gjorts av de grekiska filosoferna och detta banade ett sätt att lära sig historiskt geografiskt, för att utvärdera hur samhälle, kultur och religion spelade fungerade som de viktigaste enhetsfaktorerna över hela världen. Studierna av moderna forskare som Ross1 är fortfarande viktiga eftersom deras verk ger oss exempel på hur kulturstudier och religion bidragit till att förena människor. Indiska oceanen under medeltiden var dominerande som en världsomfattande ekonomi med möjliggörande av traditionella metoder som bestod av språk, religionspraxis samt handelsaktiviteter2. Följaktligen har det blivit huvudregionen för resor till Ibn Battuta, en berömd resenär, vars resa erfarenhet undersöks och analyseras i uppsatsen.

Lägg ny order

Bland de framstående personligheter som bevittnade den globala ekonomin i Indiska oceanen och aspekten av kultur och religion finns en man som heter Ibn Battuta. Han föddes med namnet Abu Abdullah Muhamad och bytte senare namn till sig själv. Ibn föddes i en muslimsk familj och gick på sin tids bästa skolor och skaffade sig bra utbildning som gjorde det möjligt för honom att bli professionell advokat. Battuta började resa över hela världen så snart han blev tjugo år, och gjorde sin första religiösa resa till Mecka som tog honom fem månader. Under sin resa till Mecka interagerade Ibn Battuta med andra muslimer som han reste med för att minska risken att bli rånad i öknen. Han gjorde sitt första stopp vid hamnen i Alexandria där han träffade Sheik Buhanudin som förutsade sitt öde och sa att Battuta var tänkt att vara en världsutforskare. I sin berättelse citerar Ibn en rad exempel på hur religionen användes som en samlande faktor på de platser han besökte. Exempelvis sa utforskaren att han var nöjd med de trogna muslimerna som tog hand om sina tiggare och därmed främjade enhet bland dem. I praktiken kan vissa individer delta i en rivalitetstävling om att vara den snällaste mannen av alla. Dessutom erkänner Ibn att några av dessa människor var heliga män, respekterade individer som utförde ritualistiska metoder. Således finner han religiositet och trohet vara tecknen på en god medborgare. Efter att Battuta lämnade Alexandria var hans nästa stopp Konia city där han träffade en filosof, professor Muhyi. Battuta interagerade fritt med honom och Muhyi engagerade resenären i studiet av astrologi. I samma stad fördes Ibn Battuta till en plats i Konia där en asteroid föll. Battuta var överexciterad över upplevelsen eftersom han hade sett något sådant tidigare. Som ett resultat var Battuta nöjd med det koniska folkets sociala anslutning och därför förstärkte studien hans enhet med dem.

    Våra skräddarsydda skrivtjänster inkluderar:
  • Anpassad uppsatsskrivning för de bästa betygen
  • CV, CV och personliga brev som skulle
    göra dig framgångsrik
  • Avhandlingar och avhandlingar skrivna av akademiker
    författare

För att fortsätta förklarar Battuta att resenärernas intresse också omfattade kulturerna hos de människor han träffade. Till exempel pratade han om maten han serverades, levnadssättet för de människor som var värd för honom och de transportmedel han använde från en punkt till en annan. Dessutom kommenterade han den allmänna tankegången för nationaliteterna i vissa specifika städer. De antropologiska teorier som han föreslog var både motiverande och inspirerande för utbildning av den tiden och relevanta för en dagsresenär. Han nämnde städerna Damaskus, Jerusalem, Mecka och Basra som hade samma kultur att välkomna främlingar. Till exempel sa han att medborgarna i Damaskus deltog fullt ut i att ge förmåner till de mindre lyckligt lottade medlemmarna i samhället. Battutas erfarenhet föreslog att när han kom till ett av de viktigaste religiösa landmärkena skulle staden runt den visa sin religiösa betydelse och ett stort antal invånare som antog kulturen. Detta visades återigen när han lämnade Damaskus till Medina där han besökte den muslimska profeten Muhammeds grav i fyra dagar. Efter att ha avslutat sitt besök där valde Battuta att inte återvända hem och åkte till Irak och Persien där han hade liknande erfarenheter av varm och religiös behandling och välkomnande. Som ett resultat av att dela erfarenheter av sina resor var resenärer som han fredliga hela tiden och var inte främlingsfientliga. Dessutom beskrev Battuta under sin resa i Irak och Persien kulturerna hos de människor han träffade, sociala relationer de utövade och hur detta hjälpte till att förena människor. Dessutom var dessa metoder likartade på många punkter i olika städer. Till exempel beskrev han hur han råkade se ödmjuka respekterade kvinnor som betedde sig på ett ödmjukt sätt som fick honom att älska deras traditioner. Mer eller mindre liknande tillfällen kan hända i alla städer han besökte. Det är viktigt att notera att trots att han var antropolog kritiserade han inte olika människors traditioner på ett antropologiskt sätt. Ibn Battuta uppgav emellertid att kvinnorna han träffade var beredda att gifta sig med resenärer3. När han förklarade sin erfarenhet under resor undersökte han de sociala normerna i Mellanöstern där islamisk religion påverkade sociala seder som dess invånare förväntades anta. Dessutom var Battuta mycket passionerad om islamisk religion och därför uppskattade han högt sett trogna muslimers roll i att förena människor genom sina kraftfulla gärningar. Till exempel välkomnades han av muslimska ledare på platser han besökte, till exempel Egypten och Mellanöstern där den islamiska religionen dominerar.

Vad väntar du på?
Beställ med 15% rabatt NU!

Sammanfattningsvis skildrade den sociala statusen för samhällen i många städer och platser som Ibin Battuta besökte en enhet på grund av samhörighet som demonstrerades i det dagliga livet för de människor som Battuta träffade. Deras kulturer och sociala beteenden var mycket lika på grund av samma tro och religion. Han hävdade att såväl kultur som social anslutning spelade viktiga roller för att säkerställa fredlig samexistens mellan människor. Samma situation uppstod när det gäller islamisk religion som också spelade en viktig roll som en enhetsfaktor. I verkligheten gjorde goda kulturella religiösa metoder såväl som de samhällen han råkade se under utforskningar, Battutas resa extremt anmärkningsvärd och äventyrlig. Dessutom uppgav han efter sina resor att det var rekommenderat för framtida upptäcktsresande och resenärer som honom.


Ibn Batuta

Ibn Batuta förkroppsligar mänsklighetens universella ande för att utforska, lära, dokumentera och undervisa. Född 1304 i den marockanska staden Tanger, gav han sig ut för att utföra sin Hajj som ung man på tjugoen. Från Mecka inledde han en resa som tog honom, under en period av 25 år, till alla de stora centrumen i världskulturen. Utan tvekan, en av de största resenärerna världen har känt, Ibn Batuta tillhör en utvald grupp utforskare som Fah-yen (Kina, 600-talet), Ibn Jubayr (Spanien, 1100-talet) och Marco Polo (Venedig, 13: e århundrade).

Den historiska betydelsen av Ibn Batuta ligger i hans Rehla (reseskildring), som ger en ögonblicksbild av den islamiska världen, som den existerade under första hälften av 1300 -talet och dess relationer med andra centra för global och regional makt. Ibn Batuta träffade personligen några av de stora personerna som har satt sitt avtryck i historien, inklusive Ibn Khaldun från Maghrib, Ibn Taymiyah i Syrien, Sultan Abu Saeed från Persien-Irak, Sultan Nuruddin Ali från Östafrika, Sultan Orkhan från Osmanska riket , Sultan Muhammed bin Tughlaq i Indien, Sultan Al Zahir från Indonesien, kejsaren Toghun Timur i Kina, Mansa Sulaiman från Mali och några av de mest framstående Sufi -shaykharna i eran. Hans intryck av dessa män ger ovärderlig information om tidens flyttare och skakare. Hans iakttagelser om sederna, värderingarna och institutionerna i de samhällen han besökte ger en förstahandsredogörelse för enheten såväl som den kulturella mångfalden i den muslimska världen som den fanns på den tiden.

Under första hälften av 1300 -talet var världen i relativ fred. Korstågen hade tagit slut och de mongoliska slakten var ett minne blott. I Maghrib fanns det en maktbalans mellan muslimerna och de kristna. Al Muhaddith -dynastin i Maghrib hade brutit upp och dess plats intogs av fyra separata makter, Marinokons merinider, Wadider i Algeriet, Hafsider i Tunisien och Nasiriderna i Granada. Det var relativt tyst mellan dessa sultanater och de kristna kungadömena Kastilien och Aragonien. Denna jämvikt gjorde att Gibraltarsundet kunde vara öppet för sjöfart och venetianska och genuesiska fartyg kunde korsa sundet och handla med de västra stränderna i Frankrike och England. Italiens välmående stadsstater upplevde renässansens första våg. Egypten, Syrien och Hejaz var under Mamlukes i Egypten som hade förtjänat den islamiska världens respekt genom sin seger över mongolerna. Dessutom, efter förstörelsen av Bagdad, hade Kairo blivit säte för kalifatet. Kairo och Damaskus blev städer i världsklass på grund av sin handel med Indien och Kina genom Jemen. Persien var tillbaka i islams grupp och det började enorma återuppbyggnadsarbeten i Persien, Irak och Khorasan. Sidenvägen till Kina öppnades igen. De ottomanska turkarna fortsatte sin obevekliga framfart till Europa, medan de bysantinska kejsarna försökte hålla dem kvar genom fördrag och äktenskapsband. I Indien och Pakistan styrde den rika och mäktiga Tughlaq-dynastin, arvtagare till de mäktiga Khiljierna som hade lämnat en konsoliderad subkontinent under den militärpolitiska kontrollen av Delhi. Islam hade kommit in i Malaysia och Indonesien och Sultanatet Acheh sökte ivrigt forskare och jurister som flydde från de förra århundradets mongoliska förödelserna. Kina styrdes fortfarande av den mongoliska (Yuan) dynastin, som hade fört den norra och södra halvan av Kina under en flagga. Västafrika bevittnade det stora Maliriket vid sin höjdpunkt.

Cementet som höll samman denna avlägsna islamiska värld var Shariah. Ibn Batuta utbildades i Shariah och dess tillämpning i Maliki School of Fiqh. Som sådan bar han meriterna för a kadi det skulle tjäna honom väl i en värld som var i relativ fred med sig själv under paraplyet av en sunnitisk syn på islam. Andra bara till lagen, som en universell bindande kraft var det arabiska språket. Även i de östra delarna av den islamiska världen där farsi var det litterära språket, hade arabiska en unik plats som Koranens språk och Hadith och som medium för överföring av lagen. Lagen och språket var de universella krafterna som höll ihop muslimerna, även när de kämpade med varandra och med icke-muslimer om makt och ställning. Den politiska makten och behärskningen av den stora landmassan som sträckte sig från Mauretanien till Bengal gav dem kontroll över handelsvägarna som förbinder civilisationens huvudsäten, nämligen Kina, Indien, Persien, Egypten, Italien och Västafrika. Detta stora nätverk av handelsvägar var avundsjuk bevakade och skyddade av de regionala monarkerna som visste att deras eget välstånd berodde på internationell handel. En resenär kunde flytta från Mali till Delhi utan att lämna muslimernas välbekanta religiösa och språkliga ramar.

Handel såväl som konkurrensen mellan de härskare om prestige underlättade rörelsen för forskare, arkitekter, läkare, ingenjörer, poeter och lärande som sökte förvärvsarbete vid de olika domstolarna. Denna rörelse gav en kraftfull motor för spridning av kunskap och spridning av tro. Mottagarna var de perifera territorier som nyligen hade hamnat under islams politiska styrning. Dessa territorier omfattade Indien och Pakistan, Indonesien, Malaysia, Turkiet och Västafrika. Det var under denna period som kruttekniken flyttade från Kina till västra Asien och därifrån till Europa. 1300-talet förvandlade det islamiska landskapet och flyttade islams tyngdpunkt från dess traditionella arab-persiska hjärtland till de regioner som har det största antalet troende idag: Indonesien, Pakistan, Indien, Bangladesh och Nigeria.

Betydelsen av de externa länkarna som tillhandahålls av den gudomliga lagen, det arabiska språket och handelsvägarna är uppenbara. Av lika stor betydelse var islams andliga enhet, som hade hävdat sig på höjden av den mongoliska katastrofen och nu var det främsta redskapet för religiöst uttryck. Som en stor underjordisk sjö med sötvatten som förbinder små öar, kopplade denna andlighet samman de länder som bebos av afrikanerna, araberna, perserna, turkarna, indianerna och malaysierna. Överstigande geografi och kultur gav den drivkraften för flytten av stora sufi shaykhs till hindustanens hjärtland och de spridda öarna i Ostindien. It was also the engine that propelled the Turkish advance into southeastern Europe, as one Sufic order or the other influenced the ghazi brigades of the Turks.

The Chishtiya order had penetrated the jungles of central India, and Mallams (Arabic: Mu’allim, meaning, religious teachers) traversed the African grasslands carrying with them not just water bags to quench bodily thirst but the universal spirituality of Islam to quench the spiritual thirst of all human beings. By the first half of the 14 th century, this spirituality had moved forward from mere contemplation and recitation to social activism and had established powerful institutions to sustain this activism. A traveler could find peace and solace at various stations not only in the karavanserais (places of rest for travelers) built by the rulers, but also in the qanqahs (places of retreat) established by the Sufi Shaykhs. Among the better known of the Sufis whose hospitality Ibn Batuta enjoyed were Shaykh Burhanuddin of Alexandria, Shaykh Abdur Rahman ibn Mustafa of Jerusalem, Shaykh Qutbuddin of Isfahan, Chirag-e-Dehli of India and Shah Jalal of Sylhet.

Ibn Batuta received his early education in the Maliki School of Fiqh, a vocation that was to serve him well in his interactions with the learned men in far-away lands. He was also trained in the urbane manners becoming of a gentleman of the era. Tasawwuf pervaded the Islamic social milieu and Ibn Batuta was at home with the Sufi masters. Indeed, Ibn Batuta personified the new Muslim personality, imbibed with Sufi spirituality, which was fully integrated with the rules and regulations of the Shariah. Ibn Batuta, as a native of Morocco, was fluent in the language. Familiarity with Arabic ensured that he would find companionship with the kadis, ulema and the Sufis who formed the literary and spiritual elite of Islam.

In 1325, he set out from Tangier to fulfill his obligation for Hajj. At that time, performance of the Hajj was not just a visit to Mecca but an adventure through the many cities that lay in the pilgrim’s path and an opportunity to visit great mosques, madrasas and to learn from master teachers. It was also a unique opportunity to give expression to the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind. Ibn Batuta’s caravan, which included the noted scholar Abu Abdullah al Zubaidi and Abu Abdullah al Nafzawi, Kadi of Tunis, passed through some of the principal cities of the Maghrib including Tlemchen (capital of the Wadids), Algiers and Tunis. Tunis was at the time a major trade depot and a cultural center. From Africa came gold, ivory and nuts. From Egypt it imported embroidery and woodwork as well as trans-shipped products of the east such as Indian herbs, medicines, spices and Chinese porcelain. These products were sold to the city-states of southern Europe as well as to the other cities of the Maghrib. It was the eastern capital of the Al Muhaddith who embellished it with mosques and built higher schools of learning. With the breakup of the Al Muhaddith Empire, Christian armies had overrun much of Spain and had expelled most of the Muslims. North Africa, Tunis in particular, benefited from this forced migration of scholars, artisans, poets, musicians, horticulturalists and men of letters. The Hafsids, who succeeded the Al Muhaddith, continued the tradition of encouraging learning and Tunis with a population of over 100,000, became a center that attracted noted ulema from as far away as Cairo, Damascus and Fez. Ibn Batuta stayed in Tunis for about two months acquiring in the process some of the Andalusian refinement and court manners that would serve him well later in his travels.

From Tunis, the caravan traversed the harsh Libyan Desert until it arrived at the city of Alexandria. This city, located at the mouth of the Nile Delta, was a busy commercial center with a brisk trade with Venice, Genoa, Tunis, Tangier, Valencia, Sicily and the Syrian coast. It was here that the caravan routes leading from India and the sea routes from East Africa met. All the products of Asia and Africa passed through the city. In Alexandria, Ibn Batuta met the noted Sufi Shaykh Burhanuddin and spent some time in his zawiyah. The elderly Shaykh gave the young traveler robes to signify his initiation into the Sufi order and showered upon him his spiritual radiance. From Alexandria, the Hajj caravan reached the great city of Cairo.

Cairo at that time had a population in excess of half a million, which was more than fifteen times that of the city of London, three times that of the city of Tabriz, twice that of the city of Delhi. It was the capital of the Mamlukes. The Mamlukes, like their counterparts in India, originated from European and Central Asian slaves who were bought and adopted by the Turks, accepted Islam, married into noble families and through their sheer resilience rose up to become kings. The Mamlukes of Egypt were called Bahri Mamlukes because some of them inhabited the islands in the River Nile. They displaced the ailing Ayyubid dynasty in 1250 and brought Egypt, Syria and the Red Sea coasts of Arabia and the Sudan under their control. The Mamlukes proved themselves to be excellent administrators and outstanding patrons of learning. Ibn Batuta arrived in Cairo during the reign of Sultan Al Nasir Muhammed ibn Qalawun who ruled from 1293 to 1341. A great builder, Al Nasir built more than thirty mosques and numerous schools and hospitals. The great mosque of ibn Qalawun still stands in the old city of Cairo. The Mongol plunders in Persia, Iraq and Central Asia had pushed a large number of scholars, Sufis, poets, linguists, architects, fuqahah, mathematicians, philosophers and doctors into Cairo.

Cairo had become the pre-eminent center of culture, art and learning in the Islamic world. After the destruction of Baghdad (1258), a surviving member of the Abbasids had been installed as the Caliph in Cairo and the city had become the seat of the Caliphate and hence the focus of Islamic political life. The hospital (maristan, as it was called) of Qalawun was a marvel of the age. It contained more than 300 wards for patients and was equipped with the most advanced surgical tools of the era. The hospital was well staffed with doctors, surgeons and attendants. There were lecture rooms, baths, libraries and dispensaries attached to the building. Recitations from the Qur’an soothed the soul. Music was played to help the healing process. Treatment was free. Rich and poor were treated alike. Madrasas (schools) were attached to the mosques. The concept of a mosque-madrasa grew out of Masjid al Nabawi, the mosque of the Prophet, in Madina. The idea found patronage at the highest level during the intense rivalry between the Fatimids and the Abbasids (969-1100). Both Cairo and Baghdad became great centers of learning. Al Azhar grew in Cairo and the Nizamiya College flourished in Baghdad. The example of these two capital cities was copied by the provincial centers of Merv, Nishapur, Bukhara, Samarqand, Damascus, Fez, Timbuktu and Cordoba, as well as the cities that came under Islamic influence in later centuries such as Delhi, Tabriz, Istanbul and Lahore. Ibn Batuta records that the schools in Cairo were too numerous to count. Each mosque-madrasa had courtyards wherein great teachers gave lectures, and eager students learned the Qur’an, Fiqh, Arabic grammar, mathematics, medicine and philosophy, although the study of more secular sciences such as mathematics, medicine and philosophy was not available in all schools.

The hajj caravan with whom Ibn Batuta was traveling was delayed. Impatient to reach the Hejaz, Ibn Batuta, took the southern route down the River Nile and through the desert to the Sudanese port of Aydhab. He described the Nile valley as a veritable garden, full of life and vitality, serving as the breadbasket for the Mamluke Empire. Aydhab was a sultry harbor town, dusty, hot, without water, crammed with import-export merchandise. Forced by inhospitable weather, Ibn Batuta turned back to Cairo and from there he traveled through the Sinai to Palestine and Syria. He prayed at the mosque of Abraham in al Khalil (Hebron) and spent several days at Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem. By 1326, Jerusalem had ceased to be a bone of contention between the Christians and the Muslims. The Crusades in Palestine had ended and the chief attraction of the city was its pilgrimage sites for Muslims, Christians and Jews. Ibn Batuta spent several nights in prayer at Masjid al Aqsa and at the Dome of the Rock, recalling the events of Isra and Meraj. He also spent many days at the zawiyah of Sufi Shaykh Abdul Rahman ibn Mustafa who belonged to the Rifai order.

After receiving his ijazah (literally meaning permission, also a diploma) from Shaykh ibn Mustafa, Ibn Batuta moved on to Damascus, where he met the well-known reformer Ibn Taymiyah (d. 1328). The two were on different wavelengths. Ibn Batuta was a man of the new Sufic age. Indeed, wherever he went, he sought the company of well-known Sufis. By contrast, Ibn Taymiyah foresaw inherent dangers in the Sufic approach, which had no empirical proofs and lent itself to exploitation by pretenders. The Sufis would respond to this charge by asserting that the best empirical proof of their approach was the noticeable transformation of human character that it brings about. Ibn Taymiyah was very much against the allegorical interpretations given to the Qur’an by certain Sufi schools and felt that the Qur’an had to be understood in its literal sense, as emphasized by Imam Shafi’i. Ibn Taymiyah fought a life-long struggle to alert his generation against the risks that he felt lurked in the Sufi approach. He urged Muslims to return to what he felt was the vibrant, outward, empirical Islam of the Umayyad and the Abbasid periods. Needless to say, the two men did not see eye to eye. As history would have it, the Islamic world embraced the Sufis and relegated Ibn Taymiyah to scholars respected but forgotten. It is only in the last 200 years, since the advent of European colonialism, that the Islamic world has once again turned to the ideas of Ibn Taymiyah to find some answers to the challenge of the West.

Damascus was the second capital of the Mamlukes and was a great city in its own right. During the struggle between the Mamlukes and the Il Khans of Persia-Iraq (1258-1315), Damascus had suffered. With the onset of peace between the two dynasties in 1315, the city had regained its former preeminence as a pivotal station in the trade routes linking Egypt and North Africa to the Black Sea, Persia, China and India. It had a population of over 250,000 and was known for its high-quality steel, called Damascus steel, which was valued and sought after the world over.

The trade in iron and its processing provides one illustration of how Islam had welded together the old world into a single trading block. Iron ore was exported from East Africa to Gujrat in India where it was smelted into pig iron and re-exported to Syria. In Damascus, it was re-smelted, alloyed and formed into steel, using a process that was only re-discovered in the 1960s and is referred to as super-plasticity. Ibn Batuta records that the bazaars of Damascus were thriving with imported goods which included spices, gems, embroidery, perfumes and medicinal herbs from India, porcelain from China, furs from the Black Sea area and Turkish horses from Central Asia. The nobility in Damascus, emulating the example of the Sultan in Cairo, had built numerous mosques, schools, hospitals, rest houses for travelers, canals and public baths. He spent a great deal of time at the magnificent Umayyad mosque of Damascus, learning among other subjects, the Hadith according to Shaykh Bukhari.

In September 1326, Ibn Batuta finally set out to perform his Hajj. Modern conveniences that Hajjis take for granted these days did not exist and the 800 miles from Damascus to Mecca were a trial for the hardy. Pilgrims usually traveled in large caravans, some as large as 30,000, with full provisions for the journey, led by an emir (leader), accompanied by imams, judges, doctors and protected by soldiers. Even so, many perished on the road, caught in the unpredictable desert sand storms, or attacked by bandits. It took almost a year to perform the Hajj and from some parts of Africa, such as Mali, it took almost two years. Yet they came, the sons and daughters of Adam, from all corners of the earth, to the hallowed sanctuary of Mecca, to celebrate the Name of the Creator and to cement the pristine brotherhood of humankind.

The rites of Hajj have not changed in the fourteen hundred years since the Prophet perfected them. A pilgrim today would experience the same emotions and express himself the same way, as did Ibn Batuta in the year 1326. Approaching from the north, the caravan from Damascus first stopped in Madina, the City of the Prophet. There, surrounded by the radiance of the Prophet’s Mosque, Ibn Batuta prayed, remembering often the name of the beloved Apostle of God. At Dhul Halifa, he discarded his urbane attire, donned the Ihram and marched forth with his companions reciting Talbiya: “Here I am, O Lord, Here I am! Indeed, Thee alone is worthy of all Praise. Thine is the Bounty. Thine is the Sovereignty. Here I am at your Command, O Lord!”. Emotions swelled in him as he first saw the Haram (the word Haram is used only for the sanctuaries around the Ka’ba in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem), circled by thousands, invoking the name of God in a hundred different tongues. He melted into the human mass, completing the circles.

Thereafter, he marched forth to the hills of Safa and Marwa, recalling the struggle of Hajira to find water in the desert, after Prophet Ibrahim left her there with her infant son Ismail. He remembered that moment when Divine mercy intervened to answer the supplication of a mother and caused water to gush forth from a rock. The mother, Hajira, cried out, “Zumi, Ya Mubaraka” (Stop! O, blessed water!). After traversing the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times, Ibn Batuta drank to his heart’s content from the well of Zamzam. (The word Zamzam derives from Zumi, the exclamation of Hajira when she saw water burst forth from a rock).

From Mecca, he proceeded to Mina and on to the great gathering at Arafat. On this plain stood the children of Adam, black and white, rich and poor, Arabs and Turks, Persians and Spaniards. Where in this gathering were the kings and where the mendicants? All were equal in the sight of God and equal in the sight of man, in supplication before the Creator, celebrating only His Name, invoking His mercy and His munificence. From Arafat, Ibn Batuta returned to Muzdalifa and on to Mina and Mecca to complete the rites of the Hajj and joined his fellow Hajjis in celebration of this blessed opportunity. He had now fulfilled the goal he had set for himself when he set out from Tangier, but farther horizons beckoned him.

In 1326, Ibn Batuta joined a caravan of Persian pilgrims returning home from Hajj. The caravan took the northerly route from Mecca to Madina, through central Arabia to Kufa. Along the route, Ibn Batuta saw the many wells, aqueducts and rest stops that had been built by Empress Zubaida, wife of Harun al Rashid, during her celebrated Hajj (799). Najaf and Karbala were pilgrimage sites. From Najaf, the young traveler turned south in the direction of Basra, visiting along the road the tomb of Shaykh Ahmed ibn Rifai, founder of the Rifai Sufi order. He stayed at the zawiyah, participating in the Sufi rites of the order, including prayer, music and rapturous movements of the dervishes. Farther south, in the city of Abidjan, Ibn Batuta spent more time in the company of Sufis. Ascending the Persian plateau, he crossed the Zeros mountains to the beautiful city of Isfahan. Isfahan had escaped the Mongol devastations, partly because it was far from the main route of the advancing Mongol armies and partly because it had avoided taking a defiant stand and had accepted a measure of Mongol over- lordship. Ibn Batuta stayed with Shaykh Qutbuddin Hussain of the Suhrawardi order. He then proceeded to the magnificent city of Shiraz, which, like its sister city of Isfahan, had escaped the Mongol devastations and had become the hub of Sufi activity in Persia. Shiraz was referred to as “Burj e Awliya” (bridge to the Beloveds of God, the great Sufis) and it was here that the well-known Farsi poet Shaykh Sa’adi and the venerated Sufi Shaykh Ibn Khafif were buried. Ibn Batuta found the Persian people to be generous, given to culture and good deeds and the cultivation of piety.

Turning around, Ibn Batuta visited Baghdad but found the city struggling to lift itself out of its ruins. Persia was at this time ruled by the Mongol prince, Abu Said (1316-1335), an accomplished scholar, a pious man, a master builder and an able administrator. Under him Persia had prospered and had started to dig itself out of the ashes of the Mongol onslaught. The Mongols had made Tabriz their capital. Ibn Batuta visited this city and found it to be a prosperous commercial town comparable to Damascus, embellished with gardens, mosques and palaces.

Returning back to Baghdad, the world traveler took an excursion north towards Mosul where he visited a great Sufi, a lady named Sitt Zahida, who was the patron saint and teacher for a great many Sufis. In early Islamic history, tasawwuf was not a privilege only of men. A great many women stand out as towers of light, beckoning all men and women to that spirituality that is innate in humankind. Rabia al Adawiyyah (d. 802) was one of the earliest women Sufis in Islam who expressed the love of God in exquisite and sublime Arabic poetry and was a teacher to many a great shaykh. It was much later in Islamic history that Muslim women were pushed into the background and were largely denied the privilege of learning and teaching.

After returning to Mecca and studying there for two years (1327-1329), Ibn Batuta embarked on a journey that took him to the coastal cities along the western shores of the Indian Ocean. Since the time of the Prophet, Muslims had sought their economic well-being in trade. The location of West Asia astride the major trade routes between Asia, Europe and Africa provided them a strategic geographical position. The East African coast was connected by sea to India, Indonesia and China. Towns such as Abadan and Muscat on the Persian Gulf, Zafar on the southern shores of the Arabian Peninsula and Aden in Yemen were principal seaports. Included in this trade network were Mogadishu, Mombasa, Kilwa and Shofala along the African coast. These became thriving cities ruled by local Muslim emirs.

The land further south was called the land Zanj. The movement of people and goods was two-way. As early as the 8 th century, there was a Zanj colony in southern Iraq. Ibn Batuta’s itinerary took him from Mecca to Suakin (Sudan), Aden (Yemen), Zeila (Eritrea), Mogadishu (Somalia), Mombasa (Kenya) and further south to Zanzibar and Kilwa. East Africa exported gold, ivory, animal hide and hardwood. In turn it imported spices, fine cotton fabrics and medicines from India, porcelain and silk from China, steel from Damascus, brocades and brass-work from Cairo. The African seacoast was integrated through Sufi missions with the rest of the Muslim world. Scholars as well as merchants from as far away as Samarqand immigrated, intermarried with African women and created the rich, composite culture of the Sahel. Ibn Batuta found the inhabitants of these cities quite affluent. They wore fine cotton clothes and fine gold jewelry, prayed in domed mosques, dined on fine porcelain from China. Their cities were peaceful, with no outer fortresses, offering a warm and open welcome to the merchants from far-away lands. This peaceful, no-walled character of the African coastal cities was to prove their undoing in the 16 th century, when Portuguese ships appeared offshore and mercilessly bombarded the towns into submission one after the other.

The year 1332 saw Ibn Batuta explore the Anatolian plateau and the lands around the Black Sea. Three of his observations about Anatolia are noteworthy. First, the spirit of ghazzah (struggle) was widespread among the Turks. By 1332, the Turks had conquered most of Anatolia and the budding Ottoman principality was soon to blossom into a world empire. Ever since the 9 th century, Turkish tribes had burst forth from their homeland on the outskirts of Mongolia, first into Khorasan, then into Persia and onwards into Anatolia and beyond. These migrations were later sanctified in the form of a valiant struggle (ghazzah) for faith.

Islam provided an over-arching faith for the Turkish tribes whose intercontinental movements would have been inevitable with or without their mass conversion to Islam. Secondly, Ibn Batuta noted the participation of women in public life. Turkish women rode horses, went to war, attended state functions and engaged in trade on an equal footing with men, a situation not known in the strict atmosphere of the Maliki Maghrib from which Ibn Batuta came. It was no surprise that the only women sovereigns, the queen-monarchs of Islam came from the Turks. (In the 16 th century, there was a succession of five Muslim queens in Indonesia). Third, Ibn Batuta records the strong presence of youth movements in Anatolia, attached to Sufi brotherhoods. The akhi (meaning, brother) youth movement reinforced fraternal bonds and taught young men the virtues of integrity, generosity, courage and nobility. Akhi fraternities provided hospitality to scholars and wayfarers. The akhi movement was to the youth what the ghazi movement was to the general population.

Ibn Batuta’s vision now turned east towards Delhi, which had become a magnet for Sufis, scholars and merchants. Setting out in late 1332, he traveled through the Volga region, which was even in his time noted for its brisk trade in slaves. Then through Khorasan and the Khanate of Chagatai, Ibn Batuta saw the ruins of Bukhara, Samarqand, Balkh and Herat. These were cities that were once the crown jewels of Islamic civilization but were laid waste by the Mongols. Ibn Batuta visited Kabul, Ghazna and Multan where he stayed with Shaykh Ruknuddin Abul Fatha of the Suhrwardi order. Arriving in in 1334, he was pressed into service as the chief kadi by the Emperor Muhammed bin Tughlaq, a monarch noted for his intellectual and literary attainment as well as for his impulsiveness. During the previous century Delhi had grown from a small Rajput garrison town into a bustling world-class cosmopolitan city and the seat of a mighty empire. The consolidation of the subcontinent under the central power of Delhi had brought unparalleled power and prosperity to India. Embassies from all of the Asian powers frequented the capital. The Qutub Minar was already a hundred years old and the great mosque of Quwwatul-Islam served as the Jamia Masjid for the metropolis.

Indeed, it was Ibn Batuta’s description of the wealth and magnificence of the Delhi court that made him suspect in the eyes of his contemporaries when he returned home to Morocco. No less a person than Ibn Khaldun thought that the stories of Ibn Batuta (“the Shaykh from Tangier”) were not credible. Ibn Batuta records that in 1340, an embassy arrived from the Emperor Toghon Timur, Yuan Emperor of China, seeking the Sultan’s permission to establish a Buddhist monastery near Delhi. Muhammed bin Tughlaq denied the request. In historical hindsight, the denial prevented a more vigorous interaction between the Muslim Sufis of India and the Buddhists of the Yuan Empire and the spread of Islam into the Chinese mainland. So as not to send the Chinese ambassadors empty handed, the Sultan entrusted Ibn Batuta to accompany them to Beijing, along with gifts of gold, diamonds and pearls. As ordered by the Emperor, Ibn Batuta set out with a large entourage in 1340, visiting Gwalior, Gujrat and Daulatabad on his way to Surat in western India from where he planned to embark on his voyage to China. But his ships capsized in a great storm off the coast of Malabar and Ibn Batuta found himself moving from city to city along the coast. Further travels took him to the Maldives Islands, Sri Lanka and Bengal where he visited with Sufi Shaykh Jalal of Sylhet. Traveling eastward to Indonesia, he was received by Sultan Ahmed al Malik al Zahir of Sumatra. Finally, he did make his way to Beijing Canton where he found a thriving community of Muslim traders.

Returning home to Morocco in 1349, the restless Ibn Batuta found himself on a journey to the south, to the great empire of Mali. During the years 1351-1355, his travels took him through the trade centers of Sijilmasa, Walata, Timbuktu and Gao on the Niger River. At this time Mansa Sulaiman, successor to the great Mansa Musa, ruled Mali.

Ibn Batuta’s account of Muslim life in Mali is noteworthy for the differences in the way women were treated in African and Arab societies. In Mali, Ibn Batuta found that women were not secluded from men as they were in North Africa. Like their sisters in Turkish Anatolia, the Muslim African women frequented the markets, participated in court life and were free to consult with kadis and ulema without hiding their faces in hijab, a situation Ibn Batuta, a Maliki jurist, found objectionable. Ibn Batuta found the great cities of the Niger River rich and prosperous. The people were pious and steadfast in prayer, the scholars well versed in the Qur’an and Sunnah, the universities frequented by great scholars from Fez and Cairo and its great mosques filled with worshipers. Ibn Batuta returned home in 1355 and spent the remainder of his life in the service of his sovereign, Sultan Abu Inan of the Merinides. It was at the orders of this Sultan that the Rehla was composed and recorded by Ibn Juzayy using firsthand accounts from Ibn Batuta.

The world that Ibn Batuta knew was soon to vanish, engulfed by the great plague of 1346, which moved like a black spider across the globe, obliterating entire cities with its sting and arresting the growth of Afro-Eurasian civilizations for more than a generation. It was this spent world that faced the invasions of Timur of Samarqand, circa 1385.


Exploring Farther Afield

By now, Ibn Battuta was a thoroughly seasoned traveler, and his next journey was to prove his longest yet. He sailed over the Black Sea in order to see the Golden Horde’s lands in Crimea, paying a visit to the Caucasus to meet the khan himself. From there, he made another journey to the Horde’s capital city at Sarai, before heading out across the lands east of the Volga River. He spent some time in Afghanistan and Transoxiana, eventually reaching the valley of the Indus.

Upon reaching Delhi, Ibn Battuta remained there for almost a decade, working as a judge. In 1342, he finally left the city and explored the central regions of India before following the Malabar coast as far as the Maldive islands. His next trip was even longer, taking in the island of Ceylon before moving on to Sumatra. From here, he went to China and spent a short time traveling there. In the late 1340’s and early 1350’s, he traveled almost non-stop. His final journey took him through the Sahara Desert to Niger.


Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta: Celebrated Traveler

Ibn Battuta, a celebrated traveler, was born in Tangier, Morocco. He lived from 1304 to 1368/1369 and is renowned for his travelogue, Rihla, which simply means Travels. It recounts his many journeys throughout the Muslim world as well as far-flung regions like Russia, China and Constantinople. Along the way, he encountered many adventures and dangers which are also recorded in Rihla.

Enligt 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World, Ibn Battuta “went to the corners of the Muslim world by walking, riding and sailing over seventy-five thousand miles, through over forty modern countries, and many know him as the Muslim Marco Polo.” His travels afforded him many opportunities for learning in the great Islamic cities he visited, along with understanding the world of 14 th century Eurasia.

The Quran encourages people to travel throughout the earth and to see the signs of God everywhere: “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know.” (30: 22) In addition, a famous prophetic tradition encourages Muslims to go in search of knowledge as far as China. [Click here to learn about Islam in China.]

Ibn Battuta: Uniting Spirituality and Adventure

Surely, Ibn Battuta, with his sound theological grounding, was inspired by such open invitations – opportunities which enabled him to unite the spiritual and adventurous aspects of his personality. Indeed, he began his lifelong voyage with a religious purpose: to complete one of the pillars of Islam, the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca, known as hajj. However, he extended this trip to surrounding areas, returning again and again to Mecca as his focal point.

In 1325, at the age of 21, Ibn Battuta, a theologian, poet and scholar, left his hometown to undertake the journey of hajj. Little had he realized at the time that he wouldn’t return home for another 24 years. Traveling by land, he made stopovers at Cairo, Jerusalem, and Damascus before he reached Mecca.

After completing Hajj, he proceeded up north to the area presently known as Iraq and Iran, moving onto Turkey. Then, he returned for another Hajj, and this time stayed for a period in Mecca. Afterwards, he proceeded down to the Swahili coast and visited Somalia and Tanzania, returning to Mecca via Oman for another Hajj. [Read more: Hajj, the journey of a lifetime]

This time, he traveled to the heart of Asia, as far as Astrakhan in Russia onwards to Bukhara and Samarkand, then to Afghanistan, crossing into India. He served the Indian Sultan for eight years as a Judge before moving on. Stopping in Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, among other places, he finally arrived in China, a long-held dream.

Ibn Battuta: Back at Home

He began his return journey to Morocco in 1346 via Damascus and Mecca. He reached Tangier in 1349 his father had died more than 15 years ago and his mother, a few months before he came home. Shortly thereafter, he went to Muslim Spain and then traveled through the Sahara Desert and visited Timbuktu. He returned to Tangier in 1354.

At the insistence of the Moroccan Sultan, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his travels to a scholar whom he had met earlier in Granada this became the Rihla which was later translated for a wider audience. For the rest of his life, he served as a judge in Morocco.

Thanks to his journeys and recorded descriptions, we learn much about the medieval world, such as the production centers of trade staples in major cities, the prevalent technique used for pearl-diving in the Persian Gulf, creative courier service methods in India along with detailed accounts of contemporary cities and trading routes.

Ibn Battuta’s travels have long fascinated the world, with books and detailed profiles devoted to him. Most recently, his life has been depicted in an IMAX documentary titled Journey to Mecca.

Indeed, Ibn Battuta’s voyage enriched his own life and enabled him to appreciate the diverse signs of God in the form of people and places. By recording his experiences, he has enhanced our knowledge of that era as well.


What was the significance of Ibn Battuta?

Battuta contributed to the movement of Dar al Islam and preserved the influences that Islam hade on the globe. His writings can be used as a window into the past for historians to see the world through his eyes as it was during this time period.

Subsequently, question is, who was Ibn Battuta in English? Ibn Battuta (1304 &ndash 1368 or 1369) was a Moroccan explorer. He is known for the account of his journeys called the Rihla ("Voyage"). He travelled for nearly 30 years and covered most of the Islamic world. He also explored West Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China.

Keeping this in view, what did Ibn Battuta learn from his travels?

Born in Tangier, Morocco, Ibn Battuta came of age in a family of Islamic judges. In 1325, at age 21, he left hans homeland for the Middle East. He intended to complete hans hajj&mdashthe Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca&mdashbut he also wished to study Islamic law along the way.

Why do historians read Ibn Battuta's writings?

Ibn Battuta's travel writing is important because it provides historians with descriptions of huge swaths of the 14th-century non-Western world. It also offers valuable accounts of Muslim attitudes to marriage, slavery, and other social practices.


Ibn Battuta - History

At the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar named Ibn Juzayy, whom he had met while in Iberia. While obviously fictional in places, the Rihla (translated somewhat inaccurately into English as "My Travels") still gives as complete an account as exists of some parts of the world in the 14th century.

Almost all that is known about Ibn Battuta's life comes from one source -- Ibn Battuta himself. In spots the things he claims he saw or did are probably fanciful, but in many others there is no way to know whether he is reporting or story-telling. The following account assumes the former where it is not obviously the latter.

Born in Tangier, Morocco some time between 1304 and 1307, at the age of (approximately) twenty Ibn Battuta went on a hajj -- a pilgrimage to Mecca. Once done, however, he continued travelling, eventually covering about 75,000 miles over the length and breadth of the Muslim world.

His journey to Mecca was by land, and followed the North African coast quite closely until he reached Cairo. At this point he was within Mameluk territory, which was relatively safe, and he embarked on the first of his detours. Three commonly used routes existed to Mecca, and Ibn Battuta chose the least-travelled: a journey up the Nile, then east by land to the Red Sea port of 'Aydhad. However, upon approaching that city he was forced to turn back due to a local rebellion.

Returning to Cairo he took a second side trip, to Damascus (then also controlled by the Mameluks), having encountered a holy man during his first trip who prophesied that Ibn Battuta would only reach Mecca after a journey through Syria. An additional advantage to the side journey was that other holy places were along the route -- Hebron, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, for example -- and the Mameluke authorities put special effort into keeping the journey safe for pilgrims.

After spending Ramadan in Damascus, Ibn Battuta joined up with a caravan travelling the 800 miles from Damascus to Medina, burial place of Mohammed. After four days, he then journeyed on to Mecca. There he completed the usual rituals of a Muslim pilgrim, and having graduated to the status of al-Hajji as a result, now faced his return home. Upon reflection, he decided to continue journeying instead. His next destination was the Il-Khanate in modern-day Iraq and Iran.

Once again hooking up with a caravan he crossed the border into Mesopotamia and visited al-Najaf, the burial place of the fourth Caliph Ali. From there he journeyed to Basra, then Isfahan, which was only a few decades away from being nearly destroyed by Timur. Next were Shiraz and Baghdad, the latter of which was in bad shape after being sacked by Hulagu Khan.

There he met Abu Sa'id, the last ruler of the unified Il-Khanate. Ibn Battuta travelled with the royal caravan for a while, then turned north to Tabriz on the Silk Road. The first major city in the region to open its gates to the Mongols, it had become an important trading centre after most of its nearby rivals were razed.

After this trip, Ibn Battuta returned to Mecca for a second hajj, and lived there for a year before embarking on a second great trek, this time down the Red Sea and the East African coast. His first major stop was Aden, where his intention was to make his fortune as a trader of the goods that flowed into the Arabian Peninsula from around the Indian Ocean. Before doing so, however, he determined to have one last adventure, and signed on for a trip down the coast of Africa.

Spending about a week in each of his destinations, he visited Ethiopia, Mogadishu, Mombasa, Zanzibar, and Kilwa, among others. With the change of the monsoon, he and the ship he was aboard then returned to south Arabia. Having completed his final adventure before settling down, he then immediately decided to go visit Oman and the Straits of Hormuz. This done, he journeyed to Mecca again.

Spending another year there, he then resolved to seek employment with the Muslim sultan of Delhi. Needing a guide and translator if he was to travel there, he went to Anatolia, then under the control of the Seljuk Turks, to join up with one of the caravans that went from there to India. A sea voyage from Damascus on a Genoese ship landed him in Alanya on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey. From there he travelled by land to Konya and then Sinope on the Black Sea coast.

Crossing the Black Sea, Ibn Battuta landed in Kaffa, in the Crimea, and entered the lands of the Golden Horde. There he bought a wagon and fortuitously joined the caravan of Ozbeg, the Golden Horde's Khan, on a journey as far as Astrakhan on the Volga River.

Upon reaching Astrakhan, the Khan allowed one of his pregnant wives to go give birth back in her home city -- Constantinople. It is perhaps of no surprise to the reader that Ibn Battuta talked his way into this expedition, his first beyond the boundaries of the Islamic world.

Arriving there towards the end of 1332, he met the emperor Andronicus III and saw the outside of Hagia Sophia. After a month in the city, he retraced his route to Astrakhan, then carried on past the Caspian and Aral Seas to Bokhara and Samarkand. From there he journeyed south to Afghanistan, the mountain passes of which he used to cross into India.

The Sultanate of Delhi was a relatively new addition to Dar al-Islam, and the sultan had resolved to import as many Muslim scholars and other functionaries as possible to consolidate his rule. On the strength of his years of studies while in Mecca, Ibn Battuta was employed as a qadi ("judge") by the Sultan Muhammed Tuguluq.

The Sultan was erratic even by the standards of the time, and Ibn Battuta veered between living the high life of a trusted subordinate, and being under suspicion for a variety of reasons. Eventually he resolved to leave on the pretext of taking another hajj, but the Sultan offered the alternative of being ambassador to China. Given the opportunity to both get away from the Sultan and visit new lands, Ibn Battuta took it.

En route to the coast, he and his party were attacked by Hindu rebels, and separated from the others he was robbed and nearly lost his life. Nevertheless, he managed to catch up with his group within two days, and continued the journey to Cambay. From there they sailed to Calicut. While Ibn Battuta visited a mosque on shore, however, a storm blew up and two of the ships of his expedition were sunk. The third then sailed away without him, and ended up seized by a local king in Sumatra a few months later.

Fearful of returning to Delhi as a failure, he stayed for a time in the south under the protection of Jamal al-Din, but when that worthy was overthrown it became necessary for Ibn Battuta to leave India altogether. He resolved to carry on to China, with a detour near the beginning of the journey to the Maldives.

In the Maldives he spent nine months, much more time than he had intended to. As a qadi his skills were highly desirable in the backwards islands and he was half-bribed, half-kidnapped into staying. Appointed chief judge and marrying into the royal family, 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. From there he carried on to Ceylon for a visit to Adam's Peak.

Setting sail from Ceylon, his ship nearly sank in a storm, then the ship that rescued him was attacked by pirates. Stranded on shore, Ibn Battuta once again worked his way back to Calicut, from where he then sailed to the Maldives again before getting onboard a Chinese junk and trying once again to get to China.

This time he succeeded, reaching in quick succession Chittagong, Sumatra, Vietnam, and then finally Quanzhou in Fujian Province, China. From there he went north to Hangzhou, not far from modern-day Shanghai. He also claimed to have travelled even further north, through the Grand Canal to Beijing, but this is believed to be one of his tales, not an actual event.

Returning to Quanzhou, Ibn Battuta decided to return home -- though exactly where "home" was a bit of a problem. Returning to Calicut once again, he pondered throwing himself on the mercy of Muhammed Tuguluq, but thought better of it and decided to carry on to Mecca once again. Returning via Hormuz and the Il-Khanate, he saw that state dissolved into civil war, Abu Sa'id having died since his previous trip there.

Returning to Damascus with the intention of retracing the route of his first hajj, he learned that his father had died. Death was the theme of the next year or so, for the Black Death had begun, and Ibn Battuta was on hand as it spread through Syria, Palestine, and Arabia. After reaching Mecca, he decided to return to Morocco, nearly a quarter century after leaving it. During the trip he made one last detour to Sardinia, then returned to Tangier to discover that his mother had also died, a few months before.

Having settled in Tangier for all of a few days, Ibn Battuta then set out for a trip to al-Andalus -- Muslim Spain. Alfonso XI of Castile was threatening the conquest of Gibraltar, and Ibn Battuta joined up with 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 had receded, so Ibn Battuta decided to visit for pleasure instead. He travelled through Valencia, and ended up in Granada.

Leaving Spain he decided to travel through one of the few parts of the Muslim world that he had never explored: Morocco. On his return home he stopped for a while in Marrakesh, which was nearly a ghost town after the recent plague and the transfer of the capital to Fez.

Once more he returned to Tangier, and once more he moved on. 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 -- something like half the world's gold supply at the time was coming from West Africa. While Ibn Battuta never mentions this specifically, hearing of this during his own trip must have planted a seed in his mind, for he decided to set out and visit the Muslim kingdom on the far side of the Sahara Desert.

In the fall of 1351, Ibn Battuta set out from Fez, reaching the last Moroccan town (Sijilmasa) a bit more than a week later. When the winter caravans began a few months later, he was with one, and within a month he was in the Central Saharan town of Taghaza. A centre of the salt trade, Taghaza was awash with salt and Malian gold, though Ibn Battuta did not have a favorable impression of the place. Another 500 miles through the worst part of the desert brought him to Mali, particularly the town of Walata.

From there he travelled southwest along a river he believed to be the Nile (but that was, in actuality, the Niger River) until he reached the capital of the Mali Empire. There he met Mansa Sulayman, king since 1341. Dubious about the miserly hospitality of the king, he nevertheless stayed for eight months before journeying back up the Niger to Timbuktu. Though in the next two centuries it would become the most important city in the region, at the time it was small and unimpressive, and Ibn Battuta soon moved on. Partway through his journey back across the desert, he received a message from the Sultan of Morocco, commanding him to return home. This he did, and this time it lasted.


Titta på videon: Learn English Through Story:The Travels of Ibn Battuta level 3 (Maj 2022).

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos