The Extensive Voyages Of Ibn Battuta


The famous traveler of premodern times Ibn Battuta started exploring the world at a very young age. His full name was Abu Abdullah Ibn Battuta, and he was born in 1304 in Tangier, Morocco. The series of his extraordinary journeys spanned nearly thirty years, and he traveled almost 75000 miles. It was the time when there were no means of transportation available, and people had to travel on animals like camels, donkeys, and horses. Ibn Battuta was brought up in a religious family, so he first traveled to Mecca to perform Hajj. After exploring the world, he came back to Morocco.

The desire to perform Hajj:

All the information we have comes from the autobiographical information that is included in the account of Ibn Battuta’s travels. Ibn Battuta the renowned Moroccan Traveler started his journey at the age of 21 when he decided to go to Mecca first to perform Hajj. Hajj is an obligation, and the Muslims from all over the world visit Mecca to perform certain rituals of Hajj. Ibn Battuta also had a strong desire to fulfill the religious obligation of performing Hajj.

He was born to a family of scholars, and Ibn Battuta also studied law to serve as a judge. But due to the lack of Madrassa and libraries, he decided to leave his hometown.

He took his donkey and started traveling. Ibn Battuta explored the lands of Middle East and then sailed down the Red Sea to Mecca. He performed Hajj there and stayed for some period. Then Ibn Battuta started his journey that lasted for thirty years. Ibn Battuta met many people and experienced many adventures during his tour.

Ibn Battuta’s visit to India:

Ibn Battuta traveled to Iran and Iraq crossing the Arabian Desert. He then went to Aden and Tanzania in 1330. Later in 1332 Ibn Battuta decided to visit India. He also had a plan to serve as a judge for the Indian ruler during his stay there. When he reached India, the Sultan of Delhi welcomed him open heartedly and appointed him as a judge. Ibn Battuta stayed for eight years in India and then headed towards China. He visited the African Kingdom of Mali after crossing the Sahara desert.

Back to Tangier:

Ibn Battuta visited almost all the Islamic countries at that time. He also toured some of the regions where non-Muslims were governing. Wherever he went, he met with hospitable people who gave him gifts and money. Muslim rulers also gifted woolen clothes and gold that helped him in continuing his traveling. In 1355 Ibn Battuta returned to Tangier and started living in his hometown. He was appointed as a Qadi in the small town in Tangier.

It is questionable that whether Ibn Battuta visited all the places he mentioned in his writings or not. Many people at that time claimed that Ibn Battuta had never visited some of the areas he talked about in his biography. They said that he had borrowed traveling accounts from other travelers. Of course, no such evidence could prove that Ibn Battuta lied in his travel tales. But it is a fact that he traveled more than the famous explorer Marco Polo.

Culture Shock:

Ibn Battuta told in his traveling journals that h experienced culture shook in some of the regions he visited. Mongols and Turkish women had the freedom of speech. He stated that the local customs of recently converted people did not match his Muslim background.

Also, Ibn Battuta stated that some sub-Sahara regions in Africa and Maldives the dresses were too revealing. Well, he provided much information about different cultures and countries he visited at that time.