Ibn Battuta [1304 - 1369]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 7, 2022, 8:54

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was a famous traveller and Moroccan Muslim scholar. His Rihla excursions and travels were well-known, and his travels covered almost the entire world of Islam and more.

They took him from West Africa, North Africa, and Southern Europe to the East and then to the Middle East, China in the East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Central Asia. This distance was far greater than what people before him had been able to cover.

Life of Ibn Battuta

During the Marinid Dynasty, Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was a wanderer from Tangier, Morocco. In 1304 C.E, on February 24, he was born (703 Hijra). His given name was Shams ad-Din.

His ancestors had a lengthy history of serving as judges. After completing his Islamic legal study, he wanted to travel. When he became twenty-one, he left his home and began the Haj to Mecca. It took 16 months to complete this journey. He continued on his journey and did not come back to the location of Morocco for nearly two decades.

The majority of his journeys were taken by land. He frequently joined caravans to lessen the possibility of attacks. He got married in Sfax and survived shipwrecks, battles, and rebellions during his adventures.

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Journey of Ibn Battuta

The first expedition of Ibn Battuta was an exploration of the Middle East.

In 1330, he embarked on another journey down the Red Sea from Aden to Tanzania and back to Aden. Ibn Battuta visited India in 1332, and the Sultan of Delhi welcomed him nicely. After that, he was appointed as a judge. He left India after eight years in order to travel to China.

In 1352, Ibn Battuta started on a new trip. He travelled to the areas in the south, passing across the Sahara desert on his route to Mali, an African country. In 1355, Battuta made his way back to Tangier.

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Shock to the System

Ibn Battuta claimed to have undergone cultural shock in some areas. He believed that newly converted Muslims' local customs did not reflect traditional Muslim heritage. He was astounded by how women behaved among Turks and Mongols, and he thought the dress codes in the Maldives and Sub-Saharan Africa were excessively lax.

Death of Ibn Battuta

After Rihla, a crucial account of many aspects of the world throughout the 14th century was completed in 1355, not much is known about Ibn Battuta.

Only that, in 1368, he became a judge and in 1369 died.

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FAQs on Ibn Battuta

Q1. Why was Ibn Battuta important?

Ibn Battuta, a medieval Muslim traveller, wrote one of the most famous travel logs in the world, the Riblah. This amazing work describes the people and places he met on his 75,000-mile (120,000 km) journey across the Islamic world.

Q2. When did Ibn Battuta visit India?

Ibn Battuta crossed the high mountains of Afghanistan to reach India, following in the footsteps of Turkish soldiers who had, one hundred years earlier, conquered the Hindu farmers of India and founded the Sultanate of Delhi.

Q3. What was the impact of Ibn Battuta on the world?

Ibn Battuta was a key figure in the Dar al Islam movement and preserved the influence of Islam on the world. His writings are a window to the past that historians can use to view the world as it was in this period.

Q4. Ibn Battuta left India for what reason?

Ibn Battuta was involved in several wars on the Malabar Coast, southwestern India. He was eventually shipwrecked at Kozhikode (now Calicut), where he lost all his property as well as the gifts for the Chinese Emperor. He fled to the Maldive Islands to escape the wrathful sultan.