Ibn Battuta Rihla

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The medieval Islamic word for journey, Rihla, was originally associated with camelback riding. Rihla has become to be known a type of literature that fostered “the concept of al-riḥla fī ṭalab al-ʿilm, travel in search of knowledge” and is commonly used in conjunction with Ibn Battuta (“Encyclopedia of Islam”). His Rihla provides insightful detail into the daily life of Islamic culture. Initially Ibn Battuta was both young and ambitious to become a traveler. His inexperience did not prove to be an issue and he would make difficult decisions such as abandoning his belongings to continue traveling when he got sick (44). The nature of Ibn Battuta’s Rihla was nurtured by the customs and cultures in the Dar al-Islam, the territory controlled by
One of the highlights being his visit to Damascus, which Ibn says “surpassed all other cities in beauty, and no description, however full, can do justice to its charms”. (65) Ibn Battuta also received many gifts along his journey from men of great stature. Everywhere Ibn Battuta went he was showered with gifts and seemingly for no reason. One of these being from the esteemed Shaykh al-Murshidi (47). Why was someone with no prior relation or major significance being treated in such a manner? However it was not only Ibn Battuta treated this way, all guests were greeted with such kindness. Dhimmis, non-Muslims, in these Muslim lands were also granted valuable rights and treated with such tenderness (“Dar al-Islam Encyclopedia”) . The idea of cosmopolitanism, all humans being represented under a single community, was an attribute of the five pillars of Islam. The five pillar of Islam are customs followed by all Muslims to live a prosperous life. These pillars are a declaration of Muslim faith and include praying daily, giving to those in need, travelling to Mecca, and taking part in Ramadan (4). Being of Muslim faith in the Dar al-Islam community was very beneficial to Ibn Battuta. While Ibn did not know these people individually and he was just a mere foreigner in these vast lands, their connection lies within their

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