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
He decided to improve the status of his land on his arrival from a pilgrimage from Mecca in 1324. Furthermore, he transformed his trading city of Timbuktu to a center of learning and religion and built a mass, which set a new style of architecture in West Africa. “Caravans of Gold” underlines the importance of Timbuktu because it concentrated on African scholarship, politics, teaching theology, and Islamic law. Timbuktu was a significant place in Africa during this time because it became a market right after and made a profit for the region. Likewise, it was a religious, cultural, and profitable center whose people traveled north across the Sahara through Morocco and Algeria to other parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia. According to The History of Africa, “Because of his devotion to Islam, Mansa Musa strengthened Islam and promoted education, trade, and commerce in Mali” (Asante, 2014, pg. 135). It was a successful center for the trans-Saharan gold and salt trade and grew as the center of Islam. This statement launches the truth that Timbuktu supported Islamic values and knowledge because it was a city most well-known for the education of important scholars whose backgrounds were of Islam. Asante supports the fact that Mansa Musa was effective in reforming the city of Timbuktu and the trade in that area. Asante also states that “Musa did not forget the control of the gold and salt; it was fundamental for the
Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta, is well-known for being one of the greatest travelers of his time. Battuta’s descriptive account of his travels to East and West Africa in the fourteenth century provides important insight into African Islamic life at that point in time. Although Battuta and the peoples in black Africa shared the same religion, he comes to realize that sharing a religion is not enough to completely relate to a different group of people. The story of Ibn Battuta in Black Africa illustrates the difficulties he faced in relating to these peoples due to the non-traditional role of women, different religious customs, and frequent misinterpretation of situations.
Norris, H.T. "The Arabian Nights: A Companion." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 58 (1995):148-149.
Ibn Battutah was a Moroccan scholar who traveled to different regions in Asia and Africa. Throughout 1325 to 1354 C.E he traversed the regions of Asia and Africa. Ibn Battutah decided after his second pilgrimage to Mecca, he would travel on the road. He documented each of the travels he did on his journey. He wrote down his experiences, his thoughts, the diverse individuals he met, the customs of the different countries and regions he visited, and the overall state of the regions he visited. Throughout his travels, Ibn Battutah found the cultures, he visited noteworthy. He was critical of some of the unique cultures as well. Some of the practices of the foreign cultures that Ibn Battutah documented completely differed from some of the customs of his culture. The differences in cultures of the made him critical of the places he visited. After Ibn Battutah returned to Morocco in 1354 after his journey, the Sultan of Morocco requested that Ibn Battutah write an account of his travels. Some of the regions Ibn Battutah traversed through are the desert region of Africa, southern Asia, the eastern coast of Africa, and China.
Islamic Spain can be seen as one of the only societies that has grasped the importance of synergy and placed this notion above the typical need for absolute control. It is here where adherents of three religions coexisted and thrived culturally, economically, and intellectually. Two works explain the history of Islamic Spain, one being a documentary by Gardner Films, Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, and the other a book by Tamim Ansary called Destiny Disrupted: A History of The World Through Islamic Eyes. While both Ansary and Gardner Films explore the themes of Spain under Islamic rule, Gardner Films provides the viewer with a more thorough history of the region whereas Ansary remains brief and narrow with his narration. The documentary Cities of Light provides a view of Islamic Spain from its beginning to its very end. This documentary touches on every aspect of what life was like in Islamic Spain and the significance of the events that occurred there.
Haddawy, Husain. The Arabian Nights. Rpt in Engl 123 B16 Custom Courseware. Comp. Lisa Ann Robertson. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta, 2014. 51-64. Print.
The king’s wanted to put the peasants in work to provide not only the king, but the peasants themselves security and benefits. Ibn Battuta and King Hammurabi of Babylon ‘s sources prove that the king’s wanted to work the peasants to provide benefits for them. Ibn Battuta was a muslim berber that left Tangier, Morocco to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, dating back to 1354 A.D. King Hammurabi of Babylon established laws for the peasants to follow, which dates back to 1800 B.C.
The Sea Peoples, groups that “raided, migrated, and marauded in the eastern Mediterranean” possess an intricate past that still intrigues scholars today (McKay et al. 34). First, I’ll explain why scholars debate the origins of the Sea Peoples. Next, I’ll describe the main reason that Sea Peoples decided to travel. Finally, I will illustrate the importance of the great battle that put an end to the Sea Peoples’ voyages. The origins, purpose, and major battle of the Sea Peoples are what makes their rich past so interesting even today.
Abu Al-Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, known in Latin as Averroes, was one of the most influential Islamic philosophers and scientist. He lived in a time where Philosophy was not celebrated in the Islamic world, and philosophers were regarded as unbelievers. He, however, revived the Aristotelian philosophy stressing that it has no conflict with the belief in God, and that was the theme he used throughout his writings. He integrated religion and philosophy challenging the anti-philosophical view of the Muslim scholars at that point. That influenced a group of western scholars who used the same examination and identified themselves as the “Averroists.”
The Bayt al-Hikma was modeled after the Sassanid Imperial Library, with the similar motivation of religion. Muslims leaders have long relied on the study of astronomy to calculate the times for prayer, and in which direction Mecca was situated in relation to a city. The beginnings of the Muslim empire’s deep curiosity of knowledge can be traced back to the need to fulfill the five pillars of Islam. Religious periods such as the month of Ramadan, or the month of the hajj held a great importance in Muslim Empires, such as the an...
Ibn al Haytham was a Muslim innovator born in 965 in Basra. He is also known as Alhazen and The First Scientist. In his time, Alhazen was able to invent the first pinhole camera and a camera obscura. Before Alhazen, scientists believed that they did not have to scientifically prove their findings, however, he knew better. Every experiment or hypothesis Alhazen came up with, he submitted it to a physical test and/or proof using mathematic equations. (“Arab Inventors”)