Early 20th century image by Hippolyte Leon Bennet which depicts Ibn Battuta in Egypt.

Ibn Battuta was an Islamic scholar and explorer who lived 1304-1368 or 1377 CE. A native of Tangiers, Morocco, between 1325 and 1354 he traveled much of the then Islamic world recording his trips in Rihla or "Journey." Taking advantage of the respect shown to scholars throughout the Islamic world, and the network of scholar-teacher relationships, he was received with honour in all places he visited and accepted as a judge - from Mali in his native Africa to as far a-field as Sumatra in present day Indonesia, China and Central Asia.

Battuta covered more miles than the better-known Marco Polo, an estimated 75,000 miles (120,000 km), although Polo went far beyond the borders of his religious roots. Where Polo used the Pax Monglica and the friendship of the Great Khan as his passport, Ibn Battuta used the ubiquity of his faith.

See also


The Times' Atlas of the Islamic World.

External links

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