Renowned Muslim worldwide traveler, Ibn Battuta
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On February 24, 1304 AD, the renowned Muslim worldwide traveler, Shams od-Din Mohammad bin Abdullah, popularly known as Ibn Battuta, was born in the northwest African city of Tangiers, which is now in Morocco. As a young man he started his initial journey to perform the Hajj, but after the pilgrimage to Mecca, he kept on travelling, visiting over a period of thirty years, most of the Islamic world as well as many non-Muslim lands in the three continents of Africa, Asia and Europe.
His journeys including trips to North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, and to West Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East, cover a total of 75,000 miles or 121,000 km, surpassing by threefold the travels of his near-contemporary Marco Polo of Venice.
In Iraq, he visited the shrine in holy Najaf of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), and has related how people seek intercession with God through the First Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and are cured of their ailments.
Ibn Battuta then travelled all over Iran, and later, after visiting the Byzantine Empire, Europe and Russia, he arrived in India, where he was appointed the Qazi of Delhi by Sultan Mohammad bin Tughlaq. On his return to his homeland Morocco, again served as Qazi. He dictated to scribes the details of his travels in his book titled "ar-Rehla", and died at the age of 66 years.