Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta

People have long been interested in learning new things. It was with this interest that a 21-year-old Muslim man left his home in Tanzania, far away from Morocco, intoxicated with the world. He is Ibn Battuta. He also visited Iraq, Iran, Basra, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives in the Middle East. In his 30 years of life, he has traveled 75,000 miles or 120,000 kilometers. Today’s discussion of Ibn Battuta’s travel life.

Today’s topic of discussion……

1.Birth and travel life

2.What did Ibn Battuta see in Bangladesh?

3.Ibn Battuta was the most different of his time

4.Travel to all Muslim empires

5.Rehla is a living history

★1.Birth and travel life

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Battuta was a Muslim traveler, thinker and judge. He was born on 24 February 1304 in Tanzania, Morocco. Ibn Battuta is a historical name that has taken place in the pages of history.


This world-famous traveler has traveled from Africa to the Indian subcontinent, from India to Turkey. Even in Bangladesh his footprints fell. He has crossed the river, sometimes in a camel caravan, and sometimes on foot to cross this huge path. He started this journey at the age of 21. Since then he has traveled the world for about 30 years. Many consider Marco Polo to be his equal. However, Ibn Battuta has traveled more than Marco Polo. For this reason, most historians recognize Ibn Battuta as the best traveler in the world. During his travels around the world, he has worked as a Qazi for a long time and married the daughter of a minister. Sometimes he has been given the responsibility of ambassador and sometimes of army command. Ibn Battuta was accompanied by a caravan on most of the journeys. He himself was a wise man.  His ancestors were in the profession of Qazi. As a result, he has been accorded the status of a state guest in the country he has visited. For security and other special needs, he sometimes kept his identity secret and used different names for diplomatic reasons. In China his name was Shamsuddin and in India his name was Maulana Badr Uddin. Ibn Battuta has traveled from place to place all his life. He has become famous for traveling the world. He first left for Mecca to perform the holy Hajj. For the next 30 years of his life, he traveled about 75,000 miles (120,000 km).

He traveled all over the Muslim world at that time. He met the sultans of that time and wrote down their words. He praised the great Muslim rulers as well as the tyranny of the oppressive rulers. He traveled from present day West Africa to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and China. Marco Polo, a Venetian businessman and traveler, had recently become famous for such a long journey.  But he has traveled three times more than Marco Polo. During his travels he met famous personalities, Sufis, Sultans, Qazis and scholars of the subcontinent. After returning to his homeland Morocco after traveling to about 40 countries in 30 years, Sultan Abu Inan Faris of Morocco hired a secretary to record his travel story. The name of this travel story is ‘Rehla’. It is considered to be one of the documents of the history of the Muslim Empire in East, Central and South Asia in the 1400s. He also came to Bangladesh. He said about present day Bengal of present Bangladesh, after spending 43 consecutive nights in the sea, we finally reached Bengal. A huge country surrounded by greenery, plenty of rice is available. Everything else is so cheap in that country that I have never seen anything like it. The purpose of Ibn Battuta’s visit to Bangladesh was to meet Hazrat Shahjalal (ra).

It is known from history that Ibn Battuta met two disciples at a distance of two days on the way after leaving to meet Hazrat Shahjalal (ra). They were instructed to welcome the tourist from the west who was coming to meet Hazrat Shahjalal (ra). But Ibn Battuta had no acquaintance with Hazrat Shahjalal (ra) before or Ibn Battuta did not give any news of his arrival. It is not possible to know more than what Ibn Battuta has written about himself in his book. This great traveler traveled halfway around the world, performed Hajj three times and returned to his homeland after 30 years. Ibn Battuta mentions, ‘The day I left my native Tanziy and set out for Mecca with the desire to perform Hajj and pay homage to Muhammad (PBUH) was 2 Rajab of 725 AH (Thursday, 14 June 1325). According to that calculation, I was then 22 years old (21 years 4 months). Not finding anyone as a companion on the way or looking for a caravan, I went out alone.  My parents were alive then. The episode of their leaving was very difficult. Everyone was having a hard time leaving.

Note: Ibn Battuta has traveled from place to place all his life. He has become famous for traveling the world. He first left for Mecca to perform the holy Hajj. For the next 30 years of his life, he traveled 75,000 miles (120,000 km).

★2.What did Ibn Battuta see in Bangladesh?

Ibn Battuta visited Bengal in 1346 AD. Ibn Battuta first arrived here on 9 July 1346. He was the first to come to Sadkao (Chatgaon). From there he headed straight for the Kamarru (Kamarupa) hills. A month’s journey from Sadkao to Kamarru. History has it that he came to Bengal to meet Hazrat Shah Jalal (Rah.). On his way back after meeting Hazrat Shah Jalal (ra), Ibn Battuta received a gift of a goat’s fur coat. He set out for the city on the banks of the An-Nahr ul-Azrak (meaning the Nile River). After a 15-day boat trip on this river, he reached Sunurkao (Sonargaon) on 14 August 1346. He left Sonargaon for Java on a Chinese ship. When Ibn Battuta arrived in present day Bangladesh, the Sultan was Fakhar Uddin.

The financial condition of the people during the then Muslim rule was very prosperous. Referring to the abundance of food grains in the country and the cheap prices of daily necessities, he said that he had never seen such an abundance of goods and cheap prices anywhere else in the world. According to his description, eight healthy chickens could be found in Bangladesh at that time with only one dirham. In addition, fifteen pigeons for one dirham, a sheep for two dirhams and slaves could be bought for less than one gold coin. Ibn Battuta in his travelogue describes the climate and landscapes of Bengal. He was so fascinated by the beautiful green-green desert of Bengal, the shade of the countryside and the lush greenery of the countryside that he exclaimed, I am going through the market. ‘

★3.Ibn Battuta was the most different of his time

Ibn Battuta was one of the most unique of his time. World travel was in the deepest corner of his mind. Although he started traveling at the age of 20-21, he had a strong desire to know the world even earlier, that is, from his adolescence. Finally, one day, after saying goodbye to his family, he left Tanziar, Morocco for Hajj on 14 June 1325, and left for Mecca on the coast of North Africa. On this route he reached Makkah via Abd al-Wadid and the Hafsid Empire, Timsan, Bijaira and Tunis. During the journey he stayed in Tunisia for two months. The Arabs crossed the road with various caravans to stay safe from the Bedouins and for other protections. Along the way, he met two pious ascetics in Alexandria. He then arrived in Cairo. After staying in Cairo for about a month, he left for Mecca. But he could not go. He had to return to Cairo. Because he left one of the routes to Mecca, crossed the Nile River and started passing through the port of Aidab. This time he met a Sufi saint. His name is Sheikh Abul Hassan Al Sadidi. He showed the way to Ibn Battuta. He joined a caravan bound for Medina. He left for Mecca four days after visiting Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) ‘s Rawza Mubarak in Medina. Arriving in Mecca, he performed the Hajj and traveled to Central Asia instead of returning to Tanzania.

★4.Travel to all Muslim empires

Ibn Battuta traveled to almost all the Muslim empires. After performing Hajj, he started touring the Muslim Empire of the world. From Mecca he joined a caravan bound for Iraq via the Arabian Sea on 17 November 1326. This caravan took him to the city of Najaf. After visiting the shrine of Hazrat Ali, the son-in-law of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) and the fourth caliph of Islam in Najaf, the caravan of Battuta left for Iraq but he did not go with the caravan but crossed the river Tigris further south towards Basra. Ibn Battuta stayed in Makkah for three years and performed Hajj in 1330. However, some people disagree about this time.

According to many, he performed Hajj in 1328. At the end of Ibn Battuta’s tour of all the Muslim empires, only one country remained. That is Negroland. On one such spring in 1351, Ibn Battuta left the city of Fez for Sijilmasa, north of the Sahara Desert. He left Sijilmasa on 18 February 1352 for the salt mining town of Taghazar. After crossing the vast Sahara Desert from Taghaza, he sailed from Negroland to Morocco in September 1353, and made his last visit to his homeland in early 1354. During his long voyage he rode on camels in the hot sands of the desert, from shipwrecks at sea to attacks by foreign armies.

★5.Rehla is a living history

Rehla, written by Ibn Battuta, is one of the main sources of knowledge about history. Tourists who have traveled to more than 40 countries in 30 years have recorded their experiences in this book. He traveled from Africa to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and China. This book is one of the major sources in the history of Indian subcontinent and Bengal. Ibn Battuta records his experience of 30 years of world travel in this book. However, it is known that Ibn Battuta did not record the details of his experience himself. As far as possible, a scholar named Ibn Juzai, who was the personal secretary of the Sultan of Morocco. He was the one who recorded the travel story of Ibn Battuta in the style of Shruti writing under the direction of the Sultan. When the oral narration was completed on December 9, 1355, the work of transcribing the book ‘Rehla’ was completed. The essence of Rehla’s words is “a gift to those who are passionate about the Muslim Empire, the sun, the city and its glorious path.” The political and social details of the Indian subcontinent including Africa, Egypt and China have been beautifully recorded in this Rehla. Especially in the history of Bengal, the role of the book ‘Rehla’ is impeccable. At the end of the visit, Ibn Battuta went to the city of Fez in Morocco and told all the travel stories to Sultan Abu Inan Fariz and his courtiers. It was then that the Sultan instructed Ibn Juzai, one of his private secretaries, to write down the details of his travels.

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