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Launching the "The Journeyed Cities" series

Nov 2010

There have been many great scholars and travellers who explored the world in earlier times. They undertook these journeys mainly for performing Hajj, seeking knowledge or for trading. The requirement to perform Hajj (and Umrah), indeed made the Muslims foremost travellers and travel writers. It is mentioned that the Chinese General, Zhen He, developed the passion for travel after accompanying his grandfather (or his father) on a Hajj journey!

Our first series of "The Journeyed Cities" will cover the cities travelled by one of the greatest of Muslim travellers, Ibn Battuta. He started his journey from Tanjiers, Morocco sometime in the year 1325 (725H) as a 21 year old, which eventually took him on a fascinating journey through the Muslim world of the 14th Century (8th Century Hijrah). During a period of around 30 years he travelled through (what is today) more than 40 countries. It is estimated that he covered more than 120,000 kilometres by land.

His intention to start the journey was for Hajj and during this period, he goes back to Makkah to perform Hajj repeatedly. Ibn Battuta's travelogue shows how the travellers were treated in those days and how the institution of Wakf catered for the travellers, especially those on their way to perform Hajj.

In his book "The Travels of Ibn Battuta" H.A.R Gibbs writes

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