AP World History
1 September 2012
Ibn Battuta and the Five Pillars
In Ross E. Dunn’s novel, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, Ibn, a 14th century Muslim traveler, is influenced by The Five Pillars of Islam in different ways (Dunn 1). The Five Pillars of Islam are Faith (shahada), Prayer (salat), Charity (zakat), Fast, and Pilgrimage (hajj). Shahada is the declaration of faith, i.e. the professing that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is God's messenger. Salat is the Islamic prayer. It consists of five daily prayers that are recited while facing the Ka'bah in Mecca. Zakat or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. Fasting is a mandatory act during the month of Ramadan unless you are sick, pregnant, young child, or on a difficult journey. Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during this month. The hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. He sees that the pillars are the most important cultural value.
First, Ibn Battuta is influenced by Faith because he appears to have been one of those rare individuals who live their faith, mainly by relegating their own personal needs to a secondary level of importance while the needs of their faith, remain primary in significance. Ibn Battuta needed to travel his path as a solitary traveler, one who remained convinced that his faith would see him through whatever adventures he encountered in his journey of discovery and exploration. Faith was the reason for his travels.
Ibn is also influenced by prayer because in some ways it saved him. In Calicut, a storm came up that evening. Ibn was suppose to be on one of the boats caught in the storm if he wasn’t at prayer in an offshore mosque. The boat he was...