Ibn Battuta was a Muslim Moroccan explorer, known for his extensive travels. Over a period of thirty years, he visited most of the known Islamic world as well as many non-Muslim lands; his journeys included trips to North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, and to the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East. He is considered one of the greatest travellers of all time. He journeyed more than 75,000 miles (121,000 km). His name was Abu Abdal-Lāh Muhammad ibn Abdal-Lah l-Lawati attangi ibn Battutah. He was born in February 25, 1304 and died in 1369 at the age of 65. As a young man he had studied at a Sunni Maliki madh'hab, (Islamic jurisprudence school), the dominant form of education in North Africa at that time. In June 1325, at the age of twenty-one, Ibn Battuta set off from his hometown on a hajj to Mecca, a journey that would take sixteen months. He would not see Morocco again for twenty-four years. He said: “ I set out alone, finding no companion to cheer the way with friendly intercourse, and no party of travellers with whom to associate myself. Swayed by an overmastering impulse within me, and a long-cherished desire to visit those glorious sanctuaries, I resolved to quit all my friends and tear myself away from my home. As my parents were still alive, it weighed grievously upon me to part from them, and both they and I were afflicted with sorrow.” He travelled to Mecca overland, following the North African coast across the sultanates of Abd al-Wadid and Hafsid. The route took him through Tlemcen, Béjaïa, and then Tunis, where he stayed for two months. For safety, he usually joined a caravan to reduce the risk of an attack by wandering Arab Bedouin. Ibn Battuta then arrived at the port of...
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