Travels to Egypt by Nasir Khusraw and Ibn Jubayr

Topics: Islam, Cairo, Muslim world Pages: 5 (1834 words) Published: March 21, 2012
Travels in Islamic world was important in the light of Islam as the Prophet encouraged his followers to seek knowledge even as far away as China, indicating that knowledge is borderless and travelling is a good way to expand the horizons of knowledge and experience. Leisure, curiosity and mostly pilgramage were reasons for travelling and as long as the underlying intention is a good one, like to recuperate before going back to work, to appreciate a new culture or country, or to spend time with family. Besides, Arabs were traders as much as they were travellers hence they were crossing multi-nations for business purposes. This was soon followed by Prophet Muhammad and the first Muslims who migrated to different countries on different occasions and later worked hard in spreading religion to different communities. Even members of the companions were widely known to cross borders for the sake of Islam. They came as far as India, Persia, amongst others, in order to seek knowledge from Prophet Muhammad and later crossed oceans to spread their love for Islam. Travelling as a Muslim is not different as compared to travelling before becoming a Muslim, as long as certain guidelines are attached to. Tourists, Muslim or not, are required to be respectful of their place of travels, to represent themselves and their own country in a positive light. In his travel writing “Safarname”, Nasir Khusraw the Persian traveller spent about three years and three monthts in Egypt, Began with the Marw in the East in Rabi and finished with balkh in Khurasan in Jumadi in about 1052. Nasir Khusraw told his observations or unusual occasions he had heard about in detail and according to his own impressions of the event. In the travel writing of Nasir, it can be seen that he is concerned to the routes and the distances and also the dangers and difficulties on his way. Moreover, his mentions about the different atmosphers and qualities of differentcities and countries which he visited. His writing is kind of helping the reader to create a picture of his travel stories. Seemingly, he demands that people in his own region to believe him and what he described. With that reason he compared his observations with dimilar occasions in the Eastern regions. In Nasir’s travel writing he described Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Also he is not just talking about Cairo and also about the old city Misr. At those times Cairo was so important and serving as the heart pf political, economic, administrative and religious life. His section on Egypt is not so long however he wrote worthy account on social and economic life of the place. Also, he wrote with kind of a clear picture of the city’s social life and organisation in that time. Nasir’s telling of Cairo leads reader to adore the city, focusing on its beautiful qualities and sometimes give reader the feeling of exaggeration. This kind of adorement showing that Nasir’s involvement with the capital especially after his visit during the most powerful, strong and expansive time of Cairo under the reign of Caliph al Mustanser. In the wirting of Nasir there are two kinds of narrative style. First one is when he himself was the witness of the occasion he wrote and the other one is when he got the information from someone. He stayed in Cairo for three years and readers could get the feeling that three year stay in Cairo was long enough for somebody to get know the surroundings and writing his observations accurately. Although Nasir wrote most of the phenomenas that he saw, he mentions that he is not responsible about the exactness of what he heard and then record. As it is mentioned above Khurshaw gave a obvious image of Cairo2s social life and structure while his visit and he als mentions about the differences betweent the two parts of Cairo. First one is al-Qahira and other one is Misr. New Cairo had been established in a desert place, about one mile east of the Nile, to the north of Misr. In the writing he is giving detailes...
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