Who is Ibn Battuta? …he was from the West…western North Africa.
Today happens to be the 711th birthday of Ibn Battuta, whose importance to history hasn’t been unfairly overlooked, in contrast to some other people we could mention. Born to a Berber family in the city of Tangier (in modern Morocco) in 1304, Ibn Battuta is rightly famous for his incredible world travels and the book he dictated (called Al-Rihla, “The Journey”) about them. Think of him as the Muslim Marco Polo if you want (and coincidentally enough his travels began in 1325, the year after Marco Polo died in Venice), but in terms of distance traveled and places seen, Marco Polo (probably) had nothing on Ibn Battuta.
After leaving home in 1325 to make the Hajj, Ibn Battuta covered tens of thousands of miles, traveling with large caravans whenever he could and supporting himself usually by finding work as a Maliki legal expert (which reflected his studies…
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