Ibn Battuta is regarded as one of the greatest explorers of the world. He traveled 75000 miles in almost 30 years. Ibn Battuta traveled through some forty-four countries as defined by the modern-day boundaries. He opened eyes in the family of scholars in Tangier Morocco. He studied law as he also had to become a judge according to his family tradition. He wanted to get more education that was not possible while staying in Tangier due to non-availability of Madrassa and big libraries. Also, he was grown up in a religious family, so Battuta wanted to perform Hajj.
Ibn Battuta’s travel to Mecca:
A young Moroccan law student Ibn Battuta belonged to a religious family, so he wanted to perform Hajj. Hajj is a religious obligation, and every Muslim has to perform it if he can afford. So, in 1325 Ibn Battuta set out from Tangier to Mecca on a journey of 5000 miles. It took almost eighteen months to travel to Mecca. Remember, we are talking about the era when there were no modern means of transportation existed, and people would move on animals. Ibn Battuta went to almost all the Muslim regions at that time. He visited five more times to perform Hajj.
The Hajj Caravan:
When Ibn Battuta started his first journey towards Mecca, he and others gathered in Damascus to get on the Hajj Caravan. Ibn Battuta writes in his famous book “Rihla” that the Hajj caravan was probably several thousand people and everyone was responsible for his animals and supplies. Ibn Battuta was in a weak financial position as he was too young and unemployed, so Maliki jurist helped him. He wrote in the book that a jurist helped him by providing him traveling provisions and hiring camels. This was how Ibn Battuta started his journey to Mecca to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage).
Ibn Battuta’s travel to Medina:
Ibn Battuta with his caravan reached “Medina.” He wanted to visit the holy mosque of The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Though it is not a part of Hajj to visit Medina, the city is close to the hearts of Muslims due to the Holy Mosque. He camped outside the city walls with his pilgrim caravan.
He stayed for four days in Medina and visited many places of religious importance. He said in his book that they used to spend each night in the holy Mosque where everyone was busy in reciting Holy Quran and praising the Almighty God. Ibn Battuta also saw “Al-Baqi cemetery.”
Then the caravan started traveling towards Mecca at night with the hearts full of pleasure. They arrived in Mecca in the morning.
Performing Hajj Rituals:
When the caravan of pilgrims left Medina, they wore a white cloth called “Ihram.” He performed all the rituals of Hajj within Mecca. He has elaborated his feeling beautifully in his book. He stayed for three weeks in Mecca and met with the holy men to learn. It was his dream that turned into reality. He felt peace and calm in his spirit.
A 30 years long journey:
Then Ibn Battuta instead of going back home decided to explore the world that started his globetrotting career. With his decision, a fascinating and adventurous journey began that ended after 30 years. He traveled to Asia, Africa, and India and met with locals to know more about their cultures and traditions. He has written his accounts of travels in an appealing way that does not let the reader get bored. Ibn Battuta traveled more than Marco Polo who. Ibn Battuta’s travel journal is much more interesting than Polo’s writings.