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Ibn Battuta

Like Marco Polo decades before him, Ibn Battuta, a Muslim cleric, envoy to the Sultan, and an adventurer, is considered the world’s greatest traveler before the advent of steam power. While all men have a faith, even those whose faith is to live by their own code as opposed to an organized faith, not all men live their faith and few that try are able to elevate their lifestyle to a degree that mirrors the passion and commitment of that faith. Ibn Battuta 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, or calling as some would label it, remain primary in significance. However, also like many men whose lives demonstrate such a commitment, 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—one of self, one of others, one of faith, “I set out alone, finding no companion to cheer the way…” (Who Is 1).

This is not to say that Ibn would not have enjoyed a companion to cheer his way, nor that he had no friends who might have desired such a journey. It is to say that on such a journey few men are able to travel, and Ibn more than likely understood this as an educated legal scholar and man of faith. Ibn’s journey began as a holy pilgrimage to the Holy House and the Tomb of the Prophet (Mecca and Medina), but his travels were diverted because of a conflict with the Turks. As such, Ibn traveled to lands such as Syria, a region that convinced him that he should attempt a visit to all the lands in the world under Muhammedan control. Yet, this diversion and diversity not only brought out the latent adventurer, it also taught him another valuable lesson—never fall in love with something more than the objectives of one’s faith, “By the t...

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Ibn Battuta. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:56, August 09, 2020, from