MUSLIM TRAVELLERS THAT SHAPED THE WORLD

In this month’s magazine we report on the increase in Muslim travellers world wide and how this will affect the travel industry in the future. At the same time we take a brief look at some of the most influential Muslim travellers in history.

IBN BATTUTA (1304-1377)

Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan Berber Muslim and scholar, has become one of the most famous travellers of all time. When he was 21 years old, Ibn Battuta set off for Mecca to perform the Hajj. Over the course of his voyage, he travelled to 44 modern countries and traversed nearly 75,000 miles. The account of his travels, “The Journey” (Al Rihla in Arabic), features a detailed account of the many regions of the world including most of the Islamic world, much of Europe, India and Central and Far East Asia.

ABU AL HASAN AL MASUDI (896-956)

Abu Al Hasan Al Masudi was a famous Arab historian and geographer is known as “The Herodotus of the Arabs”, for combining history and scientific geography in his world history, The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems. Born in Baghdad, Al Masudi spent the majority of his life travelling to East Africa, the Middle East, Persia, Russia and the Caucuses, India and China. Over his lifetime, he produced books and encyclopedias chronicling world history.

MUHAMMAD AL IDRISI (1100- 1165)

Muhammad Al Idrisi was a famous geographer and traveler who was a descendant of the Idrisid rulers of Morocco. during his early life, Al Idrisi travelled throughout Europe and north Africa. When he reached adulthood, he spent years compiling information on Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Far East from merchants and other travellers. He used this information to complete, the Tabula Rogeriana, which is considered to be the most accurate map of its time.

AHMED IBN MAJID (1421- 1500)

Ahmad Ibn Majid was a famous navigator and Arabic poet who is most famous for having assisted Vasco da Gama in his quest to go around the Cape ofGood Hope of South Africa. He is so famous that he is known as the first Arab seaman. His best-known work is the Book of useful Information on the Principles and Rules of navigation (Kitab al Fawa’id fi usul ‘Ilm al-Bahr wa ‘l-Qawa’id), which outlines the history and basic principles of navigation. His major contribution to world history was providing Vasco da Gama, the world famous Portuguese explorer, with a map of the world that was unknown to other European sailors at the time.