Ibn Battuta California Council for the Social Studies 2012
World History for Us AllA Web-Based Model Curriculum for Middle And High School World History http:worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu
World History for Us AllTeaching units organized by the “size of thepicture” in time, space, and subject matter Big Pictures Medium-Sized Pictures Smaller Pictures
World History for Us AllTeaching units organized by the “size of the picture” in time, space, and subject matter The Afroeurasian Network and Spread of Islam The Trans-Saharan Network of Exchange The Mali Empire
Africa + Asia + Europe = Afroeurasia S IA R A E U R O A F
Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Lawati al-Tanji, known as Ibn Battuta• Sunni Muslim• Arabic-speaking family of Berber origin• Pilgrim• Religious and legal scholar• Sufi• Traveler just for the h*** of it
Abridged English Edition of Arabic Editionthe Rihla, or Book of Travels
Ibn Battuta’s significance in world history•He illustrates the beliefs, values, and wayof life of an educated Muslim in the MiddleAges.•His travels illustrate the growth and extentof Islam as a major belief system.•His travels illustrate the growth and extentof long-distance networks ofcommunication.•His text is a valuable source of knowledgeabout fourteenth-century Afroeurasia.•His text offers an opportunity for criticalanalysis.
The Rihla of Ibn Battuta Can we believe it?• Most scholars agree that the Rihla is authentic. – Ibn Battuta and Ibn Juzayy actually wrote it in the 14th century. It is not a forgery, a hoax, or a fake.• Most scholars agree that, on the whole, the Rihla is reliable. – It has “truth-value”: Ibn Battuta did not make up most of his experiences or tell a pack of lies.
But The Rihla presents numerous problems and puzzles.• Not a journal compiled on the road. He wrote everything after he returned home.• He sometimes gets the itinerary confused.• He provides few clues to the chronology and sometimes makes it confusing.• He sometimes copies from other writers.• He claims to have visited a few places that he probably did not see.
Ibn Jubayr 12th century Ibn Battuta describingtraveler, describing Mosul, IraqMosul, IraqOne of the Emirs of the town Mosul has a large suburb…and in itconstructed on the banks of the Tigris there is a congregational mosque on thea congregational mosque…Round it are banks of the Tigris, round which there areiron latticed windows, adjoined by iron lattices, and adjoining it platformsplatforms overlooking the Tigris…In overlooking the Tigris. In front of thefront of it stands a finely-built mosque is a hospital. Inside the city therehospital…The city has two mosques, are two congregational mosques, oneone new and the other of the time of ancient and the other new. In the court ofthe Umayyads. In the courtyard of this the modern mosque is a dome, insidelatter is a dome in which rises a marble which there is an octagonal basin ofpillar…and at whose top is an marble supported by a marble column.octagonal marble basin from which The water spurts out of this with energyprojects a pipe. From this, water spurts and strength, rises into the air…forth with such energy and strengththat it rises into the air.
Ibn Battuta and Women• He married several times during his travels.• In the Maldive Islands he had 4 wives at the same time.• He divorced all the women he married.• He probably had numerous slave girls and concubines.• He married to gain entry to the circles of the powerful and influential.• He had strong views on women behaving modestly.
Maldive Islands: Most of [the women] wear only one apron from the navel to the ground, the rest of their bodies being uncovered. It is thus that they walk abroad in the bazaars and elsewhere. When I was judge there, I tried to put an end to this practice and ordered them to wear clothes, but I met with no success. No woman was admitted to my presence in a lawsuit unless her body was covered, but apart from that I was unable to effect anything.Maldive Islands:After I had become allied by marriage to these personswho I have mentioned [i.e. elite families], the chiefministerand the people stood in awe of me.
Walata in the Mali EmpireOne day I entered upon Abu Muhammad Yandakan, aman of the Massufa, the one in whose company we hadarrived. I found him sitting on a mat and in the middleof his house was a bed with a canopy. On it was awoman and with her a man sitting, and the two wereconversing. I said to him, “What is the relationship ofthe man with her to her?” He said, “He is hercompanion.” I said, “Do you accept this when you havelived in our country and have known the matters of theshari’a [religious law]?” He said to me, “Women’scompanionship with men in our country is honorableand takes place in a good way: there is no suspicionabout it. They are not like the women of your country.”I was astonished at his thoughtless answer and I wentaway from him and did not go to him after this. Thoughhe invited me many times, I did not respond.