Painted in the original colors of the ship
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta (Arabic: ÃÈæ ÚÈÏ Çááå ãÍãÏ ÇÈä ÚÈÏ Çááå ÇááæÇÊí ÇáØäÌí Èä ÈØæØÉý) (born February 24, 1304; year of death uncertain, possibly 1368 or 1377) was Arab Muslim Marinid  scholar and jurisprudent from the Maliki Madhhab (a school of Fiqh, or Sunni Islamic law), and at times a Qadi or judge. However, he is best known as a traveler and explorer, whose account documents his travels and excursions over a period of almost thirty years, covering some 73,000 miles (117,000 km). These journeys covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world and beyond, extending from North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors and his near-contemporary Marco Polo. At the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco, Abu Inan Faris, several years after his return, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar named Ibn Juzayy, whom he had met while in Granada. This account, recorded by Ibn Juzayy and interspersed with the latter’s own comments, is the primary source of information for his adventures. The title of this initial manuscript ÊÍÝÉ ÇáäÙÇÑ Ýí ÛÑÇÆÈ ÇáÃãÕÇÑ æÚÌÇÆÈ ÇáÃÓÝÇÑ may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling but is often simply referred to as the Rihla ÇáÑÍáÉ, or “Journey”. Whilst apparently fictional in places, the Rihla still gives as complete an account as exists of some parts of the world in the 14th century.
Almost all that is known about Ibn Battuta’s life comes from one source—Ibn Battuta himself. In some places, the things he claims he saw or did are probably fanciful, but in many others, there is no way to know whether he is reporting or storytelling. However, due to the complexity and thoroughness of his accounts, we are left to assume that his chronicles were in fact true.
An impact crater on the moon, the Ibn Battuta crater, is named after him. A themed shopping mall in Dubai, the Ibn Battuta Mall, also bears his name, with some of his earlier research and inventions in displays scattered throughout its corridors.
Izak J H Hough
Member of The Nautical Research Guild