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The Travels of Ibn Jubayr

The Travels of Ibn Jubayr

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One day in the year A.D. 1182, the Moorish Governor of Granada summoned his secretary to undertake some business. The incumbent of this post was Abu al-Husayn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Jubayr, who was born in 1145 in Valencia.

On the 3rd February 1183, Ibn Jubayr was accompanied by a physician and departed on his travels. He made daily recordings of strange events and places, notable people and customs that he observed when roaming around the medieval eastern scene before returning to Spain in 1185.

Embarking on a Genoese ship, he arrived in Egypt and ascended the Nile, whilst describing the ancient sites before his eyes. Ibn Jubayr then travelled to the Red Sea and arrived at the Holy Cities of Arabia. With precise and reverent detail he describes the Great Mosque of Mecca and its holy of holies, the Ka’bah, and then unfolds the unchanging pilgrim rites that Muslims from all quarters of the earth must seek, if they have the means, at least once in a lifetime to discharge.

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