Journey to Mecca: Ibn Battuta
Shams al-Din Abu 'Abdallah Muhammad ibn 'Abdallah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Yusuf al-Lawati al-Tanji Ibn Battuta was born Feb. 27, 1304, Tangier, Morocco. Died 1368/69.
Noted Arab traveler and writer. He received a traditional juristic and literary education in Tangier. After a pilgrimage to Mecca (1325), he decided to visit as many parts of the world as possible, vowing ‘never to travel any road a second time.'
He was the greatest traveler of his age. His almost 30 year wanderings took him to Spain, Russia, Turkey, Persia, India, China and all the Arab lands. His description of the religious, political and social conditions of the lands he visited - in some cases the only record - give insight into medieval Eastern civilization. On his return, he dictated his reminiscences, which became one of the world's most famous travel books, the Rihla. Authorities who estimate Ibn Battuta's journeys at more than 75,000 miles say that the distance was not exceeded by anyone - including Marco Polo, Magellan or Columbus - until the age of steam.
An impact crater on the moon was named after Ibn Battuta by the International Astronomical Union in 1974, as well as a themed shopping mall in Dubai, an airport in Tangier and a ferry which crosses between Spain and Morocco, among others.