Thursday, April 20

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part I: The Travel Writer

"According to later chroniclers, if they can be believed, the adventure of Ibn Jubayr, one of the most illustrious rahhala, or travelers, from Al-Andalus to destinations throughout the Mediterranean and farther east, began in the year 1183 with a repugnant challenge. To name him in full, Abu al-Husayn Muhammad ibn Ahmad Ibn Jubayr al-Kinani served as secretary in the palace of Granada’s governor, Abu Said Osman, son of the first Almohad caliph, Abd al-Mu’min. As the story goes, at one point while dictating a letter, the prince coerced him to drink seven cups of wine, forbidden to Muslims. In exchange, the prince granted him seven cups of gold dinars. To seek expiation of his sin—and perhaps to make a hasty exit from the court—this otherwise most pious Muslim scholar set out to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam by making the long pilgrimage to Makkah. ..."
Aramco World

2016 March: Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part VI: The Double Lives of Ibn al-Khatib