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Ibn Battuta’s Memoir on Tughlaq Dynasty

14-SEP-2015 11:48

    The full name of Ibn Battuta was Muhammad Ibn Battuta. He was born on February 25, 1304 in medieval era in Islamic family. By profession he was a Geographer, Jurist, Judge and an Explorer. His travelling left out an exclusive note on Tughlaq dynasty. These notes can be found or read out in his travel memoir.

    About Ibn Battuta

    • In 1325, when Ibn Battuta was 20 years old, he started travelling, as he wanted to go on a Pilgrimage to Mecca, which is called as Hajj as all Muslims wanted to go there so he was also interested to go there. But, in actual his travelling time went to about 29 years and during which he almost covered 75,000 miles distance, and this was actually equivalent to that of 44 modern countries.
    • During his travelling, he had much adventurous life, and also he met with many dangers on his way, like once he was attacked by bandits, and once he was almost drowned in a sinking ship. He had a few marriages, lovers during his travelling and he also became the father of several children, all this happened during his travelling.
    • Today we can easily read the travelling stories of Ibn Battuta in “Rihla- My Travels”, which was written on the insist of the Sultan of Morocco, during the end time of Ibn Battuta's life.
    • Dal al-Islam is the area inside the black border was made by Ibn Battuta, as he mainly travelled to those countries which had a Muslim rule.
    • He also had made or established many small Muslim communities, during his travel in various regions of the world.

    Ibn Battuta’s Memoir

    Arrival in India: In 1334, Ibn Battuta arrived in India all the way through the mountains of Afghanistan, during the time when Tughlaq dynasty was at its height.

    On his approach towards Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq, he learnt that the great Sultan liked to take gifts from his visitors, and in return the Sultan, used to give gifts, which are of far superior worth to visitors.

    Ibn Battuta, on meeting with Muhammad bin Tughluq, presented him with arrows, camels, thirty horses, slaves and some other goods. In return Muhammad bin Tughlaq responded him with a welcoming gift of 2,000 silver dinars, a furnished house and the job of a judge with an annual salary of 5,000 silver dinars.

    Memories about Tughlaq dynasty:

    In the memories of Tughlaq dynasty, Ibn Batutta studied and wrote about the history of the famous Qutb complex, and also about Quwat al-Islam Mosque and last but not the least about the famous Qutb Minar.

    Famine:  Ibn Batutta also noted about the long famine which lasted for about seven year from 1335 AD, which killed many people near Delhi, and during this time the Sultan was busy in attacking the rebellions.

    Torture during Tughlaq dynastry:

    • The sultan was tough both against non-Muslims and Muslims. For this consider an example, a week was not passed without the spilling of Muslim blood and the running of streams of gore ahead of the entrance of his palace, which included the cutting of people in half, skinning them alive, chopping off their heads and displaying them on poles or making prisoners tossed about by elephants with swords attached to their tusks - which is a warning sign to other people.

    This was all written in the Ibn Battuta, Travel Memoirs, of the year 1334 to 1341, and the place was Delhi.

    • Even the Sultan was ready to shed blood of people at any time. He used to punish people of his empire on small faults. Without the respect of persons, whether the fault is of anyone, they were brought to his hall, and punished.

    This was from, Chapter XV Rihla, and the place was Delhi

    • In Tughlaq dynasty, the punishments were even given to those people who were of Muslim religion, and were suspected as a rebellion. Consider an example, of Sheikh Shinab al-Din, this briefly explains the way he was imprisoned and tortured: On fourteenth day of prosecution, the Sultan sent him food, but Sheikh Shinab al-Din, refused to eat it. After that, when the Sultan heard this that sheikh Shinab al-din has refused to eat, then was ill treated by Sultan.

     This was all written in the Ibn Battuta, Travel Memoirs, of the year from 1334 to 1341, and the place was Delhi.

    • Ibn Batutta also wrote that when he was in Delhi, the Sultan's officials demanded bribes from him, and also deducted 10% of sums from the gifts which was given to him by the Sultan.
    • Ibn Battuta developed a friendship with a Sufi Muslim holy man, during his end term of stay in Tughalq dynastry , but after hearing this the Sultan ordered to arrest both. After sometime Sultan allowed Ibn Battuta to take his depart from India, but the Sufi Muslim was killed. The way he was killed is described as follows: The Sultan used to pluck the beard of the holy man's hair by hair, and then made him to get banished from Delhi. After a while the Sultan ordered Holy man to return to court, but he refused. Then, the man was arrested, tortured in the most horrible way, and then beheaded.

     This was all written in the Ibn Battuta, Travel Memoirs, of the year from 1334 to 1341, and the place was Delhi.

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