Ibn Battuta

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Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi's diagram of linear motion from circular motion In the Early Middle Ages, before the formation of the Islamic Empire, Buddhists ran the world's biggest universities. One was in India, at Nalanda. Another was in what is now Pakistan, at Taxila. In Egypt, the University of Alexandria was still an important center of learning, too. Most serious scholars went to [...]

History of the hajj – Islamic religion

By |2017-07-26T23:17:45+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Religion|

Mohammed praying at the Ka'aba(in an Ottoman book from 1388 AD) From the very beginnings of Islam, in the 600s AD, Muslims believed that Allah wanted them to go to Mecca to pray at the Kaaba at least once in their lifetime. They called this trip the hajj. Most people were too poor to afford such a long and [...]

Islamic geographers – Medieval Islam

By |2018-04-18T09:54:08+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam, Science|

al-Idrisi's map of the world (1100s AD) Many people in the Islamic Empire were rich enough to send their sons to college, and so the big university at Alexandria in Egypt stayed open, though it moved to the new town of Cairo. A new university also opened up in Baghdad, near ancient Babylon (modern Iraq), and there were smaller universities in Tunis (in Tunisia [...]

Marinids – Medieval African history

By |2018-04-23T15:28:43+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Shirij Madrasa, Fez, Morocco, about 1350 AD By 1217 AD, the Almohad dynasty was collapsing. One of the generals, Abu Yusuf, took over control of Morocco and made himself Sultan. That started the Marinid dynasty. All the Marinid rulers were army men like Abu Yusef,. They were mostly cavalry riders. A tour of Fez The Marinids made [...]

Old World Cotton History – India, Africa, Asia, Europe

By |2018-04-18T19:35:05+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing, India|

India cotton bolls hanging from the plants India cotton farming About 2500 BC, a thousand years after people started to grow cotton in Peru, the Harappan people in India also started to grow cotton. We know because people wrote about cotton in the Rig Veda, and that was written about 600 BC in [...]

Ibn Battuta in China

By |2018-04-11T23:56:06+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

Ibn Battuta on his travels Continuing travels of Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta had already traveled much more than most people did! But even after visiting East Africa he didn't go home to Morocco. Ibn Battuta rested for a few months in Mecca, and then he heard that the Sultan of India had good jobs for [...]

Ibn Battuta

By |2018-04-11T23:50:08+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

The travels of Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta was born in Morocco, in North Africa, in 1304 AD. He was from a rich Muslim family, and he went to the best schools in his hometown of Tangier. When Ibn Battuta was twenty years old, in 1325, he went on hajj to Mecca, as many rich young [...]

East African History

By |2018-04-03T09:08:46+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History|

East African history: Debre Dano Christian church (Ethiopia, 500s AD) East Africa trading on the Indian Ocean Because it is on the coast, East Africa had contacts with India and Egypt and West Asia, and even with China, long before other parts of Africa did. The earliest written evidence we have about East Africa [...]