February 1304 (Rajab 703) : Haji Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was born in Tangiers, Morocco
June 1325 (Rajab 725) : Started his journey from Tangiers. His intention of the journey was perform Haj and visit the tomb of prophet (peace be upon him). He sets out with a very heavy heart due being seperated from his parents. He never sees them again.
Year 1325 ( 725) : Crosses into modern day Algeria, the first destination of Ibn Battuta when he set out on his voyage.
Enters Tlemcen and mentions performing Salaathul Istikhara on making a decision to accompany the tow two ambassadors of the Sultan of Tunis
After leaving Tlemcen, Ibn Battuta arrived at Miliana where he caught up with the Ifriqiyans. Miliana was a small commercial centre located in the Zaccar Hills. He stayed on in Miliana for over 10 days because his fellow travellers fell sick. On the eleventh day he continued with his journey with the other Ifriqiyan merchants down the Zaccar hills towards the port of Algiers.
An attractive city, Algiers is the capital of Algeria. Ibn Battuta after leaving Miliana arrived at the port of Algiers. During the 14th century Algiers did not hold much importance as it holds today. He camped outside the city walls for several days waiting for other fellow travellers who had fallen sick in Miliana to catch up. Once they did, the caravan left for the port of Bijaya.
After leaving Algiers, Ibn Battuta and his fellow travellers reached the Port of Béjaïa, which was then a city in the Hafsid Kingdom. A Mediterranean Port on the Gulf of Béjaïa in north-eastern Algeria, Béjaïa was a major international port in the 14th century. Their route took them towards the Grand Kabylie Mountains. After leaving Tlemcen, Béjaïa was the first city that Ibn Battuta explored.
Leaving Béjaïa, Ibn Battuta left with his fellow travellers to reach Constantine or Qusantînah, which was the next major city on the pilgrimage route. He crossed the Little Kabylie Mountains to arrive at Constantine. Even though there were a lot of troubles going on in the area, Ibn Battuta reached the city without many difficulties. He didn't camp in the city for a long time but had the opportunity of meeting the then governor of Constantine. The governor presented Ibn Battuta with alms making the meeting a memorable one.
After parting from Constantine, Ibn Battuta along with other travellers started heading towards the Mediterranean coast again for the Port of Bône and reached Annabaformerly known as Bône. It is located in the north-eastern corner of Algeria close to the River Seybouse and the Tunisian border. He camped in the safety of the city walls for several days and then started for Tunisia.
Travellling with two others, namely Al-Zubaydi and Abu-Al-Tayyib, Ibn Battuta the arrived in the capital Tunis.
Sousse is the next main city through which the caravan of Ibn Battuta passed after departing from Tunis.
After crossing Sousse the convoy of Ibn Battuta reached Sfax and then went on to Gabès.
On leaving Gabès, Ibn Battuta travelled towards south to reach Tripoli in Libya.
April 1326 (Jamadul Awwal 726)
After crossing Libya, Ibn Battuta with other Moroccan travellers, continued their journey towards Nile. They reached Alexandria, Egypt in April 1326 and Ibn Battuta stayed on to explore the Nile Valley leisurely as the next pilgrimage was eight months away. He went on to explore Cairo and other areas in Egypt.
For centuries the Nile has been the lifeline of Egypt. Ibn Battuta travelled along the Nile exploring several cities and ports. He spent almost three weeks in the April of 1326 along the Nile and was impressed by the extensive inhabitation along the banks of the river. Ibn Battuta mentioned in his Rihla about the convenience of offering prayers, shopping and finding food along the Nile.
On his way to Edfu, Ibn Battuta crossed several cities along the Nile including Minya. He crossed another lovely town, Qina. Ibn Battuta was highly impressed by, the beauty and the architecture of the buildings on the city.
Moving towards the port of Aydhab after leaving Qina, Ibn Battuta crossed the cities of Luxor, Esna and Edfu. From Esna he travelled a full day and a night crossing the desert to reach Edfu. Both these cities are located on the western bank of the Nile. In Edfu, Ibn Battuta crossed the Nile and journeyed with a group of Arab travellers to cross another stretch of desert reaching the city of Aydhab.
Arriving in Aydhab, Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta and his convoy realized the complexity of the political situation as well as the difficulties in crossing the Red Sea, hence they returned back to Cairo to take land route to Makkah. Ibn Battuta stayed just for a day in Cairo and started his journey towards Syria in July 1326. He crossed the Egypt frontier to enter the city of Gaza, which was the first main city of the Syrian territories at that time and then went on to Hebron in the West Bank.
From Hebron he proceeded to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
In his Rihla, Ibn Batutta states:
"On the way from Hebron to Jerusalem, I visited Bethlehem, the birthplace of Ias (A.S). The site is covered by a large building; the Christians regard it with intense veneration and hospitably entertain all who alight at it."
In Jerusalem he describes the magnificence of the Dome of the Rock and spent about a week in the city spending quality time at the Haram-al-Sharif.
From here, Ibn Battuta passed through Beirut and Tripoli, two cities in Lebanon. On his way to Beirut he passed through many cities like Askalon, Ramallah, Nabulus, Acre, Tyre, Sidon and Tiberias.
August 1326 (Ramadhan 726)
Ibn Battuta travelled for about 23 days to cover the distance between Jerusalem and the Syrian Capital, Damascus. In doing so he passed through Aleppo andLatakia and reached Damascus on 9th August 1326 (9 Ramadan 726 Hijri). He was awestruck by the beauty of it and writes "that it surpasses all other cities in beauty
Ibn Battuta in his Rihla also describes about the Islamic Institutions in the city where he studied for the time that he stayed. He stayed in Damascus for about 24 days before joining the Hajj caravan leaving for Makkah.
The Hajj caravan took him through some of the cities of the current day Jordan and reached Tabuk in Saudi Arabia. Tabuk was an important stop in those days on the land route to perform Hajj, coming from the North. The Pilgrim caravans would stop here to fully prepare to cross the harsh desert at high speed.