Series of talk held at Al Muntada Al-islami as part of the series, Travel literature – Discovery, Value and utilization, from April 23 2011 to April 28 2011

Remarks on Ibn Jubair’s Journey
Dr. Mohammed Mo’nes Awad
Prof. History & Islamic Cicilization Department
Sharjah University

Notes prepared by Jaihoon

Travelers understand what others don’t understand. Travel is a unique source of information of historical importance.

Ibn Jubair, the famous Andulasian traveler, had a high level of observation and analysis. He recorded everything he saw.

He also talks about commerce and transportation. He has expressed the psychology of his period. His notes are video clips of that era.

Ibn Jubair was the fruit of previous scholars’ hard work. He was the peak of Arab travel writing.

He was a religious man.

He has talked about the educational development of his times.

There was constant fight between Christian Crusades and Muslims during his times.

Nuruddin Mahmud Zangi established schools for children

Schools of Muslims preceded universities of Europe.

He also praised Salahuddin Al Ayyubi and Nuruddin Mahmud Zangi for their contributions to protection of Muslim Ummah.

The crusades became impressed with Salaahuddin and many embraced Islam seeing his manners

The crusades had many moral weaknesses. They had special areas for prostitution.

The crusades had complete colonial master plan to convert Muslims to Christianity. But after Battle of Hattin, 4 July 1187, many of them converted to Islam.

He also talked about the conflicts between Shia and Sunni sects within Muslims.

When Muslims left Spain, they left behind educational institutions. When crusades left, the left over was only military buildings.

When Salahddin deafeated the crusades, they became captives of his admiration and islamic civilization.

Ibn Jubair’s literary text is a unique mixing history with geography. Many words had made its way from Arabic to European languages and vice versa.

We should have a development project to promote scientific learning in Arab World. In the middle ages we were the center of Learning. Our goal should be to educate each Arab Muslim. The main problem is Arabs are far away from books. We should stop importing and start exporting knowledge. Every year 100,000 docs and engineers leave Arab country for Europe.

Israel has many research centers.

Each should read Ibn Jubair to gain observation from our past. He was humble and modest. We can see Salahuddin walking in front of us when we read this book.

posted : April 24 2011