Camel Caravan

The caravan passes. A Camel Caravan from Somalia, photographed on the beach in Kenya. © alles-schlumpf

by Islam El Shazly

For as far back as the human memory can travel in time, there has always been explorers and exploration. Had there been no curiosity about what lay behind the walls of the village or the entrance to a cave, civilisations would have never emerged and we would not be where we are.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it did wonders for the children of Adam.

The world knows of Christopher Columbus, Magellan, Cook, and da Gama, but there are lots more, just look at the Wikipedia page for Explorers and you will realize just how many there has been throughout the ages.

However, few know that all these famous explorers that came in the 15th century, and all the expeditions they lead would have never been possible without the maps and navigation instruments invented by the Muslim scientists. And fewer still know that these 15th Century explorers were for the most part closer to pirates than explorers. All they cared about was gold and slaves and millions died as a result.

Exploration and travel in Islam have etiquette; travelling is not just for the sake of it, one has to learn and contemplate, to gain knowledge and increase wealth. As with everything in Islam, it all goes back to how good or bad one’s intention is.

The age of discovery for the Muslims started after the Muslim Conquests in the 7th century, an early form of globalization began emerging during the Islamic Golden Age, when the knowledge, trade and economies from many previously isolated regions and civilizations began integrating due to contacts with Muslim explorers, sailors, scholars, traders, and travellers. Source

Pax Islamica was born.

There has been many Muslim explorers, travellers, geographers, navigators and cartographers since then; some famous like Ibn Battuta, and some forgotten, we will try to retell their stories and voyages.

Their curiosity, tenacity, honesty, and spirit brought us here.

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