Posts Tagged ‘Ibn Fadlān’

Ibn Fadlān

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

My Muslim hero is Ibn Fadlān, a 10th-century travel writer from Baghdad. In June 921CE he set off as part of an embassy sent by the caliph Muqtadir to the Volga Bulghārs. This semi-nomadic Turkic speaking people were recent converts to Islam. Their leader had sent a request to the caliph for Islamic instruction and help building a Mosque.

Despite living so long ago, Ibn Fadlān’s account of his journey feels fresh and modern. I admire him because he made a great effort to understand what he saw and record it. His descriptions of those he met are a gift to us nearly a thousand years later. They remind us that wherever you go in the world, people are people. We are all part of one human race.