The history of the gold trade between India and the Middle East is well documented in ancient sources. Some of the early gold trade routes are detailed in the handbook of Ibn Battuta. Others are more obscure. The first of these trade routes dates back to c. 950 BCE.
Throughout his life, Ibn Battuta had several adventures. He visited Persia, Iraq, and North Africa. He also made several trips across the Sahara and made a stop in the Mali Empire. He also visited Timbuktu.
Battuta set off on his journey in 1325. He had his law degree with him and a donkey for companionship. He was sickly during this time and tied himself to the saddle, to avoid collapsing. During one of his stops, he married a young woman. Over the course of his life, he married a total of ten women.
After returning home in 1349, Ibn Battuta visited the grave of his mother. Sadly, his mother had died a few months before his return. He also learned in Damascus that his father had died 15 years earlier. After his mother’s death, Ibn Battuta spent only a few days in Tangier before embarking on a trip through North Africa, Spain, and West Africa.
While on his travels, Ibn Battuta made several close calls. He was almost killed because of his association with a rebellious Sufi mystic. But the sultan rescued him, and he was soon appointed ambassador to the emperor of China. He then set sail for China in 1342 and arrived in southern China in 1346.
Ibn Battuta began traveling around the world at age twenty. The purpose of his journey was the Hajj (prayer to Mecca). It took him more than two years to travel and visit the equivalent of 44 modern nations. He met with many Muslim leaders, including those in Dar al-Islam.
The Middle East was an important part of the Silk Road sea routes. Trading between India and the Arab world started over 2000 years ago and was a key part of the Asia-Europe trade. The Arabs served as intermediaries and the spice trade was largely dominated by Arab merchants until the 15th century.
Ibn Battuta was born in Tangier, Morocco. His family was of Islamic origin, and he studied the Sharia, the Islamic sacred law. He traveled by sea and camel caravan, and he also traveled through Central Asia.
Ibn Battuta’s travels
The Travels of Ibn Battuta is a treasure trove of information on Asia’s ancient and medieval cultures and trading routes. This great geographer traveled to all Muslim rulers, China, India, and Sri Lanka. His journeys took him through more than 75,000 miles.
Battuta travelled through Syria during the height of the plague in 1348. He also traveled through Spain and Sardinia on the way to Tangier. In late 1348, he returned to Morocco and met up with other Muslim travelers. He also visited the city of Shiraz, which was renowned for its beautiful gardens. In addition to visiting the emperor, he traveled to Gao, Timbuktu, and Baghdad. From there, he took a ship to Yemen. While there, he survived a storm on the ship.
Travelling for nearly 30 years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the Islamic world. His trips spanned 75,000 miles and he dictated his account to a scribe. The Travels of Ibn Battuta provide the most comprehensive eyewitness account of Muslim culture in the 14th century. While many of us have heard about Marco Polo, you might not be aware of Ibn Battuta’ travels.
The first part of Battuta’s journey to the edge of the known world lasted about three years. After that, he returned to Tangier, where he stayed only a short time. Later, he visited the Spanish coast and traveled across the Sahara to visit the Mali Empire and the city of Timbuktu.
Although Battuta did not keep journals during his journeys, he was ordered by the Moroccan sultan to compile a travelogue. He dictated his experiences to Ibn Juzayy, who wrote the account down. This oral history became the Rihla, which is Arabic for “travels”. It’s widely considered to be one of the most accurate depictions of Islamic life in the 14th century.
Ibn Battuta’s handbook
Ibn Battuta’ handbook on the history of gold trade between the Middle East and India is a fascinating book, as it provides the first detailed account of gold trade in the ancient world. The handbook also gives a detailed description of the city of Baghdad, where Ibn Battuta probably prayed. Ibn Battuta describes this city in detail, as well as the gold mines that he visited.
Ibn Battuta, the Muslim ambassador to the Indian subcontinent, was traveling to the coast from Delhi when he came across trouble. The rule of Sultan Ibn Tugh-luq was falling apart, and the roads were full of Hindu rebels. Ibn Battuta and his retinue had to battle with more than a thousand cavalrymen, and he lost. During one of these battles, Ibn Battuta was nearly killed.
Ibn Battuta’ handbook on the history of gold trade between the Middle East and India includes a description of the voyage. The Muslim sultan of Delhi welcomed Ibn Battuta with gifts, and the sultan was expected to extend hospitality to him. Ibn Battuta traveled with a harem and servants.
Ibn Battuta was a traveler, a merchant, and a scholar. He traveled in several countries during the late medieval period. During his travels, he met people from various cultures and countries. He later visited some of these places, and his handbook documents these encounters.
After leaving India, Ibn Battuta made his way to Persia and Mesopotamia, including Iran. He was a Muslim cosmopolitan, and the bazaars in these countries traded in goods from many countries. He also brought pearls from the Maldives and medicines from Tibet and imported iron, pistachios, and dye-wood from India and elsewhere.
His journey to Mecca was not without incident. He was on his third trip, and had travelled mostly by land. He had already endured long sea voyages, climbed high mountains in Yemen, and crossed the equator. He almost lost his life while he was traveling.
Conflict gold is extracted from mines in eastern Congo, where armed groups control the gold trade. These groups profit from illegal taxation, raiding mines, and collaboration with smugglers. Five to seven tons of gold are produced every year in the region, a significant portion of which ends up in the hands of armed groups. In addition, many of these armed groups are involved in human rights abuses, including rape and murder.
The United States, EU, and UN Security Council should investigate companies involved in conflict gold trade, and jewelry companies should stop buying from refiners that fail credible independent audits of conflict gold. These measures have had some success in cleaning up the trade in other conflict minerals. The UAE government should close loopholes in industry auditing programs, and it should tighten regulations in Dubai.
The UAE has lax due diligence policies, which have allowed armed groups in Africa to sell their gold in the UAE. This has contributed to the growth of the illegal gold trade in the region. Some armed groups in Sudan, Central African Republic, and DRC export gold to Dubai. The UAE could demand that couriers carrying conflict gold present documents proving that they are legitimate and have paid export taxes in order to export the gold.
The UAE is among the most important gold hubs. The majority of gold imported from the UAE is sold as jewelry and is exported to many countries, including the United States and India. The United Kingdom, for example, imported 1,208 tons of gold from six countries in 2016, including Switzerland, Canada, and South Africa. The United States was the next-largest gold exporter.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was passed in 2010, which expressed concern over the conflict gold trade and noted that the sale of conflict gold could help fund armed groups. As such, the Act required companies to file specialized disclosure reports annually with the SEC. It also provided for GAO assessment of the SEC’s regulations.
In East Africa, gold trade has historically relied on hand-carrying. The UAE is a major buyer of Ugandan gold. In one case, an East African trader had over 14 kilograms of gold stolen from an air freight container bound for Dubai.