Jerusalem

One of the most contested cities in the history of the Abrahamic faiths is Jerusalem. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all lay claim to the city, each citing a religious text to support the assertion. As a result, Jerusalem has also borne witness to some of the harshest wars fought between followers of these religions. During […]

Wasit

The town of Wasit was in its prime during the medieval period during which Ibn Battuta visited the city. Many scholars debate over the exact origins of the city. It has been determined that it was in the 8th century that the city came to importance because it was the seat of the Umayyad government […]

Jeddah

Jeddah is one of the most important ports in Arabia. The town is said to have had inhabitants for nearly 3,000 years [1]. During the time that the Prophet Mohammed was alive, Islam was brought to the town. In medieval periods, it was common for merchants to stop here because it was on the route […]

Halab (Aleppo)

Known in English as Aleppo and in Arabic as Halab, Aleppo is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its history dates back to pre-Islamic times when it was an urban center. During the Muslim Abbasid caliphate, Aleppo became a provincial center, and was consequently deprived of any authoritative or administrative powers [1]. In […]

Antalya

The city of Antalya has passed through numerous empires. Once part of the Byzantine Empire, Antalya was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 13th century. By the 14th century the Ottomans were starting to take control of current day Turkey, seizing Antalya and the surrounding areas. It was not until the 15th century that […]

Constantinople

Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul are three different names for one city. Founded nearly 3 millenia ago, the city was known as Byzantium by the 7th century B.C.E. Then, during the Roman Empire, the emperor Constantine revived the city and named it after himself, Constantinople. It was then named the capital of the Roman Empire. After the […]

Baghdad

The city of Baghdad dates back to Babylonian times, but only gained large importance after the creation of Islam. During the Abbasid Caliphate, Baghdad transformed from a tiny Persian city into a bustling capital. During this time, Baghdad was not only a political center, but also a hub of education, medicine, arts, and science. One […]

Mecca

Mecca is the holiest city in all of Islam. Muslims pray in the direction of Mecca, and they are obliged to do the pilgrimage or al-Hajj once in their life. This includes an extensive ceremony of rituals based upon the father of all Abrahamic faiths, Abraham. There are many rituals that go along with the […]

Al-Najaf

After the Prophet Muhammad died in 632 CE there was a disagreement as to who should be in charge of the Islamic state. Most believed it ought to be Abu Bakr,Muhammad’s closest friend. Indeed, this was the case, and Abu Bakr became the first caliph of the “Rashidun,” or the ‘rightly-guided.’ ¬†However, a minority believed […]

Medina, Saudi Arabia

Medina is the second holiest city in all of Islam because this is the city where the Prophet Muhammad led his followers in order to create the Islamic state and to escape religious persecution from the Meccans. Medina was formerly called Yathrib. Muhammad converted many of the people of Medina to Islam, but had trouble […]

Damascus

The second most important city in the Mamluk dynasty was Damascus, and it was their capital in Asia. Damascus was a beautiful city that was thought of as the “earthly equivalent of Paradise” [1]. Ross Dunn notes in his book The Adventures of Ibn Battuta that there had been a time when Damascus had suffered […]