Names Found in the First Volume of The Travels of Ibn Baṭūṭṭa, as translated by H. A. R. Gibb
collected and arranged by Basil Dragonstrike


In around 1325 Abū ‘Abdallāh Muḥammad b. ‘Abdallāh b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Yūsuf, generally known as Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, left his home in Ṭanja, now known as Tangier, to perform the ḥajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah that is a pillar of Islam. Ibn Baṭṭūṭa would eventually traverse much of Islamdom before returning home and dictating his memoirs of that journey. In around 1958 H. A. R. Gibb translated those memoirs into a four volume work, which he titled The Travels of Ibn Baṭṭūṭa. This article contains names collected from volume 1.

I have limited myself to collecting names only from the first volume for two reasons. The first is the practical one of time and effort; there are (as you will see) an enormous number of names  from just one-fourth of Ibn Baṭūṭṭa's work. I simply don't have the time to go through all four volumes, copy the names, proofread them (two or three times!), break them into their various elements, and collect and arrange it all.

The second one is that, simply put, my primary interest is in Arabic names as such, and secondarily in names throughout medieval Islamdom. Due to various events and trends of the approximately 4 centuries before Ibn Baṭuṭṭa's day, many of the powerful persons in Islamdom except west of Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula, were Turks. While they largely used Arabic naming practices, and Arabic names, quite a number of Turkish names and Arabicized versions of Turkish names were used, quite often in mixed Arabic/Turkish names.

This is important for this article because Ibn Baṭṭūṭa was something of an elitist. There is scarcely one name of a slave, a servant, an ordinary worker, a common soldier, or a small businessman in his memoir. Everybody named is important and influential, whether politically or religiously. And, many of them were Turks or part Turkish.

But there were few Turks in positions of power in North Africa west of Egypt, and in the Arabic Peninsula. Which is where Ibn Baṭṭūṭa traveled in the times covered by the first volume. Specifically, he traveled from Tangier across North Africa into Egypt, into the Levant, down to Makkah, and across Arabia to lower Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). Thus, most of the first volume is spent outside the areas of Turkish influence; the other three volumes are spent mostly within areas of Turkish influence. Since I am looking primarily for Arabic names, I thought it best to use only the first volume of The Travels of Ibn Baṭūṭṭa. Note as well, that there was a noticeable Persian influence, and Persian, Arabicized Persian (and Persianized Arabic!) names may be represented.

Since I don't know enough to reliably separate out the Turkish (and Persian) names, please treat this list as "Islamic names found in the 14th century in North Africa, Egypt, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula".

A note on transliteration: H. A. R. Gibb has followed, in the main, the LOC/ALA transliteration scheme. However, he has not in a few instances:
He always uses ‘Abdallāh instead of the classically correct ‘Abd Allāh
He usually uses ‘Omar instead of the classically correct ‘Umar
He usually uses ‘Othmān instead of the classically correct ‘Uthmān
There are a few typos which I have noted in the following lists

A note on the form of this article: I have arranged the names I found into a number of different lists, and put each list on its own page. There is one page for isms (essentially given names), one for laqabs/nisbas (bynames), and one for al-Dīn-style honorific names. As well, there is a list of complete names taken directly from the book, and examples of people refered to by more than one name. Some of these pages have more than one list, and further information is provided on each page.