Feeling nervous on the eve of a 14-hour flight to Delhi, with mobile phone and insurance, it is difficult to imagine the state of mind of a man leaving his home in Morocco for for 29 years of wandering. It is these that this abridged version of the "Rihla" provides. The world he roams was not entirely Islamic, but his fith, though perhaps the prism through which he saw and judged, was also his "meal ticket", and a not very profound grasp of Islamic jurisprudence seemed to gain him positions of power and influence wherever he went. Where he went was along the North African Coast to Egypt, thence to Asia Minor, the Mecca for the hadj, then along the Persion/Arab gulf, spending a lot of time in India, particularly at the court of Delhi, with forays into ceylon/Sri Lank, the Maldives, North India/Assam China, whence he returned to his native Morocco, before making a final trip into "black" (Sub-Saharan) Africa.
Among other things, this is a book about the generosity of Princes, for at each juncture, he was offered clothes and accommodation that enabled him to maintain his position and status.
There were at the time, two competing world visions, that of Europe and the Islamic world. However vast Europe may feel now, the late mediaeval Islamic world offered a more coherent space, and despite the limitations religion placed on cultural relativism, possibly a more open one.