The city of Baghdad; its description by Ibn Jubair [ رحلة ابن بطوطة ج (تحفة النظار في غرائب الأمصار وعجائب الأسفار) ]



(Baghdad, 1327) (Places / Literature)
The City of Baghdad, city of the Abode of Peace and capital of al-Islam, of illustrious rank and supreme pre-eminence, abode of Caliphs and residence of scholars. Abu’l-Hasan Ibn Jubair (God be pleased with him) has said: ‘And this illustrious city, although she still remains the capital of the ‘Abbasid Caliphate, and centre of allegiance to the Imams of Quraish, yet her outward lineaments have departed and nothing remains of her but the name. By comparison with her former state, before the assault of misfortunes upon her and the fixing of the eyes (100) of calamities in her direction, she is as the vanishing trace of an encampment or the image of the departing dream-visitant. There is no beauty in her that arrests the eye, or summons the busy passer-by to forget his business and to gaze—except the Tigris, which lies between her eastern and western [quarters] like a mirror set off between two panels, or a necklace ranged between two breasts; she goes down to drink of it and never [327] suffers thirst, and views herself by it in a polished mirror that never suffers rust; and between her air and her water feminine beauty is brought to its flowering.’