The “Safarnam-e-Roum-wa-Shaam-wa-Masr” of Allama Shibli is even today considered one of Urdu language’s classics. The journey to the Ottoman Empire covering parts of what is now Turkey, and parts of Syria and Egypt, was begun in 1892, by the legendary scholar, Allama Shibli Numani. The book is now available in Arabic and in English as well.

All images and pictures used in Part-1 are taken by me during my 2016 journey to Istanbul and Antalya.

This episode deals with Shibli’s experiences of Turkish manners and demeanour during his travels.

An English podcast available at… attempts to explain Shibli and as a person and salient features of the Travelogue by Gregory Maxwell Bruce, who translated this epic from Urdu to English.

The following is Part-2 in continuation of the above clip

This episode, which is a continuation from a previous part, on the fine manners and demeanor of the Turks as observed by Allama Shibli, deals with their way of eating, and many other social customs. Shibli notes his satisfaction at the way a visitor can gain entry into Turkish homes. Shibli expresses his pleasure at the way one is treated when visiting a person at his home for a meeting. He observes, “One does not have to pace about the veranda outside the grounds and wait a long time like the English.” On the unique manner in which the Turks make Salaam, Shibli points out that it has a benefit in that one neither has to lower oneself to bow, nor is Asian reverence and etiquette abandoned. But, on the manner of doing salaam in an assembly he states that it is just like the custom in Lucknow. Commenting on this, he says, “Who knows who taught soldiers like the Turks this Lucknowi formality?” On their manner of dressing, Shibli notes that the dresses are entirely European. Shibli likes an invention that the Turks have made in the boots the Turks wear, which allows their leather socks to detach from the boot when they return home, ensuring the carpets do not get soiled. What struck Shibli most about the social life of the Turks is that there is no sign of needless pomp and show. He notes that simplicity is found in the houses as well as in all matters of social life, adding that, “With respect to the status of people such as ·Usman Pasha, Darwesh Pasha. and Zaki Pasha, their houses should be at least the Falaknuma and Bashir Bagh of Hyderabad but they are not even of the standard of the mansion of our Maulawi Mahdi ‘Ali Khan Sahib. A remarkable observation that Shibli makes is, “The Turks are entitled to whatever pride they take in the fact that they have not abandoned their soldiership after spending six hundred years in the shadow of the sultanate. However, the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ummayids (the Andalusians), and Timurids, in just one or two hundred years, had become quite pleasure-seeking.” The first part is available here: The complete series of episodes of the Safarnamah published this far, consisting of 28 episodes, can be viewed from this link: