One of the first things you learn about medival Islam is that the four schools of Sunni Islam mattered much more then than they do today. Ibn B as a North African was Maliki which is austere, but not quite as austere as Hanbali. Shafi, which was the main school in Damascus at the time, and Hanafi schools are more ‘liberal’. Ibn Battuta often relates amusing tales of disputes between various qadis - perhaps because he became one himself. Here he relates a story about the famous Islamic theologian, Taqi ad-Din Taimiya, who was frequently imprisoned by the authorities for his conduct and pronouncements.
“There was living in Damascus a certain Taqi ad-Din Taimiya, one of the principal Hanbalite doctors there, a man greatly esteemed and able to discourse on various sciences, but with some kink in his brain.”
It starts well, don’t you think?