The Desert Ship (image and text from IslamicArt)
Muslim civilization always has been mobile.
Both the Arabs and the various non-Arab conquerors from Central Asia were originally nomadic and inherited a tradition of travel.
And the Faith of Islam imposed upon the Faithful the most powerful of all motives for travel, performance of the hajj or pilgrimage.
In the harsh conditions and inhospitable countryside of most Islamic countries, travelers had a frequent need for places of rest and shelter in areas between the widely spaced cities and towns.
This led to the construction of caravanserais (Merchants' Inns).
The word 'caravanserai' is derived from the Persian "karwan" which signifies a company, or "caravan" of travelers in a serai (large inn).
Muslim rulers often built and maintained serais on major travel routes to foster the political cohesion, trade safety, and economic growth of their kingdoms.
(Tribute to a travelling CSA)