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The Desire of the Aspirant
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. In Munyat al-murīd (The desire of the aspirant), Baba ibn Ahmad al-Alawi al-Maliki al-Maghribi al-Shingiti presents an explanation of ...