The Spears of the Party of the Merciful against the Throats of the Party of the Reviled


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. Sufis (mystics) form an important element in Islamic society, and al-Hājj 'Umar ibn Sa'id al-Futi‏ Tal (1797-1864) provides in this work an explanation of their mystical doctrine and practice. He also discusses recognizing pious and holy mystics as saints and the value of their intercession on behalf of believers. The text stresses the practice of the Tijaniyyah order. Displayed is a diagram explaining the religious life of the mystics, which revolves around the teaching of their master.

Last updated: October 10, 2014