Useful Stories and Verses as Sources for Guidance and Emulation


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. The ethical conduct of business and government is the subject of the exemplary stories contained in al-Fawā’id wa-al-Qalā’id (Useful stories and verses as sources for guidance and emulation). Abū ‘Alī al-Husn ibn ‘Alī al-Ahwāzī (died 1054) takes particular care to impress upon his readers the necessity of ethical behavior when occupying an official position.

Last updated: January 8, 2018