Certificate of Emancipation for Female Slave


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. “‘Itq Raqīqah” (Certificate of emancipation for female slave) gives a detailed physical description of a woman who is being granted her freedom by her owner. The document is drawn up in the manner prescribed by Islamic law.

Last updated: April 28, 2015