The Authoritative Source for Religious Scholars


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. Kitāb ‘Umdat al-‘Ulamā’ (The authoritative source for religious scholars) argues for the primacy of the ulama (Islamic scholars) in deciding issues facing Islamic states and societies.

Last updated: January 8, 2018