Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Timbuktu in Mali

Founded by the Tuareg nomads in the 12th century, Timbuktu is a city situated in the West African nation of Mali. This legendary city was founded as a commercial centre in West Africa.

Based on the archaeological work done by many experts in the region, it was discovered that the massive prehistoric urban society of Timbuktu region persisted for around 1500 years ago (500BC-AD1000) longer than many of the better known older world civilization.

Starting from the 14th century, Timbuktu became a renowned centre of Islamic studies. Not only were books brought there, but local scholars also wrote their own works in order to teach the sciences and literature and to satisfy the demand for scholarly books in areas such as law, Koranic studies, the traditions of the Prophet, theology, and the Arabic language.

The Kingdom of Mali’s Islamic rulers built 180 Koranic schools in the city and black Africa’s greatest Islamic university, Sankore. The population swelled to 100,000 by 1450, including 25,000 Muslim scholars from as far away as Cairo. The Tariqh al-Sudan, a history of Timbuktu written in the seventeenth century, described the city as “a refuge of scholarly and righteous folk, a haunt of saints and ascetics, and a meeting place for caravans and boats.”

A famous Muslim traveler from Spain, Leo Africanus, wrote about visiting Timbuktu in the fifteenth century. He called the royal court “magnificent,” and noted that the king “greatly honors learning.”

Timbuktu had experience the rule of different tsars under different empires, starting under Ghana Empire and later ruled under Mali Empire in the early 14th century, to Songhai Empire who absorbed the city in 1468 and finally to ill fated Moroccan conquer in 1591.

Among the Emperors that ruled this great city, Mansa Musa (alsoknown as Kankan Musa) goes with the credit of developing the city of Timbuktu, making it a renowned Scholarly and commercial centre in the world history.
Timbuktu in Mali
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