Author: Aomar Boum

Located in West Africa near the river Niger in the country of Mali, Timbuktu developed as an important trading center of the Empire of Mali in the fourteenth century. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, under the Songhai Empire, the city became one of the most prosperous trans

autumn they went back to their homes in Arawan. At last they settled definitely on the site of this town. Timbuktu became an important commercial centre; travellers reached it either by the river or by caravans from the coast of Morocco and Tripolitania. The people of Wag̲h̲daw migrated thither in

Al-Sa‘dī's Ta’rīkh Al-sūdān down to 1613 and other Contemporary Documents
Author: John Hunwick
The principal text translated in this volume is the Ta’rīkh Al-sūdān of the seventeenth-century Timbuktu scholar ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sa‘dī. Thirty chapters are included, dealing with the history of Timbuktu and Jenne, their scholars, and the political history of the Songhay empire from the reign of Sunni ‘Alī (1464-1492) through Moroccan conquest of Songhay in 1591 and down to the year 1613 when the Pashalik of Timbuktu became an autonomous ruling institution in the Middle Niger region. The year 1613 also marked the effective end of Songhay resistance. The other contemporary documents included are a new English translation of Leo Africanus's description of West Africa, some letters relating to Sa‘dīan diplomacy and conquests in the Sahara and Sahel, al-Ifrānī's account of Sa‘dīan conquest of Songhay, and an account of this expedition by an anonymous Spaniard.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.
Al-Sa‘dī's Ta’rīkh al-sūdān down to 1613 and other Contemporary Documents
Author: Hunwick
The principal text translated in this volume is the Ta’rīkh Al-sūdān of the seventeenth-century Timbuktu scholar ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sa‘dī. Thirty chapters are included, dealing with the history of Timbuktu and Jenne, their scholars, and the political history of the Songhay empire from the reign of Sunni ‘Alī (1464-1492) through Moroccan conquest of Songhay in 1591 and down to the year 1613 when the Pashalik of Timbuktu became an autonomous ruling institution in the Middle Niger region. The year 1613 also marked the effective end of Songhay resistance. The other contemporary documents included are a new English translation of Leo Africanus's description of West Africa, some letters relating to Sa‘dīan diplomacy and conquests in the Sahara and Sahel, al-Ifrānī's account of Sa‘dīan conquest of Songhay, and an account of this expedition by an anonymous Spaniard.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.
2. Auflage
Über Jahrzehnte hin nahmen große Teile der deutschen Gesellschaft die Entwicklung in der Republik Mali kaum war. In politisch interessierten Kreisen galt der westafrikanische Binnenstaat bis zur Krise von 2012 als politische »Vorzeigedemokratie« in Afrika. Nur wenige kulturinteressierte Reisende und moderne Abenteurer hatten jedoch zuvor die Große Moschee des UNESCO-Weltkulturerbes in Djenné aufgesucht, das legendäre Timbuktu besucht oder sich von der atemberaubenden Schönheit der unendlich wirkenden Wüste berauschen lassen. Mit dem Aufstand bewaffneter Gruppen im Norden des Landes und dem Militärputsch in der Hauptstadt Bamako im März 2012 änderte sich die Situation schlagartig. Der Einsatz französischer Streitkräfte im Januar, die Entsendung einer europäischen Ausbildungsmission (EUTM Mali) im Frühjahr sowie die Aufstellung einer robusten Mission der Vereinten Nationen (MINUSMA) im Sommer 2013 dynamisierten die Entwicklung schließlich noch weiter. Mali trat in das Blickfeld der Weltöffentlichkeit und wurde durch die Entscheidung des Deutschen Bundestages zum Einsatzgebiet der Bundeswehr. Der vorliegende Band verschafft das notwendige Hintergrundwissen, ohne das die aktuellen Ereignisse nur schwer einzuordnen sind. Mit dem »Wegweiser zur Geschichte: Mali« führt das Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr in Potsdam, das 2013 aus dem Militärgeschichtlichen Forschungsamt hervorgegangen ist, seine erfolgreiche Buchreihe fort. Die Bände bieten kurzgefasste, allgemeinverständliche und zuverlässige Informationen über die historischen, politischen sowie kulturellen Zusammenhänge in Krisenzonen, die in den Schlagzeilen der Weltpresse auftauchen. Namhafte Fachwissenschaftler und andere ausgewiesene Sachkenner stellen die Entwicklungen bis zur Gegenwart übersichtlich dar. Alle Bände sind durchgehend mit farbigen Karten und Abbildungen sowie einem Serviceteil ausgestattet, der eine Zeittafel, Literaturtipps und Internetlinks umfasst.

Timbuktu’s seventeenth-century tārīkhs : the Tārīkh al-Sūdān , the so-called Tārīkh al-fattāsh , and the Notice historique piqued the interest of Westerners since the mid nineteenth-century. 1 In 1853 Heinrich Barth obtained a copy of the Tārīkh al-Sūdān . Figaro journalist Felix

In: Islamic Africa
Brill’s Islam in Africa is designed to present the results of scholarly research into the many aspects of the history and present-day features of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The series will take up issues of religious and intellectual traditions, social significance and organization, and other aspects of the Islamic presence in Africa. It includes monographs, collaborative volumes and reference works by researchers from all relevant disciplines.

Obituary

John Hunwick (1936-2015)

Professor John Owen Hunwick, a leading scholarly authority on the history of Islam in West Africa, passed away on 1 April 2015, after a lengthy illness.

Born in 1936 in Somerset, England, John Hunwick came into contact with Africa as a conscript soldier in British Somaliland from 1955. Back in Britain, he studied Arabic and Islamic history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, graduating in Arabic in 1959. He then went to Ibadan in Nigeria to teach Arabic and the University College there. After several years in Nigeria, he became Associate Professor of History at the University of Ghana, before finally coming to Northwestern University in Evanston, USA (from 1991), where he taught African history and Islamic studies until his retirement in 2004.

Professor Hunwick was an authority of a wide variety of topics and periods of the history of Islam in Africa, in particular in the medieval and early modern periods. He will perhaps be most remembered for his relentless efforts to show that Africa’s past was replete with written sources, and not just the “oral history” that earlier generations of historians assumed. He worked both to collect manuscripts but not least to catalogue and disseminate knowledge about them. In Timbuktu, which came to be at the centre of his attention from the mid-1990s onwards, he will in particular be remembered as the instigator for the UNESCO-initiated Centre de Documentation et de Recherches Ahmed Baba. The centre, now Institute for Studies and Research (IHERI), is a repository of locally produced Arabic manuscripts of a wide variety of topics. Hunwick committed himself to disseminating knowledge of the rich literary heritage in Arabic from Africa, not least through the multi-volume bio-biographical dictionary Arabic Literature of Africa (Leiden: Brill from 1990, edited together with R.S. O’Fahey). He also initiated several journals for this purpose, from Research Bulletin of the Centre of Arabic Documentation in his Ibadan period, through the Fontes Historiae Africanae bulletin, to Sudanic Africa: A Journal of Historical Sources, where he published a large number of documents and biographical studies on important Muslim scholars.

Professor Hunwick published several monographs, the most important being a study of the sixteenth-century Moroccan scholar al-Maghili’s influence on Songhay and Hausaland, Shari’a in Songhay (his Ph.D. Oxford University Press 1985), and a commented translation of al-Saʿdī’s Taʾrīkh al-sūdān: Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire (Brill 1999). However, already from the early 1960s he produced a series of important articles that set the pattern for the study of Islam in West Africa from the medieval to the modern, including an important discussion on the early history of Gao in the Almoravid period, on Islamic law in Songhay, and on issues pertaining to Sufism and slavery. He emphasized the importance of Africa’s contacts across the Sahara, and coined the phrase that “Arabic is the Latin of Africa.” In 2005, the African Studies Association recognized his extraordinary achievements by endowing him with the Distinguished Africanist Award.

Professor Hunwick’s lasting contribution to the study of Islam and Africa includes the establishment of the first academic centre exclusively devoted to the Islamic intellectual tradition in Africa: the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA), founded in 1999 under the umbrella of Northwestern University’s Program of African Studies (PAS). He was able to attract significant grants for ISITA and built an impressive scholarly network around its activities. Always fond of puns, Hunwick used to say, “IS IT A good program? Yes, it is!” Indeed, the role of ISITA in promoting the study of Islam in Africa cannot be overestimated. For Brill Academic Publishers, Hunwick will—in addition to his publications mentioned above—be noted as the founder of the book series Islam in Africa (ISAF).

Professor Hunwick was an generous, welcoming and compassionate scholar, who made all effort to support scholars working in West African Islamic history, and in particular his many students, from Africa and elsewhere. He was for many of us the ultimate authority on any question relating to the use of Arabic in Africa, to issues of Shari’a in the African Maliki tradition, and to scholarliness in general. A veritable pioneer and trailblazer has left us, and those who used to stand on the shoulders of this giant will miss him dearly.

Professor Knut S. Vikør, University of Bergen, Norway
Professor Rüdiger Seesemann, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Manuscript Culture, Arabic Literacy and Intellectual History in Muslim Africa
Volume Editors: Graziano Krätli and Ghislaine Lydon
As the manuscript treasures in the libraries of Timbuktu and throughout the northwestern quarter of Africa become known, many questions are raised. How did a manuscript culture flourish in the Sahara and in Muslim Africa more generally? Under what conditions did African intellectuals thrive, and how did they acquire scholarly works and the writing paper necessary to contribute to knowledge? By exploring the history of the trans-Saharan book and paper trades, the scholarly production and teaching curriculae of African Muslims and the formation, preservation and codicology of library collections, the authors of this original volume provide a variety of answers. The select number of invited contributions represents current research in the material, technological, economic, and cultural dimensions of manuscript production, circulation, and preservation, and the development of specific scholarly and intellectual traditions in Saharan and Sudanic Africa

Some time before 1003/1595, an unidentified author, known only as “al-Sūdānī” wrote a comm. on the Mukhtaṣar. Lévi-Provençal (Cat. des manuscrits arabes de Rabat, item 181) apparently attributes it to Aḥmad b. Anda Ag-Muḥammad, but this must be regarded as doubtful. No Timbuktu source mentions such

In: Arabic Literature of Africa Online
Author: Shamil Jeppie

town of Timbuktu in northern Mali and occasionally illustrative materials will be brought in from adjacent areas or beyond. Writing Africans Arabic is the language of the vast majority of the texts in Mali and other areas with traditions of Islamic scholarship. The writers were generally not ethnically

In: Philological Encounters