Ahmed Baba : heritage of an Africa rich in history and knowledge

Ahmed Baba, the greatest scholar from Timbuktu. Photo: John Henrik Clarke / NewAfrikan

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NEWSROOM (ADV) – Timbuktu, the capital of the intelligentsia, multiracial and multi-ethnic crossroads, played on the continent more than an intellectual center, Timbuktu was one of the largest scientific centers of Islam.

A cosmopolitan city, it has always been respectful of the traditions and activities of all segments of its population, making the most of cultural and intellectual diversity. Better than any other region, Timbuktu was able to take advantage of conquests and occupations and collect intellectual acquisitions to create the richest libraries.

Moorish scholars and poets, Andalusians came to take refuge there after the Reconquista of the Catholic Kings who had taken Cordoba in 1236 and Granada in 1492. The caravans of the North transmitted the progress of Fez, Marrakech and Tangiers.

Timbuktu, according to the author of the Tarikh el-Fettach, the scholar Mahmoûd Kati, “had no equal among the cities of sub-Saharan Africa […] for the solidity of the institutions, the political liberties, the purity of the morals, the safety of persons and property, clemency and compassion towards the poor and foreigners, courtesy and assistance to students and scientists.”

Ahmed Baba Es-Sudani was born in Timbuktu on October 26. He was able to follow the teachings of many scholars in Timbuktu at that time.

He worked diligently, working relentlessly, seeking contact with great masters, enriching his mind and satisfying his curiosity. Ahmed Baba seems to have studied until about the age of thirty, and with great fervor in his studies, he became the most learned man in Timbuktu at the time of the presence of his Moroccan brothers in 1591.

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