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Tarikh al-Sudan ‘abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘al-Allah al-Sa‘di


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The Umarian Library was assembled by El-Hajj ‘Umar Tal and his descendants. At the time of its removal from Segu in 1890, by France’s Colonel Louis Archinard, it consisted of 518 volumes of manuscripts and various documents written in Arabic, Fulfulde Ajami script, and French. A 1985 inventory divides the works chronologically into three main periods of ‘Umar Tal’s career. During the earliest of these, Tal assembled texts by ‘Uthman, ‘Abdullahi, and Muhammad Bello from the Sokoto caliphate, as well as souvenirs from his pilgrimages to Mecca and other travels. Those from a second period include legal and religious justification for jihad against the nonbelievers, counterarguments written by Ahmad al-Bakkai al-Kunti, and The Chronicles of the Succession, by Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn ‘Umar. The latter asserts Tal’s transfer of power to his son Ahmadu Sheku. A final group consists of sources assembled under or by Ahmadu and his son Al-Madani, until 1890.

Tarikh al-Sudan ‘abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘al-Allah al-Sa‘di, Manuscript on paper, Timbuktu

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Bibliothèque Nationale de France