11:30 - 13:00
Oral session
Room: Arts - Lecture Room 1
Stream: Muslim Written Intellectual Tradition in Africa
Chair/s:
Bruce Hall
“The opposing politics of two 20th century Timbuktu chronicles: the Kitab al-turjuman and the Jawāhir al-ḥisān fī aḫbār al-Sūdān
Mohamed Mathee
University of Johannesburg, Roodepoort

Aḥmad Bāber and Muḥammad bin Maḥmoud ould al-Shaykh were two highly-regarded and prolific Muslim scholars in twentieth-century Timbuktu. They were contemporaries, and their relationship was marked by rivalry, to judge from both written and oral sources. What was the nature of their rivalry? This question attempts to answer this question. It argues that their rivalry was of a political nature connected to their contradictory positions vis-à-vis Mali, the new state that would be established at the end of French colonial rule in West Africa. Aḥmad Bāber supported the new state while Ould al-Shaykh vehemently rejected it because ‘blacks’ would be predominate. The paper analyses their chronicles: Aḥmad Bāber’s Jawāhir al-ḥisān fī aḫbār mulūk al-Sūdān and Ould al-Shaykh’s Kitāb al-turjumān. They wrote their chronicles around more or less the same time, between the mid- 1950s and beginning of the 1960s right at the time when these political developments occurred. Both the chronicles can be identified with larger political objectives. To demonstrate the truth of their positions and claims, both men employed historiography, among other writings.


Reference:
Tu-A31 Islamic Manuscripts 1-P-003
Presenter/s:
Mohamed Mathee
Presentation type:
Panel
Room:
Arts - Lecture Room 1
Chair/s:
Bruce Hall
Date:
Tuesday, 11 September
Time:
12:00 - 12:15
Session times:
11:30 - 13:00