Below is a brief description of the spiritual and moral qualities of the scholars of Timbuktu. They were many in numbers that it will be impossible to list all them with their spiritual state and attributes. Allah has blessed the city of Timbuktu with such a great number of scholars and Walies or Saints. Timbuktu is boasting for having been blessed with 333 Walies or friends of Allah, The Most High.
All the scholars of Timbuktu shared the following divine qualities. They combined the practice of the Qur’anic and Hadiths commands with the sciences of the purification of the heart, thus of the soul. In other words, through the practice of Tassawuf or purification of the heart of all Shaytanic characteristics, they were able to walk in the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammad, Allah peace and blessing be upon him. As a result, they have experienced spiritual states and Divines insights which are not accessible by ordinary worshipers with blind hearts. They adhered to righteousness, piety, self denial, truth, devotional worships, fear of Allah, excellence of character, spiritual tranquillity, eminence, and sincerity in all their actions. They are Maliki scholars and followed the Tarika or spiritual path of the Qaadiriya. The founder of this inner spiritual order is Sheik Abd Al Qaadir Al Gaylani, may Allah bless him. He is a descendent of Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him. He followed in the path of love and sincerity of the Messenger of Allah and achieved the highest degrees of nearness to Allah, the Most High.
Modibo Mohammad Al Kaburi
He is a fulani, a Jurist and Judge. He was fortunate to be a companion to many righteous scholars of Sankore University. He was the scholar who developed the curriculum of Sankore University. He is also known for his pious and devotional character.
Al Qadi Al Hajj
He was an eminent Jurist from Walata. Al Qadi was blessed by Allah with the function of Chief Judge of Timbuktu. He ordered the people of Timbuktu to recite half of a “hizb” or
part of the Qur’an after noon and evening prayers.
Abu Abdallah And Ag Mohammad ibn Mohammad ibn Uthman
He is a tuareg Jurist and a library of knowledge. He is a virtuous and righteous man. He is
the ancestor of Ahmed Baba Es Sudane. He was appointed Judge of Timbuktu.
Sheik Sidi Abu Al Barakaat Mahmud ibn Umar ibn Aqit
He is also known as Sheik Al Islam Abu Al Barakaat. He was the Supreme Judge of Timbuktu, Imam and the Dean of Sankore University. He was firm, pious, humble, modest and had an excellent mastery of the Arabic language.
Al Moctar Ag Mohammad ibn Utman
He is known as N-Nahawi, meaning the grammarian. He was brilliant and was endowed by Allah, The Most High, with knowledge in all Islamic branches.
Abd Arahman Ag Mohammad ibn Utman
All the scholars with Ag, meaning son of, are Tuareg scholars. He was a learned professor, gentle and possessed Taqwa or fear of Allah.
Abu Al Abbas Ahmad Buryu ibn And Ag Mohamad ibn Utman
Humble, Yearned for the hereafter, pious and a great house of knowledge. Most scholars of Sankore drunk from his abundant fountain of knowledge
Abu Abdallah And Ag Mohammad ibn Al Moctar ‘n-Nahawi
He was appointed as the Imam and Dean of Sankore by the Qadi Mahmud. Like his father N-Nahawi, he was known for his excellent command of the Arabic language. Every year during the month of Ramadan, he gave captivating and fascinating commentaries of the kitab Ashiffa of Qadi Iyad. The Ashiffa is a spiritual biography and mission of the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him.
Al Moctar ibn Mohammad ibn Al Moctar ‘n-Nahawi ibn And Ag Mohammad
He was a Jurist, loved singing the praises of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless
him and grant him peace. He spent a lot of wealth for the festivities of Maulud or the
birthday of the Prophet peace and blessing be upon him. He was a true lover of the
Prophet, thus of Allah, The Most High.
Ahmed Baba Es Sudane
Descendent of Umar ibn Mohammad Aqit the tuareg. He liked to be called Ahmed Baba
the black. At an early age, he dedicated his time to learning until he surpassed all his pears and contemporaries. He was the matchless Jurist, scholar and Imam of his time. His reputation spread all over Sub-Sahara Africa and North Africa. The Jurists of Timbuktu
sought his advise in maters pertaining to legal decisions. He was a warehouse of Islamic
knowledge. He firmly stood on truth in face of the Amirs and Kings. He had a library of
1600 manuscripts which was plundered during the Moroccan invasion of Timbuktu. He was deported to Fez in 1593. He authored 60 books, that is more than what Shakespeare wrote. He was called standard of standards by the Moroccan. He was also the student of the eminent black scholar Mohammad Bagayogo. He wrote excellent books on theology, grammar, history and Jurisprudence.
Mohammad Bagayogo Es Sudane Al Wangari Al Timbukti
His ancestors were the black scholars Wangari of the blessed city of Jenne. He was the
Sheik and professor of Ahmed Baba Es Sudan. He was born in Timbuktu. He did all his
studies in Timbuktu. He was one of the most eminent professors of both Sidi Yahya and
Sankore Universities. He was without doubt a veritable Doctor of Islamic sciences. This
was confirmed when he stopped in Cairo on his way to Mecca. The scholars of Al Azhar
University conferred on him the title of Doctor. He was a Jurist well versed in all branches of Islamic knowledge. He had a very busy schedule and loved imparting knowledge to people with great patience. He would loan his books to his students and friends and would not ask them back. He was sincere in his intentions and actions. He loved people and people loved him. He was given the position of the supreme Judge of Timbuktu which he kindly declined for fear of being unjust toward people. He lectured in all the Universities of the city. He wrote his own personal copies of the Holy Qur’an which are today with his descendent Baba Muhmud Hassay the actual Imam of Sidi Yahya Masjid. He possessed absolute mastery in the areas of Jurisprudence, Arabic grammar, Prophetic traditions, Logic etc. He imparted knowledge to his students as well as received knowledge from them. He was humble and accepted truth wherever it came from.