Al-qadi ‘Iyad, The Remedy by the Recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One (Al-Shifta’ bi-ta’rif huquq al-Mustafa), North Africa, unknown date. Colored ink and gold on paper, 30.5 x 58 cm. Institut des hautes études et de recherches islamiques Ahmed Baba, Timbuktu, 165. Photograph by Seydou Camara

Born in Cueta, on the northernmost coast of Morocco across from Gibraltar, the scholar al-qadi ‘Iyad wrote a biography of the Prophet Mohammad with devotional instructions in the 12th century. This is likely a later copy produced in North Africa. It was imported across the Sahara at an unknown time and is one of about 40,000 manuscripts in the collection of Mali’s Ahmed Baba Institute, most acquired from private family libraries in centers of Islamic learning across Mali.