Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz Public Library in Riyadh preserves the world’s only manuscript on African history. The manuscript department of the KAPL established in 1988. Since then, it has been collecting rare manuscripts for the preservation of Arab Islamic heritage and providing opportunities for scholars and manuscript researchers to use.
The manuscript accomplished by prominent historian and writer Ibrahim bin Al-Qasim Al-Qirawani. He died in 425 AH and is known as Ibn Raqiq.
According to the King Abdul Aziz Public Library, the manuscript dated the beginning of the seventh century AH-After Hijrah. Some of its captions are in gold and others are in blue pigments.
The first and last part of this manuscript was lost. Some of its pages have been eaten by termites, making it difficult to read, some of its phrases and sentences. It is written in Andalusian script. The revised version has footnote corrections and comments in plain language.
This manuscript is an important reference in the history of Africa. It describes the beginning of the Islamic conquests by Aqaba ibn Nafi ‘, the establishment of the city of Al-Qairawan, the history of the conquests by Zuhair ibn al-Balwi and Hassan ibn Nu’man and Musa ibn Nasir. Later on, after these important events also mentioned in history.
Ibrahim ibn al-Qasim was a historian and writer of Qirwan. He was the author of several books.He migrated to Egypt in 388 AH and afterwards they went to Al-Qirawan. Hearsay that he dies in al-Qairawan. Ibn Khaldun mentions him in his case with great respect.