"As if it is Mecca!" ".

This happened in the first century AH, and the Tadamakt Kingdom had become one of the most famous Tuareg kingdoms, and was described as the cradle of the Tuareg civilization, who currently constitute a minority of the population of Mali of various origins.

In a report written by Yassin Al-Kuzbari for Al-Jazeera magazine from the ancient city, he stated that Islam entered Tadamakt in the middle of the first Hijri century, according to Muhammad Taqi Allah, Sheikh of the tribe of Kul Dabla.

Taqi Allah said, "The Tuareg received the torch of Islam early, so they formed an Islamic fortress and a springboard towards the countries of Africa, and Tadamakt was the capital of Islam in the Azawad desert before Timbuktu and Chinguetti were even established."

Tadamakt - or the market as it is currently called - is still famous as the city of science and religion, and the marketers still maintain their scientific and religious function in the Tuareg society as their predecessors did, such as Sheikh al-Ateeq bin Saad al-Din al-Suqi al-Idrisi, Muhammad ibn al-Hadi al-Suqi al-Adra’i and Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Suqi al-Idrisi.

As for its reputation as "the market", Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Allah says, "With the spread of Islam and the movement of conquests in West Africa, the trade movement also became active, and the city’s location at the center of the roads linking the African kingdoms and North Africa helped it to be a commercial center, especially as it was rich in gold. Everyone came to her to search for him, and the coin of the Tadamakt Kingdom was called baldness, and it was of pure gold.

After two centuries of prosperity, after the Tadamakt gold mines were depleted, their luminosity dimmed and the caravans turned away from them in the late tenth century AD, marking the emergence of another city at the beginning of the 11th century AD.

It is said that the woman who founded it - whose name is Pekto - came from Tadamakt itself, and the name of the new city was Timbuktu, which will survive more than Tadamakt, which is today a small town on the outskirts of Kidal.

Controversy of Identity and History

However, the traces of human civilization in the city of Tadamakt - or the market - are much older than the date of the introduction of Islam to it, as archaeological writings were discovered in the alphabet "Tifinagh", and inscriptions estimated to be 6 thousand years BC, to be recorded as one of the oldest areas of the world known to human civilization.

However, the relationship of the Tuaregs with the civilizations discovered near the city of the market is subject to controversy, and about that, says the director of Radio Azawad in Kidal, Ahmed Al-Bekay: "In the period of French colonialism and beyond, it was common in French academic circles that the Tuareg civilization is much older than the Islamic civilization."

The Tifinagh letters also received special attention on the grounds that they are the special characters of the Amazigh language, and that they are much older than the Arabic letters.

Great efforts were made in France to revive it, and this interest was mainly aimed at convincing the Tuaregs and the Berbers in general that they were more distinct and ancient than the Arabs, in an attempt to create an ethnic nationalist Amazigh tendency and isolate the Berbers from their strategic depth, which is basically the Arab world.

He adds, “If we read the French references, we will find a false idea, perhaps not innocent, that the identity of the Tuareg is linked mainly to the Tamashq language (an Amazigh dialect).” Although the Tamashek language is a major part of their identity, focusing on it without other components such as culture and religion implies a desire to separate them from the component. The Islamic Arab who intertwined with them over 14 centuries and formed with them a single community and destiny, and one of the manifestations of that is, for example, a population census conducted by the French authorities in the year 1950, in which it distinguished between the Tuaregs, Moroccans and Arabs.

Regarding the origins of the Tuareg, Al-Bakai says, "The Tuareg are mainly descended from the Amazigh Sanhaja masked tribes (southern Morocco), and who in turn are descended from the Germanic (southern Libya). Upon entering Islam, the Arabs came and mixed with the Tuareg and adopted their culture and Tzghwa (meaning they spoke Amazigh), and they became an integral part. Their origins are still visible in the names of some Tuareg tribes, such as the Chaminas tribe, meaning the people of the Levant or the people of the Levant, and the tribe of all Ansar al-Ansariyya, and it is known that the tribe of every shackle has its origin in the descendants of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq.

The mosque occupies a central place in the Tuareg community (Al-Jazeera)

Arabs the Arabs do not know

The director of Al-Ittihad newspaper (Tanmnak) Ahmed Al-Khamis Noah spoke in eloquent Arabic to Al-Jazeera, and about the secret of his mastery of it, he said, "I am an Arab, a Taraki from Niger. My grandparents were all born in Niger."

The first Arabs arrived in the Azawad region with the first conquests in North Africa, but they spoke Berber and became Tuareg culturally. As for northern Mali, their presence as an Arab cultural component has been strengthened during two main phases, about which Sidi Ahmed El-Kante, Director of the Sheikh Sidi Mukhtar Al-Kinti Center, said, “The end of the 16th century was Timbuktu and Gaba under the influence of the Songhai Empire, which had become weak, which encouraged bandits to intercept caravan routes. To secure them, the Saadia state sent an army of 40,000 soldiers under the leadership of the Pasha Godar, and most of the soldiers settled in the area, and that was the largest wave of Arab immigration in the region, and Moroccans - Berbers and Arabs - in Timbuktu in some periods formed 3 quarters of the population ".

"But 100 years before that, the first wave of Arab immigration arrived, as the Kantah Arab Al-Fahri tribe, coming from Morocco, arrived in the region, forming the nucleus of the most prominent Arab tribe in the region to this day, and among them were the most famous scholars and judges who knew the region."

The Tuareg still rely on wooden panels to preserve the Qur’an and the Matn (Al Jazeera)

Old rivalry

Except for the great Germanic state (southern Libya) founded by their ancestors 2,500 years ago and over a thousand years old, and the Islamic Kingdom of Odogst (southern Mauritania) established by their industrial ancestors;

The Tuareg did not establish any empire, nor did they submit to the empires that passed through their regions.

Regarding the reasons for this, Ahmed Al-Bekay said, "The Tuareg did not choose to migrate in the desert despite the extremism of its climate and the scarcity of its water and its yields, except to live as free masters of themselves far from the authority of the state."

He adds, "When they established their kingdoms, Katadamakts, Ouilmeden, and others, they were within the scope of their tribes and in specific geographical areas, and they were in the form of confederations. The countries that controlled their regions, such as the empire of Ghana, Mali, Songhai, and Saadiites were resorting to their peace and giving them certain privileges to ward off their revolutions, as they were brave warriors and the masters of the desert." And experts on roads, water locations, and star guides, and their role was decisive in leading the convoys and protecting their routes. "

At the end of the 18th century, French colonialism reached the Tuareg desert, and it worked to undermine the system and way of life, so they faced it with fierce resistance led by leaders such as: Commander Fahrun Ag Linsar, Sheikh Sheboun bin Afandogon, and Muhammad Ali Al-Junaidi.

In the face of France's military superiority and its policy of revenge against the people to suppress the revolutionaries, the Grand Sheikh of Kanti issued a fatwa to appease France on the basis of respecting the religion and traditions of the people, and despite this, some leaders continued to resist France, such as the Mujahid who canceled Al-Bashir, who was martyred just a few years before France's departure.

Regarding their history with the states, Al-Omari, the author of the Book of Paths of Insights in the Kingdoms of the Assar, says: "They did not owe a sultan, except that they condemned to Sultan Abi Al-Hassan Al-Marini that they did not possess their leadership and did not hand over their country to him, and in any case they understood with him between health and illness."