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As Productive As Ever, Prof. Fadl Publishes Book About Important Period Of Sudan’s History

As Productive As Ever, Prof. Fadl Publishes Book About Important Period Of Sudan’s History

By: Yahya Hassan


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Renowned historian and university professor Yousif Fadl Hassan has recently published his latest book about Sudan’s history. The book is an authentication of the history of Sudan during the Sinnar Sultanate and the Turkish rule of Sudan (17th-19th centuries).

The book is a diligent development of the resourceful book: Makhtootat Katib Alshoona (Manuscript of the Shoona Clerk), written by Ahmed Ibn Alhaj Abu Ali (1785-1838). Abu Ali is known by the nickname Katib Alshoona, in reference to his job as a clerk at the Khartoum cereal silo (or shoona).

The manuscript, an authority on Sudan’s medieval and modern history, had been consulted and quoted by many writers and researchers of Sudan’s history (both Sudanese and Foreign). The most outstanding historians who consulted the manuscript were the British historian P.M Holt (an authority on Sudan’s history) and the Syrian Naoam Shigair. The latter had shed light on many events and political developments during and after the re-conquest of Sudan by the British Army in 1898.

Prof. Fadl’s book falls in 400 big size pages, including very much footnoting.

The manuscript had been hand-copied several times. Prof. Fadl had carefully examined ten of those copies and related research. He spent 25 years compiling this work, consulting documents in Sudan, Britain and elsewhere in the world.

Prof. Fadl had examined every word in the manuscript, researching all the names of people mentioned in it and did not even forget the names of animals, trees and places mentioned. In this he would give updates and definitions of words and names of people and their origins in contemporary Arabic. For instance he would research the meaning and origin of the adjective Abu, widely prefixed in the names of many Sudanese. Literally Abu means father. Here it is used to refer to the father of somebody, naming him after his son: Abu Ali, Abu Mohammad, Abu Omar, etc. But it is often used as a show of love and admiration to somebody.   

Such detailed explanations as presented by Prof. Fadl would of course help readers and academic researchers easily read and consult the book (the manuscript). It is the detailing and explanation of historical events and the back groundings Fadl gives to the names and events contained in the book that furnishes the reader with satisfactory reading. This is an essential factor in productive development of manuscripts and books.

The book is a treasure of knowledge in the history, politics, literature, religion and sociology of the Sudan.

Prof. Fadl had previously assumed the high-profile office of Vice Chancellor of the prestigious University of Khartoum in its heyday. He had also assumed the office of Vice Chancellor of Omdurman Islamic University, here.

Prof. Fadl was born in the Mahmiyya village, Shendi District, Northern Sudan. He is married to Professor of English and linguistics, Dr. Tawheeda Osman Hadra. They have two sons and two daughters.

Dr. Fadl had obtained an arts B.A from the Khartoum University College (later on renamed the University of Khartoum) in 1956. In 1957 he obtained the diploma of public administration, from the same university. In 1959 he obtained a B.A (with honors) in the history of the Near and Middle East, from the Institute of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He obtained his doctorate in Islamic history, from the same Institute in 1964.       


Prof Fadl’s Published Works

Books In English:

- The Arabs and the Sudan From the Seventh Century to the Early Sixteenth Century (two editions).Edinburgh University Press, 1967.

- The Sudan in Africa (three prints) -1971.

- Some Aspects of Writing History in the Sudan, 1979 (Khartoum University Press).

- The Central Bilad of the Sudan: Tradition and Adaptation (with French summary) 1980 (Khartoum University Press).

- Sudan Notes and Records (volumes 3-48) 1967-82.

- Studies in Sudanese History (2003).

- Religion and Conflict in the Sudan (co-edited with Richard gray), Nairobi 2002.


Books in Arabic:

- Kitab Altabaqat fi khosoos Alawlia, the Ululama Walsaliheen- This is a development of  the book by religious researcher Mohammad Wad Daifalla, named Tabaqat Wad Daifalla. It is a review of the history of Sudan’s medieval and post medieval holy men and poets (five editions).

- Muqaddima Fi Tareekh Almamalik Al Islamiyya Fi Alsudan al Sharqi (An introduction in the History of the Islamic Kingdoms of Eastern Sudan). This is a chronicle of Eastern Sudan’s Islamic kingdoms (four editions). 

- Dirasat Fi Tareekh Alsudan (Studies in the history of the Sudan)) Khartoum University Press, 1975. 

- Alshlookh , Asulha Watabeeatuha Fi Sudan Wadi Alneel- this is a study about the traditional facial scars (marks) in Sudan’s Nile valley-1990. 

- Entishar Alislam Fi Afriqia -The Spread of Islam in Africa, 1979.

- Al Alaqa Bayna Althaqafa Alarabiyya Walafriqiyya - The relation between the Arabic and African Cultures -1985 (with a summary in French).

- Imam Abdelrahman Almahdi, 2002 (Co-authored with Prof. Mohammd Ibrahim Abu Saleem and Altayyib Mirghani Shakkak). It is a biography about leader of the popular Asnsar religious group.

- Tareekh Aldawla Alothmaniyya , Malamih Min Alalaqat Alsudaniyya Walturkiyya. (The relation between Sudan and Turkey.) 2004, Khartoum University Press.

- Mawsooa’at Al Dihkr Wal Dakireen- an encyclopedia of religious poetry and poets of the Sudan – 2004.

- Sud Meroe: Altareekh Wa Afaq Almustaqbal (Meroe Dam Project-history and future horizons- 2005).

- Hawashi Wa Mitoon Ala Ulama’a Wa Mua’arrikheen Fi Treekh Afriqia Wal Sudan - footnotes and texts on historians of Africa and Sudan-2007.

- Dirasat  Fi Tareekh Alsudan, Africa and Bilad Alarab - Studies in the History of the Sudan, Africa and Arabia-2008

- Malamih Min Alalaqat Althaqafiyya Bayna Alsudan and Almaghreb - Aspects of the Relations between the Sudan and the Maghreb

- Alhawiyyah Alsudaniyya, Malamih Min Jithoraha Tatawwuriha Waroa’a Nahw Mutaqbalaha -The Sudanese Identity, Roots, Development and Future.


In addition Prof. Fadl had written and presented (in Sudan and abroad) over 25 papers in English and 45 papers in Arabic. He has 10 books under publication.




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