In the Seventh Annual Report of the Society I published an account of the journey of the shaykh Al-Tijānī to Tripoli at the beginning of the fourteenth century A. D./eighth century A. H., with particular reference to the Arab tribes and chiefs whom he encountered.
What follows is a translation of the passages from the Riḥla in which he describes the city of Tripoli as he saw it during the eighteen months of his residence. Page references are to the 1958 Tunis edition of the work, followed by references to the nineteenth century French translation by Alphonse Rousseau. The latter is incomplete, and not always accurate.
221, trans. 1853, 135
Our entry into (Tripoli) took place on Saturday, 19th Jumāḍā II (707).
237, trans. 1853, 135–6
As we approached Tripoli and came upon it, its whiteness almost blinded the eye with the rays of the sun, so that I knew the truth of their name for it, the White City. All the people came out, showing their delight and raising their voices in acclaim. The governor of the city vacated the place of his residence, the citadel of the town, so that we might occupy it. I saw the traces of obvious splendour in the citadel (qaṣba), but ruin had gained sway. The governors had sold most of it, so that the houses which surrounded it were built from its stones. There are two wide courts, and outside is the mosque (masjid), formerly known as the Mosque of the Ten, since ten of the shaykhs of the town used to gather in it to conduct the affairs of the city before the Almohads took possession. When they did so, the custom ceased, and the name was abandoned.