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Manuscripts


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The manuscript section of the Heritage Collection contains more than 2,400 manuscripts and captures an important part of the Heritage Collection.

The majority of the collection contains Qur’ānic manuscripts and other texts dealing with religious topics. Among the Hadīth collection, one can find several copies of the famous al-Bukhārī Hadīth collection. The most significant one probably originated in Andalusia. The topic of Sufism, in particular, is also well presented in the collection, especially the work of Ibn ʻArabī. Manuscripts discussing Qur’ānic sciences vary from readings and elocution to many other minor topics. The most significant is the al-Shāṭbī manuscript titled ʻAqīlat atrāb al-qaṣāʼid, which is considered among the earliest manuscripts that the Heritage Collection holds and dates back to 590 AH (1193 CE).

The manuscripts on the Arabic language, like religious manuscripts, are well represented. Many topics are addressed, including rhetoric, literature, grammar, and dictionaries. This part includes works of famous scholars and authors, such as Zamakhsharī, al-Jurjānī and Taftazānī, al-Ḥarīrī, al-Thaʻālibī, al-Ibshīhī and others.

Regarding scientific topics, the collection holdings include topics on medicine, pharmacology, and astronomy. Along with the famous works produced by Ibn Sinā and al-Rāzī, the collection also holds one of the most highly regarded ophthalmological manuals written by ʻAlī b. ʻIsā entitled Tadhkirat al-kaḥālīn.

It is worth mentioning that the collection includes Arab Christian manuscripts and non-Arabic manuscripts written in Ottoman Turkish, Syriac, Persian, and Coptic. The Manuscript Collection provides a testament of cultural diversity and thoughts developed by the people of the Near, Middle, and Far East; in particular, the regions where Islam reached.

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