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Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Al-FurqÄ n

Islamic Heritage Foundation

Glorious Past, Brighter Future


Issue No. 16

In this Issue: Latest Visits Lectures Training Courses Symposia Conferences Publications Book Review Book Fairs Institution

Winter 2017



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Table of Contents


Message from the Chairman .................................. 3 Latest Visits ........................................................... 4 Al-Furqān Lectures ................................................ 5

Islamic Heritage Foundation

Newsletter Issue No. 16, Winter 2017

Vestiges of Dissolved Libraries: Tracing Damascene Manuscripts, by Prof. Konrad Hirschler....................................................................................... 5 Ibn al-‘Adīm al-‘Uqaylī and his History of Aleppo, by Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh ................................................................................................. 6 The Problematic of Defining the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View, by Prof. Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem...... 8


Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation

Training Courses ................................................... 10 The 4th Training Course on Codicology: “Arabic Codicology: The Islamic Manuscript Heritage in the El Escorial Collection” ..................... 10 The 13th Training Course on the Philosophy of Islamic Law: “Objectives (Maqāṣid) of the Noble Qurʾān (3)” ............................................................. 12

Board of Directors Chairman

Symposia ............................................................... 19 Symposium under the title: “Science and Engineering in the Islamic Heritage”.................................................................................... 19

H.E. Ahmed Zaki Yamani

Conferences ........................................................... 25 Conference under the title: “The Noble Qur’ān from Revelation to Compilation” .................................................................................................... 25 Conference under the title: “Religion & Civilisation: Protection of Civilisation as a Purpose of Religion” ........................................................... 31

Members Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu Prof. Mohamed Salim El-Awa Mr. Sharaf Yamani

Publications ........................................................... 33 “Al-Tamhīd limā fī al-Muwaṭṭaʾ min al-Maʿānī wa al-Asānīd”(commentary on al-Muwaṭṭaʾ), edited by Bashar Awad Marouf ....................................... “Diwān Rasāʾil al-Sābīʾ” (The Registry of al-Ṣābiʾ Letters), Compiled, edited and studied by Dr Ihsan Dhanoun al-Thamiri ................................. “Editing Islamic Manuscripts on Social Sciences and Humanities” (Research articles - English version) .............................................................. “Palaeographical Aspects of Qurʾānic Manuscripts and the Qurʾānic Fragments of the University of Birmingham” by Qasim al-Samarrai ....... “The Critical Edition of Manuscripts: Past, Present and Future” (English version), by Qasim al-Samarrai ....................................................... “Arts in the Light of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah”, edited by Ibrahim ElBayomi Ghanem ........................................................................................... “Dictionary of Maqāṣid Terms”, Prepared by Abdennour Baza - Jamila Tilout - Mahammed Abdou; Supervised and edited by: Ahmed Al-Raissouni ....................................................................................... “The Problematic of Defining the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View”, by Ibrahim El-Bayomi Ghanemi ......... “The Objectives of the Family in the Qurʾān: From Human Being to Social Organisation”, by Jamilah Tilout ......................................................... “The Objectives of Qurʾānic Verses: Between the General Meaning of the Word and the Specific Reason of Revelation”, by Ahmad Raissouni .................................................................................

Managing Director Mr. Sali Shahsivari Address 22A Old Court Place London, W8 4PL England – UK

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3130 1530 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7937 2540 Email:

33 33 34 34 34 35 35 35 36 36

Distributors of Al-Furqān’s Publications .............. 37 Book Review .......................................................... 38 Book Fairs .............................................................. 41 Institution .............................................................. 42

Al-Aqṣá Mosque Library................................................................................... 42



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Message From the Chairman On behalf of myself and Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors, Board of Experts, advisers, and staff, it is with immense pleasure that I place Newsletter No. 16 in the hands of our esteemed readers. This moment coincides with Al-Furqān’s 30th year since establishment, marking a proud milestone in our growth and maturity. This newsletter offers a window into AlFurqān’s invaluable work, conscientious effort, and achievements in the cultural heritage domain over the past year, which saw diligent work, diverse events, and bold progress. It represents a giant leap forward in terms of quality events and activities, as we strive to fulfil our mission in the domain of preserving the Muslim nation’s rich civilisational heritage. We pray to Allah, the Almighty, to gift us with success and wisdom, and that this work is received with satisfaction and approval. Furthermore, that our readers profit in every way from the content presented. Within the framework of a considered and clear strategy, allied to a flexible approach to execution, Al-Furqān’s Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts organised a wide range of events. Most notably, the 8th Conference on manuscripts titled, “The Noble Qur’ān from Revelation to Compilation”, held on Saturday and Sunday, 2627 November 2017 in Istanbul. The Manuscript Centre also organised the 4th Training Course on Codicology, under the title “Arabic Codicology: The Islamic Manuscript Heritage in the El Escorial Collection”; from 3-7 July 2017, at San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in Madrid, Spain. Moreover, in co-operation with the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (UK), the Manuscript Centre organised a Symposium titled “Science and Engineering in the Islamic Heritage” on Saturday, 18th March 2017, at Al-Furqān’s headquarters. As part of its lecture series, the Manuscript Centre organised a public lecture on Wednesday 5th April 2017, titled “Vestiges of Dissolved Libraries: Tracing Damascene Manuscripts”, delivered by Prof. Konrad Hirschler, at its London headquarters. In addition, on Wednesday, 4 October 2017, the lecture theatre in Al-Furqān’s London headquarters was the venue for a public lecture titled “Ibn al-‘Adīm al-‘Uqaylī and his history of Aleppo”, by Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh, Assistant to the Director General, Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Jordan. In the area of publishing, the Centre’s achievements included the publication of “Al-Tamhīd limā fī al-Muwaṭṭaʾ min al-Maʿānī wa al-Asānīd fī ḥadīth Rasūl Allāh ṣallā Allāh ‘alayh wa salam, (commentary on alMuwaṭṭaʾ)” by Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, critically edited by Bashar Awad Marouf and others. The Centre also published “Diwān Rasāʾil alSābīʾ (the Registry of al-Ṣābiʾ Letters)” authored by Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm al-Ṣābī, and critically edited by Dr Ihsan Dhanoun alThamiri. In addition, the Centre published the English version of the proceedings of the 6th Conference on Editing Islamic Manuscripts titled “Editing Islamic Manuscripts on Social Sciences and Humanities”, organised by Al-Furqān on 26-27 November 2013, and the Arabic version of the 7th Conference on Editing Islamic Manuscripts titled “Editing Manuscripts on Literature and Language”, organised by Al-Furqān on 25-26 November 2015. Al-Furqān also published the English version of two lectures delivered by Prof. Qasim Samarrai; the first titled “The Critical Edition of Manuscripts: Past, Present and Future”, and the second, “Palaeographical Aspects of Qurʾānic Manuscripts and the Qurʾānic Fragments of the University of Birmingham”.

The Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law (Maqāṣid Centre) continued steadily on the journey of fulfilling its mission in promoting Maqāṣid thought widely, and conducting scholarly research in this discipline. Moreover, supporting enhanced learned pursuits in Maqāṣid studies by organising intensive events and promoting novel approaches. In this regard, the Maqāṣid Centre collaborated with Ibn Haldun University, and the Alliance of Civilisations Institute to organise the Conference, “Religion & Civilisation: Protection of Civilisation as a Purpose of Religion” held at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul from Friday to Sunday, 19-21 October 2017. Furthermore, the Maqāṣid Centre, in co-operation with the Maqāṣid Research & Studies Centre (Rabat) and the Department of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Letters & Humanities Ben M’sik (Casablanca), also organised the third training course on “The Objectives of the Noble Qurʾān”, on 9-11 May 2017 in Morocco. In addition, the Maqāṣid Centre in partnership with Association Espace Cadres (Faḍā’ al-Uṭur), organised a lecture titled “The Problematic of Defining the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View”, delivered on Monday evening, 8 May 2017 at Ecole Mohammedia D’hôtellerie in Mohammedia, Morocco. In the area of publications, the Maqāṣid Centre published the “Dictionary of Maqāṣid Terms” prepared by Abdennour Baza, Jamila Tilout, and Mahammed Abdou, and supervised and edited by Dr Ahmed AlRaissouni. It also published the proceedings of the Symposium, titled “The Arts in Light of the Objectives of Islamic Law”, organised by the Maqāṣid Centre on Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 November 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey. The Centre published three lectures; the first by Dr Ibrahim El-Bayomi Ghanem titled “The Problematic of Defining the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View”. The second by Ahmed al-Raissouni titled “Objectives of Qurʾānic Verses: Between the General Meaning of the Word and the Specific Reason of Revelation”. The third by Dr Jamila Tilout titled “The Objectives of the Family in the Qur’an from Human Being to Social Organisation”. In turn, the Makkah and Madinah Centre published the 8th volume of the Encyclopaedia of Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah, comprising 387 entries, beginning with “al-Ḥujrah al-Nabawiyyah al-Sharīfah” and ending at “Ḥalaqāt al-‘ilm fī al-Ḥaramayn al-Sharīfayn”. In addition to all these events, activities, and publications, AlFurqān Islamic Heritage Foundation played host to a number of visits by organisations and individuals, and participated in several international fairs. Finally, it is my pleasure to express my sincere thanks, praise, and appreciation to all those who have contributed to these pioneering works, achievements, gains, and successes, enabling Al-Furqān, through its three centres, to continue the journey towards accomplishing its mission, by taking bold and steady steps; without deviating from its chosen path, taking into account that this heavy task, requires a conscience, patience, stamina, and unrelenting integrity. I ask Allah, Most Exalted, Most High, to guide us to truth and perfection, and to grant us verity in speech and righteousness in action. Indeed, Allah is the focus of our sincerity, Guarantor of success and Guide to the true path. Ahmed Zaki Yamani



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Winter 2017

Latest Visits 15/3/2017 Visit of Mr Frank Smith, Director of Books at JSTOR

11/4/2017 Visit of Ibrahim Al-Otaibi, Director of Manuscripts and Islamic Libraries Department at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs - Kuwait

17/3/2017 Visit of Prof. David King, Professor of the History of Science at the J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt.

20/4/2017 Visit of The European Institute of Human Sciences students in Birmingham

10/4/2017 Visit of Prof. Hatim bin Arif al-Awni, Professor of the Islamic Studies at Umm alQura University in Saudi Arabia



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Al-Furqān Lectures Lecture on «Vestiges of Dissolved Libraries: Tracing Damascene Manuscripts» by Prof. Konrad Hirschler

Mr Sharaf Yamani, member of the BoD of Al-Furqān, delivering the welcoming speech

that work for the preservation and promotion of the Islamic written heritage and provide researchers with invaluable reference works and primary sources for their work. Prof. Hirschler then focused on the rich manuscript and library culture of Damascus up to the 20th century. He mentioned that, starting with the 13th century, endowed libraries emerged on a significant level in the Middle East and thus the city of Damascus. Today, none of these libraries has survived. Hence, the main evidence for their history are extant manuscripts. Manuscript notes sometimes explicitly link a manuscript to one or more libraries in which it was held over the last few centuries. However, in most cases this evidence is incomplete or entirely absent and has to be supplemented with information from additional sources.

Prof. Konrad Hirschler

In the series of its London lectures, the Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts at Al-Furqān organised a public lecture, on Wednesday 5th April 2017, at its headquarters, titled “Vestiges of Dissolved Libraries: Tracing Damascene Manuscripts”, delivered by Prof. Konrad Hirschler. The event was opened by Mr Sharaf Yamani, Member of the Board of Directors of Al-Furqān, who welcomed the guests and announced that this year, Al-Furqān will dedicate some of its activities to shedding light on the fate of human heritage in Syria. As a result of the ongoing war, part of this heritage has been destroyed and the remaining part is endangered. He commented that this lecture comes within Al-Furqān’s scope, in raising awareness about this shared heritage, in order to identify the challenges and call upon the relevant institutions to preserve and protect such treasures, be it manuscripts or other artefacts; consequently, identifying the provenance of manuscripts in the years to come, in order to prevent their dispersal. He also pointed out that there will be other activities during this year, which will discuss different aspects of this heritage.

Prof. Hirschler proposed a methodology for tracing manuscript movements, by discussing, as a case study, the library of the ʿUmarīya Madrasa on the slope of the Qāsyūn mountain to the west of Damascus’ Old City.

The lecture and the lecturer were introduced by Ms Celeste Gianni, Library Assistant at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation. The keynote speaker, Prof. Konrad Hirschler, began his lecture by thanking those institutions - in particular Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation –

Ms Celeste Gianni, Library Assistant at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, chaired the lecture



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Winter 2017

Lecture on «Ibn al-‘Adīm al‘Uqaylī and his History of Aleppo» by Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh

Prof. Konrad Hirschler delivering the lecture

This library was a major institution within the scholarly landscape of Damascus, with thousands of manuscripts. Yet this library was dissolved in the late 19th century and no catalogue of its stock has survived. Even before its dissolution, numerous manuscripts were taken out of the library and sold on the city’s book markets.

Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh delivering his lecture at Al-Furqān

As part of Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation’s seasonal lecture series, the Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts at Al-Furqān organised a public lecture on Wednesday, 4 October 2017. This was titled “Ibn al-‘Adīm al-‘Uqaylī and his history of Aleppo”, and was hosted at the lecture theatre in AlFurqān’s London headquarters. The lecturer was Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh, Assistant to the Director General, Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan.

Prof. Hirschler discussed ways to identify the trajectories of former ʿUmarīya manuscripts, which are today held in libraries such as Damascus, Cairo, Istanbul, Paris, Princeton and Berlin, by looking closely at the manuscript notes such as ownership statements (tamalluk), endowment statements (waqf), transmission certificates (ijāzah), seals, and other documentary notes. He suggested that this methodology could be applied to other libraries, in order to retrace the movement of their manuscripts.

Mr Mohamed Drioueche, Head of Projects & Publications at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, opened the evening by welcoming the guests and introducing the lecture. He drew the audience’s attention to the fact that the Manuscript Centre had recently published a critical edition, comprising twelve volumes, of the Islamic history text titled “Bughyat al-Ṭalab fī Tārīkh Ḥalab” by Ibn al-ʿAdīm. In this context, Al-Furqān had invited the editor, Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh, to illuminate important aspects related to this work and its author.

Furthermore, he provided possible approaches for future research on the provenance of manuscripts, as this will be a major task in the years to come, in order to prevent their dispersal, especially, taking into consideration the current war in Syria, where, cultural artefacts - including manuscripts - have been damaged or are in danger of being taken out of their pre-war location.

Subsequently, Mr Sharaf Yamani, Member of AlFurqān’s Board of Directors, spoke on behalf of Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, and its Chairman and founder, H.E. Shaykh Ahmed Zaki Yamani. He welcomed the guests and the lecturer and pointed out that the lecture aimed to introduce Aleppo’s historian, Ibn al-‘Adīm al-Ḥalabī, and trace the scientific and cultural journey of his life. Moreover, it aimed to elucidate the significance of Ibn al-‘Adīm’s contribution to historical writing on Aleppo, his approach to authorship, and the sources he had relied upon in authoring “Bughyat al-Ṭalab fī Tārīkh Ḥalab”.

The lecture was followed by numerous questions from the engaged audience regarding various aspects covered by Prof. Hirschler.

Mr Sharaf Yamani pointed out that the lecture coincided with the publication of the book’s critical edition. It also coincided with the continuing harrowing suffering of Aleppo and the surrounding towns and villages, witnessing destruction, death,

Mr Sharaf Yamani, Mr Sali Shahsivari and Prof. Konrad Hirschler



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Winter 2017

and displacement of the population, due to the train of tragic events unfolding in Syria. The city’s heritage and archaeological features, as well as buildings steeped in antiquity have been ransacked and destroyed. These had formerly stood as testimony to a civilisation rooted in the distant past, and a history rich in events and incidents.

in preserving large abstracts from many hitherto lost texts that are uniquely reproduced by Ibn al-‘Adīm in this book. The book covers many sciences, branches of knowledge, and arts. Its principal subject matter is biographies of those eminent persons and prodigies engaged in diverse fields of knowledge, literature, high office and politics. having a connection to the Aleppo region by virtue of residence or passage. Therefore, the work covers sundry areas of knowledge, including religious sciences, Ḥadīth narration, literary sciences—prosody or poetry, geography—especially from the northern Levant, and history over an extended period of the Islamic era. The book’s value and importance among peer works is quite evident, and is particularly appreciated by scholars in the field of history. This is due to the novel material, and unique information and accounts, and the approach to critically evaluating narrations and texts.

Mr Sharaf Yamani expressed his immense gratitude to the book’s editor for the notable effort in producing a robust critical edition of “Bughyat al-Ṭalab fī Tārīkh Ḥalab”, indeed, delivering the book as its author, Ibn al-‘Adīm, would have wished. He also thanked him for the novel addition in Volume 11, titled “alMulṭaqaṭ min al-ḍāi‘”, where he recovered much of the Mr Sharaf Yamani missing material, arising from the loss of parts of the book. He further congratulated Prof. al-Rawadieh on being awarded the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts’ (Ma‘had al-Makhṭūṭāt) 2017 Prize.

In his speech, the lecturer addressed his approach to critically editing and reproducing this book, providing the text with glosses and commentaries, including highlighted notes, to serve the text, which explain difficult parts and generally clarify the text. He also mentioned the challenges and problems faced in his work to produce a critical edition.

Mr Mohamed Drioueche then introduced Prof. alRawadieh, and invited him to deliver his lecture. In turn, Prof. al-Rawadieh praised Al-Furqān’s role in the preservation of the Islamic heritage, and thanked the Foundation for its gracious invitation. He lamented Aleppo’s suffering and the wanton, wholesale destruction visited on its heritage and cultural features.

The lecture was followed by questions from the distinguished and knowledgeable audience regarding the diverse aspects covered by Prof. al-Rawadieh.

Prof. al-Rawadieh began his lecture by introducing Aleppo’s eminent and erudite historian, Ibn al-‘Adīm. He traced his scientific trajectory up to his death, mentioning his key books and works, as well as the sources to which he referred. He reminded the audience of the importance of this eminent scholar, his erudition, wealth of knowledge, and extensive reading. Not only was he a historian of the highest calibre, but a teacher, traditionist (muḥaddith), jurist (faqīh), vizier, man of letters, and biographer. His book, “Bughyat al-Ṭalab fī Tārīkh Ḥalab”, is considered a seminal text in the history of Arabic culture and literature. It provides rich historical and geographical information on the Levant generally, and the northern region in particular. It presents content unique to Ibn al-‘Adīm, unreported by his peers, and indeed, the biographies mentioned within are of tremendous value.

Prof. Al-Mahdi Eid al-Rawadieh

The book’s value is also apparent, not only in presenting the history of the northern Levant, but



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Winter 2017

problematic nature of this topic lay in its multiple dimensions and complex aspects. Indeed, in his view, this problematic issue is at the epicentre of the civilisational crisis endured by the Muslim nation for the last three centuries. Therefore, addressing this challenging issue is one of the principal approaches that may offer a way out of this crisis.

Lecture on «The Problematic of Defining the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View» by Prof. Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem

Dr Ghanem highlighted the absence of cumulative, novel contributions in the approach to the issue. He indicated the deficiency in addressing the contextual matters related to the public interest. He posed the question: who assures the public interest? What techniques secure its achievement? By what means are those responsible for securing the public interest held accountable? Dr Ghanem then elaborated on what he meant by the higher interest. He explored its lexical derivatives, and highlighted where it is cited in the Qur’ān. He also explained its terminological significance, while dwelling on its many means of classification. These—he explained—may be specific to a country or a particular individual, but are founded on original Islamic criteria. Furthermore, he indicated that an interest may be public at one time, and not so at another. Interests may also be variable (mutagayyirah), fixed (thābitah), or inclusive (shumūliyyah) and perpetual (abadiyyah).

Prof. Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem delivering his lecture

The Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law (Maqāṣid Centre) at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation (London), in collaboration with Association Espace Cadres (Faḍā’ al-Uṭur), organised a lecture titled “The Problematic of Defining the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View”. This keynote lecture was delivered on Monday evening, 8 May 2017CE (11 Sha‘bān 1438AH), at Ecole Mohammedia D’hôtellerie in Mohammedia, Morocco.

The lecturer insightfully highlighted that the concept of universal interests (al-maṣāliḥ al-kulliyyah) is integral to forming and elaborating the definitive reference frame for the Islamic world view. Indeed, it is not a trivial concept—in his words—as it revolves around

The session was chaired by Dr Mohamed Salim Elawa, who elaborated on the lecturer’s academic credentials. Moreover, he posed the question: How could the higher interests of the Muslim nation be a problematic issue? On his part, Dr Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem attempted to explain individual terms in his lecture title. He noted that from a semantic perspective, the notion of “apprehending something” (al-idrāk) conveys two principal meanings: signalling awareness, on one hand, and achievement on the other. He discussed the rationale for the choice of topic. This related to the huge gap in the treatment of public interest (al-maṣlaḥah al-‘āmmah), known in historical works as mutual interest (al-maṣlaḥah al-mushtarakah). Dr Ghanem asserted that the

The lecture was chaired by Prof. Mohamed Salim Elawa



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017 The lecturer then dwelt upon the forms of fixed and variable maṣlaḥah, as well as the certain (alqaṭ‘iyyah) and surmised (al-ẓanniyyah). He reported scholars’ statements on the matter, and identified and disambiguated areas of dispute. He then addressed the historical context in the development of the notion of the public interest. He also discussed the relationship of public interest to governance in Islamic law (alsiyāsah al-shar‘iyyah). He described how those in power had expropriated the concept of obedience. Indeed, he emphasised that obedience in the public domain is conditional on consultation resulting in a binding collective decision. The lecturer underlined that in the historical context, the consideration of a majority, as the cornerstone of legitimacy of obedience, was abandoned.

Part of the audience

the higher principles and values that are intrinsic to the Muslim nation’s belief system. It also encapsulates the goals around which the Muslim nation models itself, and strives to achieve. In so doing, it marries the moralethical to the material. Dr Ghanem called for the development of standards to measure the application of the general objectives of Islamic law. These may be used to measure performance of parliament, government, etc., in relation to governance in the public domain. In this context, the interest or maṣlaḥah would be a principal point for enquiry and accountability, in terms of how far it is secured.

Subsequently, the concept of consultation in determining public interests was summarily discarded.

Prof. Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem

In the conclusion of his lecture, Dr Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem asserted that human dignity, justice, liberty, and public peace are universal (al-kulliyyah) interests that are immutable and fixed. He advocated profound examination of these interests, by defining them in terms of concept and establishing their scientific foundation. This would lead to an accumulation of a credible evidence base. In addition, it is vital to educate future generations regarding these interests. This starts with the family, mosque, and media, so as to implant these immutable principles in the collective psyche.

The lecturer continued by elucidating the diverse approaches adopted by legal theorists (al-uṣūliyyūn), vis-à-vis the concept of the interest or maṣlaḥah. It may be seen through the lens of three classes, namely necessities (ḍarūriyyāt), needs (ḥājiyyāt), and improvements (taḥsīniyyāt). It may also be described as dominant (rājiḥah) or outweighed (marjūḥah). Indeed, it may be defined using any other theoretical frames of classification. However, considerably less discussion is devoted to application and how it tackles the Muslim nation’s issues. He also explained that many forms of classification of the maṣlaḥah, exist in the contemporary context. Given the importance of this concept, it is quite frequently cited in different discourses in the domains of legal theory, politics, law, society, and philosophy. However, frequent usage is no indicator of clarity of meaning, nor does it signify agreement among the formulators of these discourses. Indeed, ruling elites allude to national interest, while social scientists discuss interests in relation to social laws. On the other hand, philosophers contemplate public good and public peace. The lecturer pointed to the absence of communication channels between these disparate domains, which did not facilitate articulating and manifesting higher interests in practice.

Prof. Ghanem responded to the questions and points raised during disscussions



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Winter 2017

Training courses The Fourth Training Course on Codicology, under the title: «Arabic Codicology: The Islamic Manuscript Heritage in the El Escorial Collection»

Part of the practical sessions

elements of a manuscript, including the material of the codex (whether paper, parchment or papyrus), the type of binding, the foliation and quires of the codex, as well as the types of script and the main elements of the paratext, including the title page, the colophon and the documentary notes. The practical sessions consisted of analysing and describing selected Arabic manuscripts found in the collection of the Royal Library of San Lorenzo Monastery in El Escorial, one of the most important collections of Arabic manuscripts in Europe, and the largest in Spain. Participants were given the chance to work in groups both in theoretical and practical sessions. During the practical sessions students had the opportunity for hands on sessions working with manuscripts to analyse and practice what was discussed and presented in the theoretical sessions. This included: understanding the codex composition, looking at manuscripts writing surfaces, both in parchment and paper, distinguishing between western and non-western

The inaugural session of the training course

The Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, in co-operation with Fundación General de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, organised the fourth training course on codicology, titled “Arabic Codicology: The Islamic Manuscript Heritage in the El Escorial Collection”. The course took place from the 3rd to the 7th of July 2017, at San Lorenzo de El Escorial (situated 45km north-west of the capital Madrid, Spain), within the framework of the Complutense University Summer Courses. The Course was attended by 16 selected delegates, coming from different countries (including Algeria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Estonia, Syria, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Columbia), and specialised in various subject areas, involving research on Islamic manuscripts. The attendees were PhD candidates within the subject area of the Course, however the Course also included research fellows, lecturers of both Arabic and Persian, assistant Prof.s and two master students. This year, the Course was taught by Prof. François Déroche and Prof. Nuria Martínez-de-CastillaMuñoz (also Director of the Course). The Course was structured in theoretical and practical sessions. The theoretical sessions provided an overall introduction to the science of codicology of Islamic Manuscripts, with particular focus on the basic

Part of the practical sessions held in the El Escorial Library



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017 The Course took place at the Public Library of San Lorenzo, while the handon sessions were in the El Escorial Library. The attendees were also invited to a visit of the El Escorial Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, construction of which began in 1563 and ended in 1584. The Monastery (a Hieronymite monastery) Prof. Francois Déroche was initiated by King Philip II, who wanted a building to serve the multiple purposes of a burial place for his father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. There was also a visit to the El Escorial’s Library hall, which was built in 1592, and is also known for its interior, decorated by many notable Spanish and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Course ended on Friday 7th July, with the delivery of certificates to the participants. It was concluded with speeches by Prof. Nuria Martínez-de-Castilla and Ms Karima Benaicha, who thanked the attendees for their active participation in the Course as well as for the exchange of their experiences, as researchers of the Islamic written heritage.

The attendees were also invited to visit the El Escorial Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

paper, etc. The sessions also covered inks and lay-out of manuscripts, with examples in both practical and theoretical session. Arabic palaeography was also a topic that was discussed at length, including Arabic bindings and bookbinders at work. The Course was closed with a session on the history of manuscripts. The Course started on Monday morning, 3rd July 2017, with the welcoming words of the Course Director, Prof. Nuria Martínez-de-Castilla-Muñoz, the Course Coordinator, Mr Carlos Leo Roca, and the representative of Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, Ms Karima Benaicha, Head of the Library and Online Database Department, who thanked the participants and gave them a brief introduction on the Foundation’s main projects and activities. The first lecture was delivered by Prof. Nuria Martínez-de-Castilla-Muñoz, who introduced the history of the Arabic manuscript collection at the Royal Library of San Lorenzo Monastery in El Escorial. This was followed by general remarks on the whole collection of manuscripts at the Royal Library, by the Director of the Library, Mr José Luis del Valle Merino. Prof. François Déroche then continued with a lecture on writing surfaces (parchment and paper). The first day ended with a presentation titled “Al-Furqān Digital Library Portal: World Islamic manuscript collections, catalogues and written heritage resources”, delivered by Ms Karima Benaicha.

Participants received certificates on the final day of the training course

A group photo taken on the final day of the training course



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Winter 2017

The Thirteenth Training Course on the Philosophy of Islamic Law:

of the Maqāṣid Research & Studies Centre. A speech by Prof. Khalid Samadi, Secretary of State to the Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research concluded the inaugural session. Prof. Samadi highlighted the need to update research curricula, secure integration among universities, and engage in university reform and integration of knowledge domains. Education and Scientific Research concluded the inaugural session. Prof. Samadi highlighted the need to update research curricula, secure integration among universities, and engage in university reform and integration of knowledge domains.

«Objectives (Maqāṣid) of the Noble Qurʾān»(3)

Following these opening speeches, the Course sessions began. Prof. Noureddine al-Khadimi chaired the first session, in which Prof. Ibrahim Elbayoumi Ghanem delivered his paper, “One religion, the objective of multiple Divine Messages and global scope of Islam”. He stressed the unity of human beings by virtue of their common origin and shared ancestry and reflected upon the concept of Islam’s global scope. He emphasised the unity of religion and the objective of multiple Divine Messages.

The inaugural session of the training course

The Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law (Maqāṣid Centre) at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation (London), in collaboration with the Maqāṣid Research & Studies Centre (Rabat) and the Department of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Letters & Humanities Ben M’sik (Casablanca), organised the third training course on “The Objectives of the Noble Qurʾān”. The Course took place over three days, 9-11 May 2017 (12-14 Sha‘bān 1438), at Kenzi Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco. Dr Abdul Majid al-Najjar chaired the inaugural session, which began with a recitation from the Noble Qurʾān. Mr Sali Shahsivari, Managing Director of Al-Furqān Foundation, then thanked participants and organisers. He emphasised that the Training Course had opened new horizons for research into the Noble Qurʾān’s objectives (maqāṣid) and had set about addressing areas not covered in the previous two training courses, with the ultimate aim to clearly map the Noble Qurʾān’s objectives. Abdelmalek Lakehayli, Vice-President of Casablanca Commune Council, praised the course topic, and talked about the Council’s priority of human before urban development. Subsequently, Prof. Idris Mansuri, President of Université Hassan II Casablanca, reflected on the topic. He concluded that knowledge of Qurʾān objectives was a precursor to reflection and contemplation on God’s signs. In turn, Prof. Abdelkader Gongai, Dean of the Faculty of Letters & Humanities Ben M’sik welcomed the participants and lecturers, and commended the areas covered by the papers. Prof. Mohamed Salim El-Awa then spoke on behalf of the participants, followed by Prof. al-Hussain al-Mous, Vice-Director

He then expanded on the concept of “religion”, citing scholars’ explanations and definitions. He Prof. Mohamed Salim El-Awa made reference to the objective of multiple Divine Messages, including the incremental approach to the perfect unity of religion, and complete unity of humankind, but not ordinances. He then discussed Islam’s global scope, emphasising that brotherhood in humanity is the path to peace. However, he emphasised that this global scope did not imply coercing people to embrace Islam. Finally, he argued in favour of a new discourse espousing novel juristic effort (ijtihād) performed collectively in such matters, based on objectives grounded on the Qur’ān’s universalities (kulliyāt). Prof. Mohamed Salim El-Awa commented on this paper. He explained that the multiplicity of Divine Messages is one of the Qur’ān’s principal objectives. Moreover, Islam’s global scope is one of the objectives



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Winter 2017 remoteness from monopoly and consumption and all things linked to a usury-based economy; connecting to God and adhering to His ordinances under all conditions; writing and recording; sanctity of blood and prohibition of murder; and so on. He then elucidated the characteristics of the Islamic discourse. These, he summarised in the following way: the human nature of this discourse with a focus on the holistic, comprehensive perspective that dominates over prior Divine Messages and humankind; also, consideration for consequences (al-ma’āl), by defining the jurisprudence of priorities (fiqh alawlawiyyāt), centring on the human dimension. He emphasised that focusing on these characteristics will assist in the salvation of the contemporary human being, especially, given the devastation inflicted by modernism on mankind, the universe, and the environment.

Prof. Noureddine al-Khadimi chaired the first session of the course

underlying the Prophet Muhammad’s mission. Prof. El-Awa differentiated between the universality of religion and the global scope of Islam; the former refers to religion addressing all without distinction, and the latter is the address to everyone following Prophet Muhammad’s mission. Prof. El-Awa also elaborated on the historical context in which Abdallah Draz and Mustafa Abdelraziq formulated their views regarding religion and Islam’s global scope. He concluded by saying that novel juristic effort, as an intellectual exercise, is open to revision in the light of changing times and places.

Dr Moustafa al-Ṣamadi commented on this submission. He analysed the terms of the title, beginning with the Noble Qur’ān which indicates fixed words allied to mobility through time. In addition, objectives indicate the continuing creative juristic effort to extract the underlying meanings of words. He stopped at the witness Ummah, and asked: how can Muslims become witnesses over people? How could they present civilisational testimony over the world? He mentioned that achieving civilisational testimony requires self-knowledge, as seen through the lens of the Qur’ānic text, and knowledge of the self’s problems and issues. He asserted that today’s world is in crisis relating to knowledge and values. He also pointed to the necessity of giving due consideration to context and formulae in the Qur’ānic discourse to find solutions to contemporary crises. Moreover, the necessity to engage with the other, on the basis of shared values.

The session’s second paper related to “The Noble Qur’ān’s objectives in constituting the witness Ummah over mankind”. Dr Muhammad Shahid asserted that his paper combined both legal theory and intellectual dimensions. He approached the topic by focusing on the “first” and “last” verses revealed to deduce that Dr Muhammad Shahid asserted that his paper combined both legal theory and intellectual dimensions. He approached the topic by focusing on the “first” and “last” verses revealed to deduce the Qur’ān’s objectives. He clarified that in Surah al-‘Alaq (Qur’ān 96), the opening with “iqra’” urges learning and seeking knowledge. Furthermore, the first verses of Surah al-Muzzammil (Qur’ān 73) are an invitation to selfpurification, while those of Surah al-Muddaththir (Qur’ān 74) discuss the proselytising (da‘wah) framework. Similarly, the first part of Surah al-Qalam (Qur’ān 68) is an invitation to adhere to ethics and model behaviours. From the first verses revealed, he extracted the objectives (maqāṣid) of building knowledge, spirituality, proselytising (da‘wah) capacities, and morality. On the other hand, from the last verses revealed, he extracted the following objectives: attention to the economic dimension;

Interaction with the audience then ensued through questions, discussion points, commentary, and recommendations.

Prof. Muhammad Shahid delivering his paper



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Prof. Hussain al-Mous chaired the second session. The first paper, “The Noble Qur’ān’s objectives and their effects in constructing human commonalities”, was delivered by Dr Abdul Rahman al-Kaylani. He began by emphasising the human dimension residing in Islamic law objectives. He then elucidated those Qur’ānic objectives that could form the basis for human commonalities. These encompass: developing Earth (‘imārat al-arḍ); ethical values; achieving human intersubjective linking (alta‘āruf); and the classes of objectives comprising necessities (al-ḥājiyyāt), needs (al-ḍarūriyyāt), and improvements (al-taḥsīniyyāt). The objective of developing Earth means to nurture and improve, prevent destruction and corruption, and encourage good works on the planet. He considered this objective the basis for exchange of human expertise. Such expertise varies in resource, knowledge, capabilities, and endowment. This objective also serves to fill any gaps in human experiences in some vital spheres. Similarly, he evidenced the objective of ethical values as establishing the human commonalities, by considering moral reform as one of the objectives of the Prophet’s — peace be upon him — mission, as well as the Qur’ān’s invitation to noble manners and model behaviours. He asserted that ethical values contribute to establishing the higher plane of human commonalities. In addition, these are suitable for forming alliances with those who share belief in them, regardless of religion, creed, or theological stance. He then spoke of objectives’ classes relating to necessities, needs, and improvements. He considered these to be the highest values that establish the foundation for inclusive human commonalities. He concluded by discussing the objective of intersubjective linking and human co-operation.

Prof. Moustafa al-Ṣamadi , Mr Mohammed Drioueche and Mr Sali Shahsivari

commonalities, whether origins of existence and creation; being ennobled and favoured by God; human intersubjective linking; struggle between competing forces of good and evil, conflicting interests, etc. (al-tadāfu‘); viceregency (alistikhlāf); peace-seeking; exercising compassion and being required to seek perfection in noble manners. He then spoke about the sources of this commonality, which he summarised in the following way: the innate (al-fiṭrah), and vestiges of previous ordinances or the Divine Code of preceding nations. He also articulated the characteristics and distinctions of human commonalities from the maqāṣid perspective. He emphasised that the higher universals are the basis of these commonalities, in addition to the moral commonality. He called for leveraging the human commonalities as a comprehensive concept to operationalise Islamic law objectives. Prof. Noureddine al-Khademi delivered the second paper in this session, titled “The objectives of perfection and completion in the Noble Qur’ān: from religious revelation to human achievement”. He mentioned that perfection (al-ikmāl) and completion (al-tatmīm) are terms encountered in the Qur’ān. He also indicated some of the thorny issues relating to the objectives of “perfection” and “completion”; these included approaching the Qur’ānic address in a fragmented way; the twin dichotomies of application versus theoretical consideration, and action versus awareness; lack of or weak practice according to the Qur’ān; unfinished work due to non-completion, limited perfection, or absence of the pursuit of excellence. In addition, the problematic issue of being immobilised by the divine miracle (al-i‘jāz) of revelation and expression of both Qur’ān and Prophetic tradition (ḥadīth). He dwelt on the concept of achievement and completion, emphasising that God, the Almighty, commanded us to complete works to

Dr Wael al-Harithi commented on the paper, pointing to wide recognition of the concept of human commonalities among researchers and thinkers. He pondered over the origins of human

Prof. Abdul Rahman al-Kaylani delivering his lecture



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Winter 2017 around the moral-ethical progression from spouses on to the polar (central) Ummah. She then explained the concept of urbanisation (al-‘umrān) in the Qur’ān, linking this to the family and its role in achieving the desired civilisational urbanisation. She asserted that the jurisprudence of urbanisation combines both jurisprudences of text (al-naṣ) and reality (al-waqi‘). She then addressed the matter of the relationship between the family and the protection of the human being, beginning with preservation of formation and biology by way of preserving lineage and species; moral preservation through purification; and preservation of identity through preservation of lineage. She then pointed to some of the objectives related to conjugal union in terms of inner peace, moral protection, chastity, mutual care, and others. She concluded with the objectives that preserve human social union towards protection of the innate, and mutual compassion, which preserves family, human being, and social unions. Dr Wafa Toufiq then commented on this paper, highlighting the novelty within, and adding a set of ideas to the submission. She also presented a number of observations, starting with the study design, as well as criticising the inclusion of child adoption under protection of the human being; she outlined the specific objectives relating to adoption. She recommended the addition of further depth to the third chapter, as well as adding new objectives.

Part of the audience

ensure continuity, as He commanded us to execute with excellence, and in full consciousness of God’s critical scrutiny. He then moved to explaining the concept of divine miracle (al-i‘jāz) and how it is related to achievement. He posited that miracle (ali‘jāz) is one of the ways of understanding revelation (al-inzāl), while acting in accordance with miracle (al-i‘jāz) is one of the ways of acting according to revelation (al-inzāl). Dr Khademi explained that being tasked (al-taklīf) in the Qur’ān is tasking with disseminating understanding (al-ifhām), tasking with objectives (al-maqāṣid), and tasking with rulings (al-aḥkām). He called on those undertaking Islamic work to achieve excellence and ensure full completion of their work. Prof. Hassan Azral commented on the submission. He posed the question: is the completion and perfection of religion a matter related to us, or is it outside our will? He dwelt on some ideas mentioned in the paper, such as the problematic issues of: religion divorced of action, being immobilised by the divine miracle (of action, being immobilised by the divine miracle (of: religion divorced of action, being immobilised by the divine miracle (al-i‘jāz), and also unfinished work. He mentioned that the Companions’ reading of the Qur’ān was that of striving to the utmost for God’s sake, and so theirs was a correct reading. The session concluded with a number of submissions, discussions, and commentaries. The second day of the course, Wednesday 10 May, started with the third session, chaired by Dr Moustafa Murabit. The first paper, “The family in the Qur’ān: from human being to urbanisation” was delivered by Dr Jamilah Tilout. She began by explaining the fundamental concepts regarding the family from lexicological and terminological perspectives. She dwelt on the defining elements of the family in the Qur’ān. Further, she emphasised that it revolved

Prof. Wafa Toufiq’s commentary on Prof. Jamilah Tilout’s presentation: “The family in the Qur’ān: from human being to urbanisation”

Dr Muhammad al-Nouri delivered the second paper of the session, titled “The economic objectives in the Noble Qur’ān”. In his paper, he indicated the relationship between objectives and economics. He summarised the objectives of the empirical discipline of economics in the diagnosis and treatment of the economic problem, and achieving economic growth, balance, stability, and justice. He mentioned some of the economic objectives found within the Noble Qur’ān, such as: urbanisation, empowerment, security, balance, and justice.



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Winter 2017

Dr Abdelsalam Ballaji commented on this paper by posing the question: are resources scarce or available? He also emphasised that the monetary and financial domain is one of ritual worship, based on the achievement of the principle of viceregency. He mentioned a set of economic objectives, including justice, income, work, creating future wealth, wealth conservation, purification of wealth, spending only when justified, consumption, growth, financial and value flows, etc.

He emphasised that the essence of the Qur’ān was to edify the human being. He then moved on to explain some edification objectives, asserting that these are quite numerous. These include: the objective of imparting learning, where he discussed the related ruling on whether it is obligatory on everyone, or some only; then the objective of ethics, discussing the material essence of ethics; and the objective of ritual worship, distinguishing between private and public ritual worship.

The fourth session began following the discussion, and was chaired by Dr Noureddine al-Khademi. This began with Dr Ahmed Kafi’s paper, titled “The intellectual objectives of the Noble Qur’ān”. He initially emphasised that all human and religious values are elaborated by the intellect, as the initiation of will and action. Moreover, thinking is one of the Qur’ān’s objectives. He studied the concept and semantics of thinking in the Qur’ān. He then moved to elucidate some of the objectives of thinking in the Qur’ān. These include: the objective of explanation that entails clarification and eradicating deviances in this life, and rituals rejected in Islamic legislation, the objective of eradicating group thought, freedom from group control and authority, or liberating the individual’s decision from the pressure of the group.

Prof. Abdelfattah al-Zineifi commented on the paper. He asked about the state of education today, and the extent it achieved the objectives of worship, ethics, and knowledge. He also asserted that in its entirety, the Qur’ān is a book of edification. Prof. Izzedine Toufiq delivered the second paper in this session titled “The Noble Qur’ān’s invitation to the human being to reflect on himself: knowledge and practice objectives”. He started by highlighting that God, the Almighty, commanded every human being to look and reflect on himself, and his surroundings. He then dwelt upon the matter of reflection within the Qur’ān. He t moved to explaining some of the objectives related to the invitation in the Qur’ān to the human being to reflect upon himself, including the practical objectives of thinking about the self. He differentiated between thinking and reflection, considering that thinking is the gateway to reflection. Moreover, thinking is common to all people while reflection is particular to only some. He stopped at the objectives of belief in the unseen (al-ghayb), the Last Day, and true faith. He then moved on to the practical objectives of reflecting upon the self, including: the objective of the human being’s function in creation, and the objective of inserting worship in life, repentance and others. He emphasised that the human being is multifaceted, in his biological and psychological aspects, where each possesses his own objectives.

Dr Ibrahim Bourshashen commented on the paper, asking: What is the methodology for such thinking? He also stopped at the problematic issue of the concept of group (al-jamā‘ah), the majority (aljamhūr), and the Ummah. He posed a series of questions relating to thinking linked to actuality. He asked: How can we think today on creed (‘aqīdah)? How can we think about forging the new human? How do we think today on financial transactions?

Dr Abdelsamad Boudhiab commented on the topic, emphasising its importance, benefit, and relationship to the training course topic. He also provided a set of methodological suggestions in order to grant greater depth to the topic. The proceedings of the second day of the training course concluded with discussion and comments from the audience, who engaged with the papers and commentaries.

Prof. Hasan Jabir

The fifth session chaired by Prof. Hasan Jabir began after the discussion. Dr Abdelnour Bazza presented his paper, “Edification objectives in the Noble Qur’ān”. He explained the concept of edification (tarbiyyah) in language, terminology and Qur’ān.

The sixth session of the training course was chaired by Prof. Mohamed Salim El-Awa. This opened with a paper by Prof. Abdul Majid al-Najjar, “The objectives



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Winter 2017

of the Noble Qur’ān in securing the practice of consultation (al-shūrā)”. He highlighted that the Qur’ān did not codify consultation as a legislative reality and then was silent; rather, it was articulated as a practical and methodological reality. In order to assist us in the application of consultation in life, it provided us with a methodology for implementation, enabling us to practice it. He then detailed a Qur’ānic mapping of the spheres, where consultation is applied. These included family, society, and politics. He then moved to elucidate some of the Qur’ānic approaches to secure consultation, such as commitment in the innate, faith, and legislation, as well as the obligation of edification, proselytising, and others. At the conclusion of the paper, he called for the necessity of conducting social education around consultation, and reforming education, such that it is built upon dialogue and consultation.

in the clarification of the Qur’ān’s objectives; for example, gathering disparate verses in the Qur’ān, which share a common theme to be considered as one collective unit, so as to understand the dimensions and effective elements of Qur’ānic guidance; moreover, facilitating the path to knowledge, and revealing the true correspondence linking these verses; in addition, revealing some aspects of miracle in the Qur’ān. The paper provided illustrative examples of thematic exegesis.

Prof. Omar Jaddiyya

Prof. Omar Jaddiyya commented on the paper by outlining its benefits and highlights, while underlining qualities and priceless gems from works of past scholars. However, he presented a set of criticisms of the paper, including the need to link thematic exegesis with exegesis of the Qur’ān through the Qur’ān itself.

Prof. Moulay al-Moustafa al-Hind

The opportunity was opened for the audience to participate through discussion, commentary, and questions.

Prof. Moulay al-Moustafa al-Hind commented on the paper, praising the content and composition. He then dwelt on the practice of consultation, clarifying that it had been taken out of the context of the general Qur’ānic meaning in Islamic culture, and limited to the political aspect. He connected consultation to the Qur’ānic conceptualisation of viceregency, and considered it a comprehensive and general objective, as it represented a framework for human social life.

The sixth session, chaired by Dr Abdelrahman alKaylani, centred on the paper by Prof. Ahmed al-Raissouni titled “The objectives of verses between generality of words and specificity of cause”. He explained his intent behind “objectives” and the relationship to cause. He mentioned the disagreement among scholars in their saying that knowledge of cause leads to knowledge of the Causer, and the statement “consideration to generality of words not specificity of cause”. He questioned: when are the reasons for revelation in the service of the Qur’ān? And when are they a danger to it? Prof. al-Raissouni discussed a set of questions, including the scholars’ statement: “consideration to generality of words not specificity of cause” and its applications. He addressed the relationship between generality of words and the generality of objective to highlight the benefits of reasons for revelation. He also linked objectives to the study of semantics

Subsequently, the paper “Thematic exegesis and objectives of the Noble Qur’ān” by Prof. Hasan Farhat was delivered on his behalf by Prof. Omar Jaddiyya. He presented the relationship of thematic exegesis to the objectives of the Qur’ān. He noted that thematic exegesis, as a somewhat contemporary science, was of two types; one, a discipline relating to meanings, and the other relating to terminology. He also dwelt upon the origins of thematic exegesis in the works of past and contemporary scholars. He further elucidated the influence of thematic exegesis



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by legal theorists (al-uṣūliyyūn). He emphasised the need to treat these and other legal theory works with the spirit of objectives, so as to overcome the superficial approach. Prof. Abdul Majid al-Najjar commented on this paper, and emphasised the need to critically investigate the meaning “generality of term”, which lies within the lexicological meaning. He questioned the extent to which the rule, “consideration to generality of words not specificity of cause”, is applicable. He also proposed a number of research projects related to the topic. Following the discussion, the seventh session began, chaired by Prof. Ahmed al-Raissouni. This was taken fully by Prof. Mohamed Salim El-Awa’s paper, titled “Verse endings and the objectives of the Noble Qur’ān: Surah al-Ra‘d as an example”. With verse endings, he meant those universal, comprehensive phrases that concluded the majority of the Qur’ān’s verses. These may also be an independent verse. He mentioned that he selected Surah al-Ra‘d, because it is a Surah revealed in the Makkan period, whose verses are considered to be universal. Therefore, he emphasised that attention to objectives was revealed quite early in the Qur’ān in the Makkan period. He dwelt on a set of verse endings to clarify their objectives. Prof. Ahmed al-Raissouni presided over the closing session, which included a number of speeches, such as Prof. Hussain al-Mous for the Maqāṣid Research & Studies Centre, Prof. Mohammed Izzedine Toufiq, Head of the Islamic Studies Department - Ben M’sik, and Mohammed Drioueche for AlFurqān Islamic Heritage Foundation. In addition, Prof. Noureddine al-Khadimi spoke on behalf of the lecturers, followed by a speech by the organising committee, read out by Dr Hassan al-Sarrat. Then, Dr Jamilah Tilout read out the recommendations, including:

The attendees were presented with certificates on the final day of the training course

● Proposing scientific projects to harness the participation of delegates benefiting from the training courses in the investigation into objectives. ● Organising training courses and symposia in specialist domains, such as the objectives of creed, family, dealings, edification, Islamic politics, governance and policy, etc. ● Opening up to the University, by holding open symposia to widen the scope of beneficiaries. ● Presenting suggestions for research by masters and doctoral students, in order to widen the circle of research and engagement. ● Setting aside one of the training course days to be held at the University, in order to open up to students, and grant an opportunity for the greatest number to benefit from the expertise of scholars and researchers. ● Developing a model curriculum on Qur’ān and Islamic law objectives. ● Operationalising objectives in reformulating studies on legal theory. ● Working towards operationalising objectives in both theory and practice, and providing scientific proposals for the introduction of objectives into humanities and social sciences. The course proceedings concluded on Thursday evening, 11 May, with the distribution of certificates to participants.

● Dedicating the forthcoming training course to the objectives of the Noble Prophetic tradition (Sunnah). ● Working to formulate practical proposals for the application of the objectives of Qur’ān. ● Peer reviewing the commentary, such that it is to be the desired level. ● Collecting the papers of the three training courses in one thematically ordered encyclopaedia, while filling any gaps in any domain through independent researches. ● Paying attention to the organisation of workshops, in order to formulate plans for the implementation of Qur’ānic objectives.

Prof. Ahmed Izzewi receiving his certificate from Prof. Ahmed al-Raissouni



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Symposia Session I The first session, titled “Introduction on the Historiography of Science”, was chaired by Mr Peter Fell. The first speaker was Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Turkish academic, diplomat, and member of the Board of Directors at Al-Furqān. He is also editor and co-author of the 18 volumes “History of Ottoman Scientific Literature.” His lecture was titled “An Overview of Ottoman Scientific Literature”. Prof. Ihsanoglu introduced the importance of the 18 volumes of “History of Ottoman Scientific Literature” that were prepared and published in the last three decades, which reveal enormous amount of information about scientific activities in the six centuries of the Ottoman era. In his lecture, Prof. Ihsanoglu presented the statistical findings of surveying 4897 authors, 4681 works and a large number of manuscripts. The information gathered was presented analytically in tables. The lecture highlighted the different aspects of authorship in various scientific disciplines (astronomy, mathematics, geography, medicine, etc.) and the interaction between scholars from different parts of the Ottoman Empire within its European, Anatolian and Arabic provinces. The paper also shed light on the first contacts with modern science emerging in the West Europe.

Symposium under the title:

«Science and Engineering in the Islamic Heritage»

Mr Sharaf Yamani welcoming the participants

The Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, in cooperation with Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (UK), organised a Symposium titled “Science and Engineering in the Islamic Heritage”, on Saturday, 18th March 2017, at Al-Furqān’s headquarters in London. The Symposium shed light on some of the contributions of Muslim scholars in different scientific fields, with a special focus on astronomy, mathematics, physics, optics, engineering, and scientific instruments, highlighting the major legacy and texts left by some of the pioneering scholars in this field. Furthermore, the Symposium explored ways of how to bring such contributions into the public domain to enhance intercultural respect. The symposium was structured in 5 sessions with a total of 14 speakers. It was attended by more than 50 scholars and academics, specialised in scientific fields of study and the Islamic Heritage. Each session was followed by an open discussion on the topic and relevant questions by the participants.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

The second speaker was Prof. William R. Shea, Prof. of History and Philosophy of Science at McGill University in Montreal. His paper was titled, “Enlarging our Historiography”. Prof. Shea highlighted the importance of studying history through a world history approach. In particular, he pointed out that, if we fail to understand the Islamic heritage, we will fail to understand Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, the most vigorous scientific activity of the early Middle Ages lay in the lands of the Prophet, whether in medicine, mathematics

The Symposium started with the welcoming words by Mr Sharaf Yamani, member of the Board of Directors at Al-Furqān, who highlighted the work of the Foundation in studying the Islamic written heritage in general, as well as its work and efforts in the fields of applied sciences and engineering in the Islamic Heritage; highlighting the fact that Al-Furqān looks at this heritage as being a shared human heritage.



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or astronomy. The Arab contribution to mechanics and engineering is of towering importance, and the historiography of science has now been greatly enhanced by the critical edition and English translation of the corpus of Al-Isfizārī. Prof. Shea concluded his speech by mentioning the decline of history as a subject and the need to move towards exhibitions and display of artefacts for engaging the public in the intercultural exchange of knowledge. Prof. George Saliba

Renaissance up to the seventeenth-century and beyond who used Arabic scientific sources in a variety of fields and annotated them with their own hands, all in the process of producing their own European pre-modern science, including Andreas Vesalius, Lazarus Hebraeus de Frigeis, Giambattista della Porta, John Greaves, in addition to several Dutch globe makers and other technicians, mostly interested in the practical scientific tools developed in the Islamic world.

Prof. Charles Burnett , Mr Peter Fell and Prof. William R. Shea

The second speaker of this session was Prof. David King, Prof. of the History of Science at the J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt. His lecture was titled, “Science in the Service of Islam”. Prof. King explained how the applications of science in the service of Islam had Prof. David King no parallel in the history of world civilisation, and they gave rise to many new inventions. In the mathematical tradition, for example, the regulation of the prayer-times took place within the broader context of astronomical timekeeping by the sun and stars, using extensive astronomical tables and complicated instruments, and the determination of the Qibla within the framework of mathematical geography, longitudes and latitudes, and applied mathematics. Prof. King also addressed the most recent misinterpretations (by Gibson, Meus and Holland) about early Muslim practices, and urged that the best means to confront them was to be informed about what the Muslims actually did do, through the study of written sources and artefacts that survived, from the Islamic world and beyond.

The third speaker of the first session was Prof. Charles Burnett, Prof. of the History of Arabic/ Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London. His lecture was titled, “Arabica Veritas: Europeans’ Search for “Truth” in Islamic Culture in the Middle Ages”. In this contribution, Prof. Burnett explained the meaning of the concept of “Arabic truth” among Medieval Western Europeans, and explored the apparent contradiction between Christians’ outright condemnation of Islam and their wholesale embracing of the products of Islamic culture. In fact, Arabic scholars, in particular of scientific texts, were seen not only as truthful to the text they were copying from the Greeks or other sources, but also as promoters of reasoning and rational thinking in analysing and answering those issues that the Greeks could not answer before, thus being seen by the European scholars as valuable and reliable sources. Session II The second session titled, “Astronomy and Mathematics in the Islamic Heritage” was chaired by Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. The first speaker of this session was Prof. George Saliba, Prof. of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University. His lecture was titled “The Pervasive Use of Arabic/Islamic Sources in Renaissance Europe and Thereafter” and focused on the works of European scientists who used Islamic/Arabic scientific sources to support and expand their own science. The lecture explored the works of European scientists from the

Session III The third session titled, “Optics and Vision in Islamic Heritage” was chaired by Dr Anne-Maria Brennan.



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Winter 2017 from a media archaeological point of view, because of Ibn al-Haytham’s understating of “inter-objectivity”: an object that reflects light is not passive, it becomes a potentiality. This concept is very much representative of contemporary technic media theories, which analyse the dialogues and interconnections between objects. Prof. Zielinski focused in particular on three aspects of Ibn al-Haytham’s work that make him a modern scholar: the highly experimental/empirical approach of Ibn al-Haytham’s concept of vision; its neurological implications; its modernity as a concept of generating and reflecting images.

Prof. Mohamed El-Gomati

The third contribution to this session was the lecture titled, “Ibn al-Haytham and His Influence on Post-Medieval Western Culture”, delivered by Prof. Charles M. Falco, who has joint appointments in Optical Sciences and Physics at the University of Arizona, Prof. Charles M. Falco where he holds the UA Chair of Condensed Matter Physics. Prof. Falco presented a research project done in collaboration with David Graves and David Hockney. He focused on Kitāb al-Manāẓir (Book of Optics) by Ibn al-Haytham and its intellectual contributions that subsequently were incorporated throughout the core of post-Medieval Western culture. Prof. Falco explained how Ibn al-Haytham’s seminal work on the human vision system initiated what remains an unbroken chain of development that connects 21st century optical scientists with the 11th century Ibn alHaytham. However, the impact that Ibn al-Haytham had on areas as wide-ranging as the theology, literature, art and science of Europe is still significantly understated.

The first lecture of this session, titled “From Ibn al-Haytham to Ahmed Zewail: A Millennium of Contributions to Imaging Devices” was delivered by Prof. Mohamed El-Gomati, Prof. of Electronics at the University of York, UK. In this lecture, Prof. El-Gomati focused on the development of optical imaging devices up to the present day. The chronology of developments as well as the key figures behind such inventions clearly shows how interdependent advancements in science and technology are, as well as to highlight the continued use of some old inventions in many of the advancements being made in today’s world, in particular from the Islamic heritage (with focus on the works by Ibn al-Haytham).

The last speaker of the third session was Dr Saira Malik, lecturer of Religious Studies at Cardiff University (UK), with a lecture titled “Kamāl al-Dīn alProf. Saira Malik Fārisī on (the) Optics: In the Footsteps of al-Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham?”. In her lecture, Dr Malik explained how, although Kamāl al-Dīn’s work uses Ibn al-Haytham’s writings in the ‘Optics’ as a starting point, Kamāl al-Dīn departs significantly from Ibn al-Haytham’s composition – in terms of structure, content and concept. Kamāl al-

Prof. Siegfried Zielinski

The second lecture of this session was delivered by Prof. Siegfried Zielinski, Prof. of Media Theory at the University of Arts (UdK) Berlin. The lecture was titled “Ibn al-Haytham’s Concept of Vision - A Media Archaeological Approach”. Prof. Zielinski pointed out how Islamic scholars provided a “post-modern” approach to the sciences ante litteram, in contrast to major European philosophers of the time (such as Hegel or Kant). In particular, he brought as an example Ibn alHaytham’s Book of Optics, one of the most important contributions for the history of visual perception and the construction of images interpretation. This work, for Prof. Zielinski, is also an important contribution



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Dīn al-Fārisī (d. ~1320CE, Tabriz) is the only known commentator in Arabic of Ibn al-Haytham’s principal work, ‘Optics’ – an important work in the history of science – particularly in the history of the physical sciences.

“Traces and Connection with Muslim Scientific Heritage in Leonardo Da Vinci Manuscripts”. Prof. Bernardoni discussed direct and indirect examples of influence of Arabic and Islamic scientific contributions to the work of Leonardo da Vinci in the fields of engineering, arts and sciences. In the case of engineering machines, the influences from the Islamic context came mostly through the commercial routes and the travellers between the Middle East and Europe. At the beginning of the 16th century, Leonardo even considered the possibility of moving to the court of Sultan Bāyezīd II, with the project to build a bridge over the Bosphorus. As for scientific knowledge and the arts, manuscripts and translations of Arabic sources were the main influence in Da Vinci’s work, such as Al-Kindī and Ibn al-Haytham for optics and meteorology, and Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā) for anatomy and medicine.

Session IV The fourth session titled, “Engineering and Instruments in Islamic Heritage” was chaired by Mr Sharaf Yamani. The first speaker was Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, Emeritus Prof. at the University of Manchester, and President of FSTC, with a lecture Prof. Salim Al-Hassani titled “An Introduction on Automatic Machines in Muslim Civilisation”. This contribution reviewed the rise and development of automatic machines within Muslim civilisation. It looked at how inventors from the Muslim civilisation progressively transformed achievements of previous cultures (e.g. ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Persia, China and India), and how they developed new sophisticated time measuring devices, irrigation machines and entertainment devices. Prof. AlHassani showed some examples of automatic machines, using 3D animations created from descriptions in primary sources, using modern engineering graphics. These included: Caliph Ḥarūn al-Rashīd’s clock that he gifted to Charlemagne, Ibn al-Haytham’s novel water clock, and some machines of Al-Murādī in Al-Andalus, Al-Jazārī and Taqī al-Dīn in Turkey, and the clocks of Riḍwān al-Sāʿātī in Damascus, Bū ʿInāniya and AlQarawiyyin clocks in Fez. Prof. Al-Hassani concluded by stating that unfortunately, there is a gap in the educational curricula of about 1000 years, overlooking the contributions of non-European cultures such as Chinese, Indian, Persian and Muslim.

Prof. Julio Samso

The third speaker of this session was Prof. Julio Samso, Emeritus Prof. of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the University of Barcelona, who delivered a lecture titled “Dūnash ibn Tamīm and the Armillary Sphere”. In his lecture, Prof. Samso analysed the contents of the treatise and showed that Dūnash’s knowledge of spherical astronomy was rather limited. Abū Sahl Dūnash was a Tunisian scholar, born in Qayrawan, and was a disciple of the well-known physician and philosopher Isḥāq ibn Sulaymān al-Isrāʾīlī (4th/10th century), who worked as a physician of the Fatimid caliphs. The treatise on the armillary sphere was written to accompany a real instrument built for Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn. It has been preserved in only one manuscript (Istanbul, Ayasofya 4861), copied in 613/1217. It describes an analogical computer, like the astrolabe, not an observational instrument. The treatise is divided into two parts: 1) Introduction and 2) a collection of 43 applications of the armillary instrument. He adds to this list lengthy digressions concerning topics which are not related to the use of the armillary sphere, or in which the use of the instrument is only a visual help, to understand the theory involved. In some cases, these digressions are cosmological.

The second speaker was Prof. Andrea Bernardoni researcher and curator at the Institute of the History of Science in Florence (Italy). His lecture was titled,

Prof. Andrea Bernardoni



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The last speaker of the fourth session was Prof. Glen Cooper, visiting assistant Prof. in the History Department at Claremont McKenna College. His lecture was titled “Astrolabes and Zijes as Tools of Education and the Transmission of Scientific Knowledge from Islamic Civilisation”. Prof. Cooper provided an introduction to Islamic astrolabes and astronomical tables (zijes), explaining that they were improvements on Greek antecedents, and were employed both to educate non-specialists about basic astronomical concepts, and to enable faster calculations of planetary positions and other astrological parameters. Both astrolabes and tables encode a complex trigonometry, so the user needs merely to turn a dial, aligning certain marks and reading off the result from the astrolabe, or simply to perform basic arithmetic on the tables to derive planetary positions. In addition, the astrolabe was an important vehicle for the transmission of mathematics and astronomy to Europe. In conclusion, Prof. Cooper explained how astrolabes and zijes are useful in modern history of science courses, to help students grasp the technical sophistication of Muslim civilisation. He discussed three example assignments and workshops 1) Students use tables to calculate selected features of their birth charts (positions of Sun, Mars and Ascendant). 2) Students construct an astrolabe from scratch, using compass, pencil, card stock paper, and an acetate sheet. And 3) Students learn how to use the astrolabe for time-keeping and selected astrological calculations.

Prof. Zielinski, Prof. Saliba, Prof. King and Prof Tashkandi

The main speaker was Prof. Karen Pinto, who has worked extensively with medieval Islamic maps in manuscript libraries around the world. Her speech was titled, “Teaching Islamic Technology to American Undergraduates: The Importance of 1001 Inventions as a Means to Dispel Islamophobia”. In her lecture, Prof. Pinto explained how in a time of great stress between the Western and Muslim worlds, it is important to provide students with an understanding of global culture and the contributions that the Muslims make to it. Classes on Islamic Civilisation and Technology enable us to break down negative western monolithic impressions of Islam and Islamic history, by familiarising students with the richness and diversity of Islamic history and culture, and the advances of science and technology in the medieval period.

Prof. Glen Cooper

Session V The last session was titled, “Science Heritage in Action” and was chaired by Prof. William Shea.

Prof. Karen Pinto



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Closing Session

Dr Bettany Hughes, a renowned Historian, author, and TV presenter was the Master of Ceremonies, and she presented the endeavours of both organisations in the field of Islamic Heritage.

Discussion and Recommendations During the closing session, the speakers and the audience engaged in an open discussion that ended with the recommendations and final words by the Managing Director of Al-Furqān, Mr Sali Shahsivari, who reminded the audience of the work of the Foundation in unearthing the hidden treasures of Islamic written heritage by surveying, cataloguing and editing manuscripts, and in promoting research and study in different fields of this heritage, with a special focus on the field of science and technology. Also, he made a call for projects on critical edition of scientific texts. He also highlighted Al-Furqān’s work in building an online database, as a gateway to the Islamic written heritage, which is an open access for all. Furthermore, he pointed out that this event aimed to discuss ways of bringing this heritage closer to the public domain, through different ways and initiatives, as well as through co-operation with other organisations in the same field (such as FSTC and its 1001 Inventions initiative) in order to raise awareness on the richness of Islamic heritage, its role and importance, and in addition to enhance inter-cultural appreciation and respect.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, member of the Board of Directors at

Dr Bettany Hughes

Al-Furqān, and Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, President of FSTC, also welcomed the guests, gave a brief account of the inception of the mutual co-operation as well as the synergy between both organisations for all initiatives towards promoting the Islamic heritage and civilisation.

The Opening Dinner The Symposium was opened on Friday, 17th March, with a reception and dinner held at the Cholmondeley Room & Terrace at the House of Lords in London, hosted by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Knight of Weymouth, and the Rt. Hon. Baroness Hooper.

Prof. Julio Samso

Dr Ahmed Al-Dubayan

Followed by the speeches, Prof. Julio Samso, Emeritus Prof. of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Barcelona, and Dr Ahmed Al-Dubayan, Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, introduced the English, and Arabic publication, respectively, and shared their review of the scholarly work at hand.

Rt. Hon. Baroness Hooper

During this event, organised jointly by Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation and the Foundation for Science, Technology, and Civilization, the book on ‘The Corpus of al-Isfīzārī in the Sciences of Weights and Mechanical Devices’ (both Arabic and English versions) was inaugurated.

Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords, London



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Conferences Moreover, to track different projects regarding the publication of these Qur’ān manuscripts, such as the Corpus Coranicum project, and any other matters overlapping with Qur’ānic studies.

Conference under the title: «The Noble Qur’ān from Revelation to Compilation»

The first day of the conference was distinguished by the opening session, followed by three specialised sessions. The opening session began with a recitation from the Noble Qur’ān, then the screening of a documentary film, showcasing the efforts by Al-Furqān Foundation and its various centres in the service of the Islamic heritage. These included organising conferences, cataloguing manuscripts, and releasing critical publications. Subsequently, Mr Sali Shahsivari, Managing Director of Al-Furqān, delivered a speech welcoming the esteemed scholars and researchers participating in the conference. He praised their collaboration with the scientific committee organising this veritable feast of knowledge, while conveying his sincere wishes for an enjoyable stay in the city of Istanbul, and Mr Sali Shahsivari, Managing their continued scholarly Director of Al-Furqān success. He mentioned that this conference was complementary to previous conferences by Al-Furqān, which had focused on manuscript texts in the different disciplines and spheres of knowledge. Moreover, it fulfilled the wishes of Al-Furqān’s Board of Experts, who had recommended the Foundation’s focus on the Noble Qur’ān, from the phase of Revelation to that of compilation. He then mentioned Al-Furqān’s extensive efforts in the diverse scientific disciplines within its defined areas of interest, noting the continuity in the pioneering and novel organisation of conferences and training courses in different parts of the world. He indicated that this conference was addressing a fine yet thorny issue, relating to the Noble Qur’ān from the phase of Revelation to the phase of compilation. It aimed to refute some of the fallacies that had been propagated at this particular time. Indeed, those issues raised in some orientalist writings, and others of their like.

Inaugural session of the conference

Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation organised an international conference on the Noble Qur’ān, titled “The Noble Qur’ān from Revelation to Compilation”, which took place in Istanbul, on Saturday and Sunday, 26-27 November 2017CE (8-9 Rabī‘ al-Awwal 1438AH). The conference witnessed a significant scholarly presence, with the participation of thirteen specialist researchers from around the world. The 8th edition of this conference was held on the backdrop of the 22 July 2015 announcement by Birmingham University that it had performed radiocarbon dating on one of its old Qur’ān manuscripts (popularised in the media as the “Birmingham Qur’ān”). The result had dated the manuscript fragments to the period 568-645CE with an accuracy of 95.4%, i.e. to the first and not the second or third Hijri century as previously thought. The news provoked a tidal wave of contrasting opinion continuing until recently. Indeed, some commentators had inappropriately cited the test results to conclude that the Noble Qur’ān actually preceded the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. In this context, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation decided to convene a conference tackling the subject of manuscript Qur’ān copies. The aim was to introduce and explain the importance of manuscript Qur’ān copies, as well as highlight the need to catalogue, reference, and make these available to researchers. 25


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Following the opening session, Professor Bashar Awwad Marouf chaired the first session, with contributions from three research scholars, namely Dr Omar bin Abdul Ghani Hamdan, Dr Adel Ibrahim Abu Sha’ar, and Dr Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad. Dr Omar bin Abdul Ghani Hamdan presented the first paper titled “The ‘Uthmānī Qur’ān compilation project and the extant disagreement on dates and number of copies”. It represented a new reading aimed at determining the date of the transcribed Qur’ān and number of copies made. He concluded that the transcribed Qur’ān copies had been executed in three phases.

Prof. Adel Ibrahim Abu Sha’ar

The second paper by Dr Adel Ibrahim Abu Sha’ar was titled “Diacritical marks in manuscript Qur’ān copies: from the first to the end of the fourth Hijri century”. The paper explored the science and methodological foundations of diacritical marking in the orthography of the Noble Qur’ān. It also reviewed the principal diacritics in Qur’ān manuscripts of the Islamic East (Mashriq) and key historical milestones in their development. In addition, it discussed the methodology, colours, phonetic indications, and their role in resolving the phenomena relating to orthographic features (al-rasm), authentic vocal rendition (al-tajwīd), canonical readings (al-qirā’āt), and prevention of misreading (al-taṣḥīf) and metathesis (al-taḥrīf).

Prof. Omar bin Abdul Ghani Hamdan

In the first phase, the personal copy belonging to the Grand Caliph ‘Uthmān—peace be upon him—was compiled, followed by copies that were dispatched to those parts of the Muslim world where variant readings were an issue, such as Kufa, Basra, and Damascus; moreover, attempting to determine the number of these copies. In the second phase, around 30AH, further ‘Uthmānī copies of the Noble Qur’ān were produced. The most credible of opinions notes that there were six copies, which were dispatched to other Muslim territories, such as Makkah, Madinah, Egypt, and Yemen. These territories had not witnessed the issue of variant readings, as was the case in Iraq and the Levant.

Prof. Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad

On his part, Dr Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad presented his paper, “Qur’ānic readings in pointed Qur’ān copies dating back to the primary three centuries”. He noted that the diacritical marking method in these Qur’ān copies was not consistent with any of the seven or ten canonical readings that had been elucidated in the era of Ibn Mujāhid (d. 324AH) and his students. He demonstrated through irrefutable evidence, the baselessness of the opinion that states that any reading that disagrees with these seven or ten canonical readings is considered noncanonical (shādhah).

The third phase, at 33AH, saw another batch of Qur’ān copies were produced. These were sent to some frontier lands, such as Homs, Tiberias, and Tarsus. It is perhaps the lack of distinction made between these three phases that led to disagreement and confusion over dates of transcription, and number of copies dispatched to the Muslim territories. 26


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The session was distinguished by fruitful scholarly discussion, concentrated mainly on the necessity of distinguishing between the compilation of the Noble Qur’ān during the time of Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq and its copying in the time of ‘Uthmān b. ‘Affān. In addition, the discussion emphasised the need to study the chain of narrators (isnād) related to those traditions (āthār) describing that phase, and determining their degree of authenticity, in order to draw the correct conclusions.

readings, seven regions, seven [Arabic] dialects, or seven similar meanings worded differently. After weighing these up, he elected the last one as being the most credible. He then proceeded to explain that the Noble Qur’ān had been compiled in the time of Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq, then further copies were made in the time of Caliph Imām ‘Uthmān b. ‘Affān, based on one letter (ḥarf); all other copies that differed with this, were abrogated, some of which came to be considered non-canonical readings (shādhdhah).

The first evening session was presided over by Dr Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad, in which three research papers were presented.

Prof. Bashar Awwad Marouf

The session was followed by a number of discussions and scientific responses, mostly concentrating on the necessity to re-read the authenticated (ṣaḥīḥ) traditions (āthār) describing that phase.

Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu

The first paper by Dr Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu followed the journey of “The Qur’ān attributed to the Righteously-Guided Caliph, ‘Uthmān b. ‘Affān, preserved in Topkapi Palace, through historical and codicological observations”. In the paper, he concluded that this Qur’ān is not one of the early copies sent to the Muslim territories, due to the quality of calligraphy and diacritics, in addition to the decoration contained. He also explored the efforts made to publish it, which represented an important episode in the study of the history of the Noble Qur’ān. The second paper titled, “The effect of the licence of the seven letters on the transcription of the Qur’ānic text” was presented by Dr Salim Qaduri alHamad. In his submission, he explored the extent of the effect of the licence of the seven letters in the transcription of the Noble Qur’ān during the Prophet’s time, and then the subsequent Caliph, Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq. He then elucidated its effect on ‘Uthmānī orthography. The third lecture was titled “Insights into the Prophetic tradition {This Qur’ān was sent down in seven letters}”. Dr Bashar Awwad Marouf followed up the variant narrations of this tradition. He explored the differences among scholars regarding its meaning, whether the matter related to seven

The second evening session was chaired by Dr Abdallah al-Ghunaim, where three papers were presented. The first titled, “Verbal transmission of the Noble Qur’ān and the methodology of historical criticism” was delivered by Dr Abdul Hakim b. Yusuf alKhalifi. In his paper, he attempted to explain that vocal transmission had not been the sole way for preservation of the Noble Qur’ān, rather writing also played a key role. He demonstrated the error of the opinion that considers it a necessity to apply the methodologies of historical criticism to the Noble Qur’ān, as was applied to Bible texts, in both Old and New Testaments.

Prof. Abdul Hakim b. Yusuf al-Khalifi presneting his lecture



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Prof. Karim Ifraq Ahmad

Prof. Abdul Razak bin Ismail Harmas delivering his lecture

The second paper, “History of the Noble Qur’ān from verbal to written: a critical, codicological study of the Orientalist school”, was presented by Dr Karim Ifraq Ahmad. In the paper, he recalled the numerous attempts by the Orientalist school to promote distortions and misrepresentation about Islam generally, and the Noble Qur’ān in particular. He noted the absence of robust scientific responses to these misrepresentations and emphasised the necessity for scientific responses, by those within their area of specialisation.

The second paper was presented by Dr Abdallah al-Kahtib, titled “Orientalist readings of the Noble Qur’ān: the example of the Corpus Coranicum project”. In his paper, he addressed some of the Orientalists’ slanders projected on the Noble Qur’ān prior to, and during this project. He mentioned this project’s origins, historical phases, aims to be achieved, and suggested means to respond to it, concluding the paper with his recommendations. The third paper, presented by Dr Qasim AlSamarrai, was titled “Accuracy of C14 carbon testing in dating of Qur’ānic parchment, and its relationship to palimpsests”. In his paper, he sought to prove the accuracy of radiation dating of old Qur’ān parchment, using C14 radiocarbon analytical technology, compared to traditional methods that were standard in dating such parchment.

The third paper was by Dr Sami Mohamed Saeed Abdul Shakur, titled “Canonical readings from the time of inception to the age of Ibn Mujahid, and refuting the misconceptions raised by Dr François Deroche”. In the paper, Dr Sami followed those attempts Prof. Sami M. Saeed Abdul Shakur by Deroche to discredit the transcription of the Noble Qur’ān, and the vital importance of referring to those readings that were discarded after that phase. He also attempted to refute Deroche’s misleading notions.

The session was followed by a discussion mainly around the weak Islamic scholarly responses to Orientalist studies of the Noble Qur’ān. The evening session was chaired by Mr Mohamed Drioueche, and was distinguished by the lecture delivered by Dr Idham Mohammed Hanash, titled “The aesthetic approach to studying manuscript Qur’ān copies”. In his submission, he studied the aesthetic and artistic aspects relating to the Noble Qur’ān, principally calligraphy and diacritics.

The second day witnessed two sessions. The first session was chaired by Mr Sali Shasivari, with the participation of three scholars, namely Dr Abdul Razak bin Ismail Harmas, Dr Abdallah alKhatib, and Dr Qasim al-Samarrai. Dr Abdul Razak b. Ismail Harmas presented his paper titled “The critical commentaries of the Noble Qur’ān at the dawn of the Corpus Coranicum project”. In his submission, he mentioned the historical phases of the Corpus Coranicum project, and its most prominent protagonists, aiming to create a copy of the Noble Qur’ān that was in circulation before it was collated and transcribed.

Prof. Abdallah al-Kahtib



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The lecture was followed by an open session with Dr Bashar Awwad Marouf and Dr Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad. In his talk, Dr Bashar Awwad Marouf emphasised that the Noble Qur’ān had been transcribed in full in the time of Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq, in the aftermath of the Battle of Yamamah, where many memorisers (ḥufāẓ) had been martyred. This work was undertaken under the supervision of the eminent Companion, Zayd b. Abī Thābit—an intelligent young man, who moreover had the Qur’ān committed to memory; he was now entrusted with its gathering / compiling. Henceforth, Zayd began to seek out and gather the Qur’ān as written on palm branches, white stone, and bone, as well as from individuals’ memory.

Mr Mohamed Drioueche and Prof. Bashar Awwad Marouf

On his part, Dr Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad praised the papers presented, and emphasised the necessity of giving old manuscript Qur’ān copies due attention by way of research and examination. He illustrated that the researcher of the Qur’ān draws on five essential sciences associated with the Qur’ān, namely orthography, diacritics, canonical and non-canonical readings, pause and beginning (al-waqf wa al-ibtidā’), and number of verses. He mentioned that over forty years ago, when he wanted to view the manuscript Qur’ān held at Jāmi‘ al-Ḥusayn attributed to ‘Uthmān b. ‘Affān for his thesis on Qur’ān orthography, he was forbidden from doing so. All manner of petitions or letters were to no avail in changing this draconian position. However, today, due to the revolution in digitising and publishing manuscripts, this and other copies of the Qur’ān were now available to researchers. Dr Al-Hamad drew attention to the fact that “each manuscript Qur’ān copy possesses intrinsic scientific value, because it represents a specific phase of the history of the muṣḥaf’s long journey; tended by scholars, calligraphers, decorators, and memorisers, until this copy was executed; hence, each Qur’ān copy possesses scientific value in its study”.

“The aesthetic approach to studying manuscript Qur’ān copies” was the titled Prof. Idham Mohammed Hanash’s lecture

In the time of Caliph ‘Uthmān, Zayd copied what he had collected in Abū Bakr’s time into master copies (umahāt), which were then distributed to the Muslim territories. Professor Awwad drew attention to the importance of qualifying this phase with the word “copying”, and not gathering / compiling the Qur’ān; this is because the latter gives the impression that the Noble Qur’ān was only captured in writing 20 years after the death of the Messenger—peace be upon him, which is patently not correct. He added that ‘Uthmān’s initiative was successful, and that thousands of Qur’ān copies were made. Indeed, al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī (d. 748AH) mentions the existence of over two million copies of the ‘Uthmānī muṣḥaf in his time. Professor Awwad concluded his talk by pointing to the fact that campaigns aimed at discrediting the Qur’ān were not new, but as old as Islam itself. He emphasised the necessity of avoiding populist, media-focused responses. Indeed, academic journals, conferences, and discussions reinforced by knowledge and evidence were the ideal way of presenting these responses.

Prof. Ghanim Qaddouri al-Hamad praised the papers presented



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Dr Al-Hamad mentioned that he had gathered new studies on manuscript Qur’ān copies in two of his books. The first he had titled “’Ilm al-maṣāḥif” and the second, “’Ulūm al-Qur’ān bayn al-maṣādir wa al-maṣāḥif”. He stressed the importance that public bodies and organisations in the Muslim world should gather and catalogue manuscript Qur’ān copies, and provide access to researchers and learners. Moreover, holding exhibitions on the Qur’ān and publishing journals that address this area of research. Dr Al-Hamad concluded his talk by emphasising the importance of translating the latest studies on the area of manuscript Qur’ān copies into Arabic. He thanked Al-Furqān for laying the primary foundations of this project by organising this conference, while anticipating that it be followed by further conferences dedicated to studying the critical scientific issues raised at this conference.

3. Establishing a scientific centre specialising in the history of manuscript Qur’ān copies, parallel to the “Corpus Coranicum” project, under the auspices of AlFurqān Foundation. This would establish strong links with museums, and libraries worldwide, and attempt to gather the early Qur’ān copies in digital form. These must be catalogued in scientific, analysed form, and made available to researchers and learners. 4. Organising international scientific conferences, symposia, and training courses in the area of manuscript Qur’ān copies, and promoting their scientific, historical, and aesthetic value, while following orientalist efforts around the Qur’ānic text; all under the umbrella of scientific bodies and centres that assure a wide following from researchers and learners. 5. Coordinating Al-Furqān’s efforts with those of other scientific establishments working in the same area (such as Markaz Tafsīr al-Dirāsāt alQur’āniyyah in Riyadh) to enhance the level of these studies. Furthermore, organising a second conference on this topic, and examining other areas not addressed in this conference. 6. Studying the foreign language dictionaries, encyclopaedia, and research papers relating to the Noble Qur’ān, and responding to those misrepresentations contrary to the consensus of the Muslim nation, through objective, robust scientific responses. 7. Al-Furqān Foundation to work at publishing a book or reference on the history of the Noble Qur’ān from the Islamic perspective, and to translate it into foreign languages. The text should address the Western mentality, and place the truthful rendition of this history at their disposal. 8. Publishing a scientific encyclopaedia specialised in the sciences of the Noble Qur’ān, and translating it into foreign languages, in order to enlighten the world of the Islamic view on issues relating to the Noble Qur’ān.

This was followed by the closing speech delivered by Mr Mohamed Drioueche, in which he thanked the conference participants, followed by reading out the recommendations and recitation of verses of the Noble Qur’ān.

Mr Mohamed Drioueche

Conference recommendations The conference delivered the following recommendations: 1. Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation to publish the conference papers widely, especially within specialised scientific circles, and work to translate these into foreign languages. 2. Al-Furqān to adopt a project attending to manuscript Qur’ān copies (maṣāḥif), and supporting and encouraging scientific research projects in this area. Also, establishing a dedicated website to promote such studies, and preparing a comprehensive bibliography of Qur’ānic studies, whether from the West or East, and making these available on a database.

A group photo taken on the final day of the conference



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Conference under the title: «Religion & Civilisation: Protection of Civilisation as a Purpose of Religion»

representatives of different civilisations to generate a thoughtful discussion on issues of civilisation. He added that many prominent scholars and speakers were participating in this conference to explore the best means for the re-evaluation of the formulation and development of topics related to “civilisation as an objective of Islamic law”. He also presented a comprehensive overview of Ibn Haldun University that had been established the previous year. In turn, Mr Sali Shahsivari, Managing Director at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, emphasised the importance of the Conference in his opening speech. He elaborated on the idea that the basis of all the religious rulings delivered by the Messengers, was to secure the objective of attaining and protecting a civilised way of life. Moreover, in absolute terms, a religious objective encompassed anything that achieved and preserved a balanced state of communal human civilisation, free of injustice, oppression, or aggression. Indeed, without such civilisation, human existence could not be perfected, nor would human development progress; in the absence of civilisation, the role of humans as God’s vicegerents on earth would not be fulfilled.

Prof. Recep Şentürk, President of Ibn Haldun University and the Alliance of Civilisations Institute

Dozens of leading scholars and researchers from 15 countries converged on Istanbul to participate in the Conference, “Religion & Civilisation: Protection of Civilisation as a Purpose of Religion”. This was co-organised by the Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, Ibn Haldun University, and the Alliance of Civilisations Institute. The Conference was hosted at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul, and took place from Friday 19th October to Sunday 21st October 2017. The idea for this international conference was founded on Ibn Khaldun’s conceptualisation of civilisation as an objective of Islamic law. Indeed, Ibn Khaldun’s scientific corpus continues to be a rich source for researchers, not only in the sphere of academic studies and criticism, but also informing new epistemological theory. The conference organisers’ intent was to bring one aspect of Ibn Khaldun’s thought into the spotlight, namely civilisation as an Islamic law objective; given the utility of its application in addressing contemporary reality and its rapid changes.

Mr Sali Shahsivari, Managing Director of Al-Furqān

Mr Shahsivari added that today, the world and humanity are enduring political, economic, social, and moral conditions bordering on an invitation of destruction of civilisation and the world; in the backdrop was modernism’s failure to create an ideal civilisation, with the exclusion of religion from all aspects of life; therefore, it was imperative to interrogate the reasons that led to this crisis in the world generally, and in the Muslim nation in particular. Moreover, he pointed to the Conference’s vital importance and role in identifying the root problem, emphasising religion as the basis of civilisation.

Dr Recep Şentürk, President of Ibn Haldun University and the Alliance of Civilisations Institute, opened the proceedings on Friday morning, 19 October, giving a speech explaining the idea of the Conference. He indicated that Ibn Haldun University, and the Alliance of Civilisations Institute, in collaboration with Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, had jointly organised this forum. The object was to bring together the



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Winter 2017

Prof. Mazen Hashem delivering his lecture on the first day of the Conference

Prof. Tayeb Bergouth, Prof. Mohamed El-Moctar Shinqiti, Prof. Heba Raouf Ezzat and Prof. Saifeldin Abdelfattah

Each lecture was followed by discussion and comments from the participants. On the second day, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended. He thanked the organisers of this key Conference, and announced that in the next three years, Ibn Haldun University would be fully constructed in the Islamic style. In his address, he emphasised the Islamic civilisation’s role as the sole force capable of protecting humanity for the world. The afternoon of the second day witnessed a keynote lecture by the guest of honour, Dr Taha Abdurrahman, titled “Human trusteeship (amānah) and civilisational responsibility”.

The first day’s conference sessions focused principally on the Islamic law objectives (maqāṣid). Dr Jassim Sultan delivered a lecture on “The conditions of readiness for establishing ʿumrān”, then Dr Mesfir Al Qahtani on “The objective of civilisational ‘umrān: A critical scientific view”, followed by the sociologist, Dr Mazen Hashem on “The objectives of ʿumrān: methodological issues”. Further sessions comprised lectures by Dr Badrane Benlahcene on “The role of religion in achieving social ʿumrān”, Dr Abdelmajid Najar on “The role of society in building ʿumrān: A Sharīʿah objective”, Dr Saifeldin Abdelfattah on “The objective of preserving ʿumrān and good governance”, Dr Mohamed El-Moctar Shinqiti on “The relationship between authoritarianism and decadence in Islamic civilisation: Reading into the concept of “public disinterest” in Kawākibī’s thought”, and Dr Tayeb Bergouth on “The movement of civilisational cycles and the network of general laws affecting it: A methodological, Qurʾānic and objective-based approach”. Subsequently, Dr Hayrettin Yücesoy delivered his lecture on “Before civilisation: Notions of human collectivism in the premodern Middle East”. In turn, Dr Hüseyin Yilmaz delivered “From city to civilisation: The origins of the Ottoman concept of civilisation”.

Prof. Taha Abdurrahman

The Conference addressed the topic of ‘umrān and civilisation from various perspectives in 62 parallel workshop sessions, taking place over days two and three of the Conference. These covered the themes of religion, civilisation, literature, economics, music, education, medicine, environment, and technology. The Conference closed with a lecture by AbdulWahed El-Wakil on “Architecture, religion and civilisation”, and the forum declaration read out by Dr Burhan Köroğlu.

Prof. Abdelmajid Najar



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Winter 2017

Recent Publications prophetic tradition, language, history, and biographies. Prof. Bashar Awwad Marouf has critically edited this seminal text, applying the latest scientific approaches. In this pursuit, he gathered many scattered manuscript copies from Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland, and other countries.

«Al-Tamhīd limā fī al-Muwaṭṭaʾ min al-Maʿānī wa al-Asānīd»

(commentary on al-Muwaṭṭaʾ) by Abū ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Namarī al-Qurṭubī (1071 CE / 463 AH)

«Diwān Rasāʾil al-Sābīʾ»

Critical edition by Bashar Awad Marouf

(The Registry of al-Ṣābiʾ Letters) by Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm al-Ṣābī (384 AH/994 CE) Compiled, edited and studied by Dr Ihsan Dhanoun al-Thamiri

This book consists of 419 treatises, dating back to the Buyid dynasty’s subjugation of the Abbasid Caliphate. These treatises are important documents preserving a large quantity of primary material that benefit greatly the study of Islamic State’s history under Buyid control (334-447AH / 946-1055AD). The treatises expose the ongoing conflict between the Buyid and the caliphate establishment and surrounding forces. They also reveal the internal competition within the Buyid dynasty itself. The collection provides insight into political correspondences, economic organisations, and administrative protocols. It also includes documentary records, treaties, and letters of appointment to prominent state positions. The reader will find a treasure trove of extensive benefit. Researchers will find in them a large volume of novel historical material published for the first time. This includes rich primary sources that contribute to new studies and findings in the field of history. Rasā’il al-Ṣābī are mostly official administrative treatises issued by Abbasid caliphs or Buyid governors; the latter had seized large swathes of territory in the Islamic East, putting them outside caliphate authority. They successfully appropriated the worldly powers of the Abbasid caliphate and controlled state resources. These treatises reveal their views on the concept of state, philosophy of administration, as well as their economic, administrative, political, military and urban policy. They also provide insight into the Buyids’ relationships among caliphs and civilians, and into their social and cultural history.

This book is regarded as one of the most renowned explanatory texts of al-Muwaṭṭa’—magna opus of Mālik b. Anas al-Aṣbaḥī al-Madānī, the pre-eminent Imām of Madinah. Indeed, this elucidation is regarded as offering the broadest treatment to the highest standard with the richest detail, and as such is the most acclaimed commentary on the text. The author unveiled complex gems hitherto neglected by jurists, having unlocked and unravelled their mysteries, through insightful thought and incisive mind. Not only is al-Tamhīd one of the greatest texts on comparative jurisprudence (fiqh) in all its doctrinal schools, but also a book on Prophetic traditions (ḥadīth), the science of grading narrators (al-jarḥ wa al-ta‘dīl), history and biographies. Indeed, it sheds light on narrators, with successful forays into language, literature, and other disciplines. The reader of al-Tamhīd will no doubt find an indispensable scientific encyclopaedia, and attest to its premier placeamong texts on Islam. Indeed, the erudite Imam alḤāfiẓ Abū Muḥmmad Ibn Ḥazm al-Ẓāhirī quite accurately noted: “I know no equal in its treatment of understanding Prophetic tradition, let alone any that surpass it”. AlQāḍī ‘Iyāḍ said: “Abū ‘Umar authored the book, alTamhīd… and it is a book that none have bested in its approach”. Its author, al-Imām al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr al-Andalusī, requires no introduction. He spent a large part of his life gathering the content for al-Tamhīd, preparing its chapters and studies, and referring to hundreds of sources in the areas of jurisprudence,



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017 of the world’s oldest copies of the Qurʾān, was strongly disputed by many scholars in the field of codicology and palaeography, who pointed out that the science of carbon dating is contradicted by other evidence. Among these scholars was Prof. Qasim Al-Samarrai, Prof. Emeritus of Palaeography and Codicology. Prof. Al-Samarrai’s immediate reaction - after the news spread about the Birmingham fragments - was: “The fragments of the Qurʾān folios that were found at Birmingham are not at all what they are claimed to be. They in fact belong to the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd century AH (after Hijrah), if not later. All the features in them: the script, dotting, use of gold and red ink, as well as the separation of verses (Ayat) and chapters (Suwar), etc., indicate that they might have been written on parchments older than the script. Therefore, they are not as early as thought. Surprisingly enough, Berlin and Tubingen claim the same with their own fragments.” In this lecture, Prof. Al-Samarrai gives a detailed insight on the Birmingham folios, with a special focus on Qurʾānic manuscripts palaeographical aspects in general, the accuracy of carbon dating tests, the Uthman copies of the Qurʾān, as well as other aspects related to this topic.

«Editing Islamic Manuscripts on Social Sciences and Humanities» (Research articles - English version)

The lectures in this book include in-depth discussions revolving around defining the concept of editing manuscripts, and specifying the relevant approaches in the discipline of humanities, as well as the technologies available for resurrecting and restoring lost texts. Some studies discussed the importance of codicology and its fine practical applications that are a critical aid to the editor, while providing a model for the codicological treatment of Arabic and Syriac philosophical manuscripts. The reader will find revelations regarding new facts in this area, such as the finding that there is no disparity between Ibn Khaldūn’s reasoning in the Muqadimmah, and his reasoning in al-ʿIbbar, based on different interpretations of possible meanings of the text. The majority of studies were concerned with reviewing the editing practice in many areas of the Islamic heritage, such as theology and Sufism. Some gave reasons for revising editions of previously published manuscripts in geography and Sufism, such as Muʿjam mā istaʿjam, and al-Futūḥāt alMakkiyyah, etc., while other studies presented surveys of the practice of critical editing of manuscripts around the world, such as in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

«The Critical Edition of Manuscripts: Past, Present and Future» (English version) By Qasim al-Samarrai

«Palaeographical Aspects of Qurʾānic

Manuscripts and the Qurʾānic Fragments of the University of Birmingham»

This lecture focuses in brief on the history of the critical editing of Islamic manuscripts, to include present and future research, with particular attention given to works conducted by orientalists. In this book the author highlights the skills of an editor involved in critically editing a manuscript. He also lists the most important characteristics required of a professional editor. The author explains the methodology used by orientalists in their criticism of Arabic texts. The methods used by scholars of Az’har in critically editing manuscripts are also presented. The book addresses a number of areas related to the field, such as the main problems faced by practitioners, how to work with a manuscript, and technical issues such as ‘when to bring out draft sections of a text when the corrected version is present’. The book emphasises the importance of ijāzāt (licences), samāʿāt (verified listening), tamalluk notes (noted ownership of the manuscript), waqf (endowments) and the knowledge of the terminology involved in critically editing. The author also discusses the historical relationship between the printing press and critical editing. This includes a look

By Qasim al-Samarrai

This lecture took place in London, on 23rd November 2015, and resonated with the news that materialised earlier that year about the discovery of some fragments of Qurʾān kept at the Mingana Collection in the Birmingham University Library. The assertion that the document - kept at Birmingham University - is part of one



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Winter 2017

«Dictionary of Maqāṣid Terms»

at how the widespread use of paper and the progress in printing effected book publication. The author also makes an acknowledgement of the substantial contribution of orientalists to the field in critically editing Arabic texts.

Prepared by Abdennour Baza - Jamila Tilout Mahammed Abdou; Supervised and edited by: Ahmed Al-Raissouni

«Arts in the Light

of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah»

Edited by Ibrahim El-Bayomi Ghanem

The Dictionary of Maqāṣid Terms is considered one of the keys to an important discipline. It meets the need of Islamic law (sharī‘ah) students for explanations of the terms and expressions peculiar to the objectives of Islamic law (maqāṣid al-sharī‘ah). It clarifies the uniqueness and differences of words and terms that are common to a number of sciences and arts. Its benefit extends to enabling rapid, sound, and precise understanding of the components and specific attributes of knowledge, as well as saving time. This extensive tome fills a large gap that needed to be filled, and is a necessary constituent element of the maqāṣid framework. The terms in the dictionary are alphabetically-ordered, according to forms in use, or most common usage. The majority of terms relate to legal theory (uṣūl), while some are jurisprudential, and others theological. Some terms developed initially within the realm of maqāṣid and were expressions in that discipline, yet others were contemporary and recently-coined. The reader will find within this dictionary, a contribution bridging the gap within the fabric of knowledge. It offers rich, condensed content on maqāṣid terminology, and is an indispensable reference for students in the area of Islamic law (sharī‘ah) sciences and objectives.

This book comprises the proceedings of the Symposium, titled “The arts in light of the objectives of Islamic law”, organised by the Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law at Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, on Saturday, 5th and Sunday, 6th November 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey. The importance of this publication lies in the due consideration granted to the arts issue from a maqāṣid-based perspective, and the formulation of a foundational maqāṣid-based view of the arts. It also responds to the central question: how can the arts contribute to serving the objectives (maqāṣid) of Islamic law? As such, it presents novel, practical suggestions, ideas, and solutions to promote the resurgence of this important and critical domain that was without its fair share of due attention. In addition, it brings the Islamic perspective into this context, and restores the arts to the functional domain. As such, the arts can then be utilised, due to their huge influence in current times, and their vital role in guiding nations. In this book, the reader will find important contributions on the matter of the arts from the theoretical point of view. Indeed, it addresses the relationship to the objectives (maqāṣid) and characterisation (al-takyīf) of the arts in Islamic law. Moreover, bringing the issue of the arts to prominence in the maqāṣid-based consideration, specifically in relation to definition, reference to principal sources (al-ta’ṣīl), and application (al-tawẓīf). In addition, it explores philosophical and social perspectives on aesthetics and art. A number of papers adopted a practical, applied approach, referencing contemporary experiments in Islamic arts practice. These included the late Ismā’īl Rājī al-Fārūqī’s, and also Shaykh Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī’s experiences. Other papers explored modern art and its relationship to Islam, as well as offering perspectives on architecture and Arabic calligraphic arts.

«The Problematic of Defining

the Umma’s Major Interests: A Multidimensional Critical View» By Ibrahim El-Bayomi Ghanem

This highly engaging, informative, and important lecture addressed the higher interests of the Muslim nation (alUmmah), and the problems in apprehending them. Prof. Ibrahim El-Bayomi Ghanem, in his lecture, provided depth and thoroughness, reflecting critically and with originality on the numerous sides of each argument. He addressed the majority of aspects, whether related to legal theory, jurisprudential, maqāṣid-based, social, or political, as well as those relating to evidential fields, epistemological categories, or required standards. He finally came to a crucial and beneficial conclusion, in that the general, immutable interests of the al-Ummah and



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017 given it is a pre-condition for effective communication between people, and as such secures mutual compassion and solidarity, and prevents animosity and separation.

humanity lie in the values of dignity, liberty, justice, and public peace; they are general, innate (fiṭrī), human values, which frame the principles of Islam’s world view. These are intrinsic to the universal message that the al-Ummah was tasked to bear and convey, and in so doing, secure its own and other nations’ interests. This falls within the applied scope of the Qur’ān verse: {We sent you only as mercy to all creation}. These innate values serving the general interest must be the aims which frame the al-Ummah’s beliefs, set within a popular project that it seeks to bring into reality, both internally and externally. Prof. Ghanem provided numerous and explanatory examples at all stages of his scientific paper.

«The Objectives of Qurʾānic Verses:

Between the General Meaning of the Word and the Specific Reason of Revelation» By Ahmad Raissouni

«The Objectives of the Family in the Qurʾān: From Human Being to Social Organisation» By Jamilah Tilout

Diverse fields of knowledge—Qurʾān sciences, exegesis, Islamic legal theory, Islamic law objectives and language—overlap and interact in this work. The objectives referred to in the paper relate to those of Qurʾān verses, i.e. their semantics and intended meanings, especially when these are linked to the reason and context of Revelation. Consideration of objectives in the exercise of creative juristic effort (ijtihād), encompasses various facets and stages, including ten addressed in the paper; first, knowing the objectives of the discourse, i.e. “investigating the meaning intended by the text and its words, and whether it matches what is apparent from the discourse and the literal indications of words, or otherwise, as indicated by context, and other direct and indirect evidence. Indeed, our interest in any Islamic law discourse, is the meaning intended by the Almighty Legislator, and not just the semantics of words and phrases with their formal and dictionary meanings, or initial, primary semantic meaning”, as explained by Dr Raissouni in his book, Maqāṣid al-maqāṣid, p. 56. This paper’s subject matter is located within this specific perspective of applying objectives, and is titled “Objectives (maqāṣid) of Qurʾān verses between the general meaning of the word (‘umūm al-lafẓ) and the specific reason of revelation (khuṣūṣ al-sabab)”. The author discusses the question of “Qurʾān verse objectives between the general meaning of the word and the specific reason and context of Revelation” in its intricacies and disparate elements. He applies his signature approach of depth and reflection, navigating the broad subject matter with insight and application, weighing up pros and cons, applying a critical approach and creative initiative, striving to combine the approaches of establishing effective cause and application. At each stage, Dr Raissouni supports his robust scientific treatment, with convincing and suitable explanatory examples. The author pays special attention to the content, dimensions, and limits of the legal theory rule, “consideration is to the general meaning of the word (‘umūm al-lafẓ), and not the specific reason for Revelation (khuṣūṣ al-sabab)”. The aim being to properly understand it, as it is quite critically, a finely balanced formula, where inclination to any one side – through ignorance or negligence – leads to error in understanding the Islamic legal ruling. Even established legal theory studies have rarely addressed this rule. In addition, Dr Raisssouni pays special attention to both “generality of expression (‘umūm al-lafẓ) and generality of intent (‘umūm al-qaṣd)” and the “reasons and contexts for Revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl)”.

The family has attracted significant attention from various divine and man-made legislative frameworks. Indeed, ancient civilisations manifested great interest in the family due to its key social, economic, and political role. This only serves to highlight the consensus among people regarding the importance and centrality of the family to human society. However, the degree of attention and features of conceptualisation have varied, due to a number of defining factors. In the Noble Qurʾān, the jurisprudence (fiqh) of family is distinguished by fine detail at the level of legislation and objectives (maqāṣid). This is consistent with the centrality of the family to the rise and subsequent advance of civilisations. However, today’s observer of the family is obliged to holistically grasp the spirit of the times. This requires gathering different perspectives and approaches that address the family congress. This pre-supposes a re-ordering of objectives, given that these are the higher aims to which the family congress aspires. Moreover, linking these to the needs of human beings and the conditions of civilisation. A number of the objectives of the family are associated with “protecting the human being (ḥifẓ al-insān)”. Some relate to human physical existence, such as preservation of the species (ḥifẓ al-naw‘) and preservation of progeny (ḥifẓ al-nasl). Others relate to the foundation of human moral existence, such as purification (tazkiyah), and consolidating identity by preserving bloodlines (ḥifẓ al-nasab). On the other hand, the objectives of the family, as a congress, are numerous, and include shielding from amorality through marriage (iḥṣān), chastity (‘afāf), inner peace (sakan), and mutual compassion and solidarity (tarāḥum). The objectives of the family in the Noble Qurʾān go beyond the human individual and the limited family congress, to encompass the extended human congress. Indeed, the family fulfils several objectives in the course of protecting the nation of “humankind”. These include preserving the innate (fiṭrah) as a common human feature, standing as a barrier to savagery that leads to the disintegration and dissolution of human congress. Similarly, the objective of mutual recognition (ta‘āruf) with its moral rules,



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Winter 2017

Distributors of Al-Furqān’s Publications Purchase Online at: The Foundation’s website: At:

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Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Book review Mohammed Abattouy and Salim al-Hassani, The corpus of al-Isfizārī in the sciences of weights and mechanical devices. New Arabic texts in theoretical and practical mechanics from the early XII century. English translation, partial analysis and historical context. Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation. Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts. London, 2015. XVI + 403 pp

from the sources, two of which were written by authors who lived near al-Isfizārī’s own time: al-Bayhaqī’s (d. 1169-70) Tatimmat ṣiwān al-ḥikma, and Niẓāmī ʿArūḍī Samarqandī’s (d. 1161) Chahār maqāla, as well as Ibn al-Athīr’s (d. 1233) al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh. Al-Isfizārī was a contemporary of ʿUmar al-Khayyām (1048-ca. 1123) with whom he worked at the Isfahan observatory founded by Malikshāh, which remained active between 1074 and 1092. In spite of this, and in spite of his interest in hay’a (astronomy), al-Isfizārī does not seem to have written any astronomical works, although he wrote books on theoretical and practical (misāḥa) geometry, meteorology, botany, natural science and mechanics, the last of which is the main focus of interest of this book. Al-Isfizārī developed the two main branches of mechanics cultivated by Islamic scientists in the Middle Ages (pp. 13-29): ʿIlm al-athqāl (the science of weights) and ʿIlm al-ḥiyal (the mechanics of machines). The former, which studies weights and their behaviour in balances, attracted the attention of Mohammed Abattouy some twenty years ago. Abattouy has focused on its development in Islamic lands, in which it was considered an independent discipline, between the 9th and the 19th centuries and has discovered fifty-eight treatises on the topic; he compiled a useful list of thirty-two of these treatises for the proceedings of the symposium A shared legacy. Islamic science East and West held in Barcelona in 2007 (published Barcelona, 2008, see pp. 92-99). The whole corpus contains translations from Greek sources (writings ascribed to Aristotle, Euclid, as well as authentic works by Archimedes, Heron and Pappus), original Arabic works written between the 9th and the 12th centuries beginning with Thābit ibn Qurra’s (d. 901) Kitāb fī l-qarasṭūn, and followed by practical texts dated between the 14th and the 19th centuries. The culminating point of this tradition is the Mīzān al-ḥikma of al-Khāzinī, probably a disciple of al-Isfizārī, which contained the description of an ideal balance able to measure absolute and specific weights, calculate exchange rates of currencies, and determine time. On the whole, as established by the authors of this volume, “the new Arabic science of weights was marked by a close combination of experimentation and mathematisation” (p. 26). Some of these works were translated into Latin – Gerard of Cremona, for example, translated Thābit’s qarasṭūn – and, thus, exerted an influence in the European science of weights which was born with Jordanus Nemorarius, in the 13th century.

The corpus of al-Isfizārī in the sciences of weights and mechanical devices

In 2013, the Furqān Foundation published the critical edition of al-Isfizārī’s mechanical corpus prepared by Abattouy and Hassani (Matn al-Muẓaffar al-Isfizārī fī ʿilmay al-athqāl wa l-ḥiyal. Taḥqīq naqdī wa-dirāsa tārīkhiyya li-nuṣūṣ jadīda fī taqlīd al-mīkānīkā alʿarabiyya). Now, this edition is complemented by an English translation and commentary of the texts related to the science of weights. Something should be said, first of all, about the author (see pp. 31-49): Abū Ḥātim al-Muẓaffar b. Ismāʾīl alIsfizārī (ca. 1048- ca. 1116) is a relatively unknown Iranian scientist who lived in the second half of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century and was active in Isfahan and the area of Khurasan. Abattouy and Hassani have gathered some information about his life



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Al-Isfizārī’s main contribution to the science of weights is to be found in the Irshād dhawī l-ʿirfān ilā ṣināʿat al-qaffān (“Guiding people of knowledge in the art of the steelyard”). This book is dedicated to Abū Saʿīd Muḥammad b. Manṣūr b. Muḥammad al-Isfizārī (d. 1101), identified by Abattouy and Hassani as one of Malikshāh’s officials (p. 34). Interestingly, both alIsfizārī and his patron seem to have been natives of the city of Isfīzār, in Khurasan, and this might explain their association. This book has been preserved in a single incomplete manuscript (Damascus NL 4460) which contains the theoretical part of the book on the subjects of the centres of gravity, the law of the lever, and several causes of equilibrium. This text is translated into English (pp. 53-70) and analysed in detail by Abattouy and al-Hassani (pp. 89-109). The main sources used by al-Isfizārī are the Maqāla fī l-mīzān ascribed to Euclid and Thābit ibn Qurra’s Kitāb fī l-qarasṭūn; he faithfully reproduces the contents of the original texts and tries to improve them, probably with the purpose of making them more accessible for his students and easier to understand. As he says in the prologue (p. 55), his book contains “what I have learned from the sciences of the Ancients and their wise successors, in addition to my own thoughts and that which was deduced from demonstrations”. In fact, his methodology is clearly Euclidean: he begins with six axioms (mabādi’) related to centres of gravity – which do not need to be proved – and a series of examples which clarify the aforementioned principles (pp. 5661). This is followed by a series of seven propositions or theorems, accompanied by the corresponding geometrical demonstrations. These propositions constitute al-Isfizārī’s analysis of the law of the lever, and the first six are reworkings of the corresponding ones in pseudo-Euclid’s Maqāla fī l-mīzān (pp. 61-68), while the seventh (pp. 68-70) derives from Thābit’s Kitāb fī l-qarasṭūn. Interestingly, in propositions 1-6 the beam of the balance is considered to be a line, with neither width nor weight, while in his analysis of proposition 7 al-Isfizārī clearly states that the beam is a heavy object.

to make a steelyard, a balance with unequal arms, and how to weigh with it. Chapter 4, finally, deals with a set of common practical problems, such as converting a marked steelyard from one weighing system to another, since weights have different capacities in different geographical areas; calculating the complementary weight and subtracting it from the measured weight; replacement of lost parts and, finally, how to weigh when the weight of the load goes beyond the last mark on the steelyard.

In the book, devices were reproduced in a concise style and with appropriate illustrations

The rest of the book is related to the ʿilm al-ḥiyal (science of the mechanics of machines). Al-Isfizārī wrote a book without a title (which Abattouy and Hassani call Majmūʿ fī l-ḥiyal, codex of ḥiyal) preserved in two Arabic manuscripts (Osmania University Library in Hyderabad QC620/HJ and John Rylands Library in Manchester 351). In it he summarised the description of a collection of machines extracted from the following authors (in the order in which they appear in the text): the Banū Mūsā (9th c., pp. 113-191), Philon of Byzantium (ca. 280 BC - ca. 220 BC, pp. 193-230), Heron of Alexandria (1st c. AD, pp. 231-248), Apollonius of Perga (fl. ca. 262-190, pp. 271-275), and a brief text on the clock box (ṣundūq al-sāʿāt) containing only two paragraphs which describe a kind of clock with automats. Interestingly, the second paragraph is a condensed description of a hydraulic organ known through the longer text of Mūrisṭus (pp. 277-280).

The contents of the Damascus manuscript end here but, fortunately, the rest of al-Isfizārī’s book has been preserved in the second book of al-Khāzinī’s Mīzān alḥikma, in a passage titled Fī marākiz al-athqāl wa-ṣanʿat al-qaffān li l-Muẓaffar al-Isfizārī (“On the centres of gravity and the making of the steelyard by al-Muẓaffar al-Isfizārī”). This text, translated on pp. 71-87, is divided into four chapters of which the first two deal with the theoretical part of al-Isfizārī’s original work, without the geometrical demonstrations, while chapters 3 and 4 are purely practical. Chapter 3 describes how

The purpose of the codex of ḥiyal, as stated in the introduction, is to assemble “what has reached us from the books of the Ancients about different machines, and those who came after them until our era... We reproduced these devices in a concise style and with appropriate illustrations, as we found the previous copiers had misrepresented the illustrations and introduced many alterations in the letters representing the intent of the authors... We also pointed out their causes in some cases” (p. 113). The technique used by al-



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Winter 2017

Isfizārī is that of the epitome, which involves rewriting the original text in a condensed form (see p. 45), as well as redrawing the faulty figures which have reached him in poorly copied manuscripts. This latter task has been repeated by Abattouy and Hassani who present the figures (which accompany their translation), both in a reconstructed modern form and in a reproduction of the ones that appear in the manuscripts.

In the codex of ḥiyal, we obviously have an excellent collection of Greek sources on applied mechanics, of which the only important text missing is Pappus’ Mechanics, while the Islamic contribution is represented by the book of the Banū Mūsā. Al-Isfizārī’s work is a clear example of the assimilation and, in A.I. Sabra’s words, the “appropriation” of the Greek heritage, which was well understood by our author; he was able to summarise, comment upon and correct the faulty illustrations transmitted by the successive copies of the original source. Like the Irshād, the codex on ḥiyal seems to be a kind of handbook prepared by al-Isfizārī for the benefit of his students (pp. 32,109). Abattouy and Hassani’s book is completed by an extremely useful Arabic-English glossary of technical terms, accompanied by commentaries (pp. 283298), and by five appendices dealing with 1) a list of the manuscripts of the Irshād, the Mīzān al-ḥikma, and the Arabic books of the Banū Mūsā, Philon, Heron, Apollonius, the pseudo-Euclid and the short text on the ṣundūq al-sāʿāt (pp. 301-302); 2) a list of illustrations taken from the manuscripts (pp. 303-308); 3) four historical notes with information about the biobibliography of Philon, Heron, Apollonius and the Banū Mūsā (pp. 309-326); 4) tables of concordance between “the paragraphs, models or devices, and figures in the original texts of Banū Mūsā, Philon and Heron and their counterparts in the al-Isfizārī Codex of Ḥiyal” (pp. 327-334); and 5) sample pages of the manuscripts of al-Isfizārī and al-Khāzinī (pp. 335383). The volume ends with a bibliography divided into a) Arabic primary and secondary sources and b) publications in other languages (pp. 385-395), and with an alphabetical index (pp. 397-399).

The book is completed by an extremely useful Arabic-English glossary of technical terms

The codex contains the whole set of the 100 devices described in the Banū Mūsā’s well-known Kitāb alḥiyal (edited by Aḥmad Yūsuf al-Ḥasan and translated by Donald R. Hill) of which 73 are trick vessels for dispending liquids, 15 are automatic control systems, 7 water jets, 3 oil lamps, a bellows and a mechanical grab for excavating in the beds of streams. Philon of Byzantium’s original Pneumatics describes 78 mechanical constructions operated by hot air or steam but only 52 of them appear in al-Isfizārī’s collection. This is followed by a summary, with commentaries, of the first two books of Heron of Alexandria’s Mechanics, which deal with raising heavy objects, centres of gravity and an analysis of the five simple machines and their use, singly or in combination: axle (al-miḥwar), lever (al-mukhl), pulley (al-bakara), wedge (al-isfīn) and screw (al-lawlab). The most interesting part of the collection is, no doubt, the summary of Apollonius’ Kitāb al-bakara, a previously unknown work (not extant in Greek or in any translation) of the famous Greek mathematician author of the Conics. It contains a collection of seven demonstrated propositions with diagrams, five of which deal with the basic properties of cogwheels.

To sum up, the authors of this volume have made a great contribution to the history of theoretical and applied mechanics in the Islamic lands and provide a comprehensive study of a little-known scientist of the second half of the 11th century. Their reconstruction and analysis of the contents of the Irshād can be considered exemplary and the only absence I can find is the lack of a commentary on the texts of the codex of ḥiyal, something acknowledged by the authors themselves in the title of the book to which they have added the subtitle “English translation, partial analysis and historical context”. This is, however, a very small defect in such an important book. Julio Samsó



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Book Fairs Al-Furqān’s participation in book fairs

Casablanca International Book Fair

Alger International Book Fair

Like the previous years, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation continued its tradition of participating in international book fairs. During this year (2017), Al-Furqān Foundation took part in four international book fairs, as following: 1. Morocco (Casablanca) International Book Fair (7th participation): from 9th until 19th February 2017. 2. Algeria (Alger) International Book Fair (4th participation): from 25th October until 4th November 2017. 3. U.A.E (Sharjah) International Book Fair (7th participation): from 1st until 11th November 2017. 4. Kuwait International Book Fair (2nd participation): from 15th November until 25th November 2017.

At all these fairs, the Foundation has showcased its various publications within its three fields of interest, i.e. the manuscripts field, the field of maqāṣid, and the field of studies on Makkah and Madinah. Its publications consist of more than 180 titles in around 320 volumes, including catalogues of collections of Islamic manuscripts in leading libraries, manuscript studies, bibliographic works, studies on maqāṣid, as well as proceedings of AlFurqān’s academic conferences, symposiums, training courses and lectures.

Sharjah International Book Fair

Kuwait International Book Fair



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Institution Al-Aqṣá Mosque Library

Rock and Al-Aqṣá Mosque. Most of which comprise Qur’ān manuscript copies dating to the different Islamic eras, while a fraction are manuscripts on religious topics. • Libraries belonging to al-Quds scholars, such as al-Qāḍī alShaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir ‘Ābdīn, al-Shaykh Khalīl al-Khālidī, and al-Shaykh Muḥammad al-Khalīlī. The Manuscripts The City’s libraries were renowned for holding manuscript collections of varying sizes. These were essentially research libraries; in other words, these were reference libraries of interest to a select group of researchers. Al-Aqṣá Mosque Library is one such library, and we shall explore its manuscripts quite generally. The library holds more than 2000 manuscript titles dating back to the different Islamic eras, namely from the 11th century to the end of the Ottoman period in 1917CE. The majority addressed topics related to Islam, literature, and Arabic language, while 20% tackled historical and scientific subject matter. To date, four volumes of manuscript catalogues have been published; the first was printed in al-Quds in 1980CE, the second in Jordan in 1983CE, while volumes three and four were published by Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation in London. The collection comprises manuscripts considered quite rare. For example, a copy dating back to the lifetime of its author, Bahā’ al-Dīn Yūsuf b. Shadād (d. 632AH/1234CE). Its topic was the life and conquests of Sultan Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Ayūbī (Saladin). This was transcribed in the author’s lifetime in the year (626AH/1228CE), and was titled “al-Nawādir alṣulṭāniyyah wa al-maḥāsin al-Yūsufiyyah”. One must also point out another copy on Prophetic traditions (Ḥadīth) authored by Abū al-Ḥasan ‘Alī al-Khal‘ī (d. 492AH/1099CE). This was titled “al-Fawā’id al-muntaqāt al-ḥisān min al-ṣiḥāḥ wa al-gharā’ib”, with the transcription date of 613AH/1216CE, comprising eight volumes. Its importance stems from the numerous auditions (samā‘āt) recorded at the beginning and end of each volume, some of which date to the author’s lifetime. Another example is a manuscript bearing six certifications (ijāzāt) from local al-Quds scholars, dating back to the mid-17th century. The certifications were gained by Muḥammad b. ‘Aqīlah, and the work was titled “alFawā’id al-jalīlah fī musalsalāt Muḥammad b. ‘Aqilah”. Finally, one must mention some works authored by Shaykh Muḥammad al-Khalīlī held in his library, including “al-Qawl al-mukhtār fī ba‘ḍ mā fī ism Muḥammad min al-asrār”, and “Tārīkh binā’ Bayt al-Maqdis”, published by Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation.

The entrance of Al-Aqṣá Mosque Library

The so-called “family libraries (al-maktabāt al-‘ā’iliyyah)” are among the enduring, and prominent cultural features of the city of al-Quds (Jerusalem). These were established at different times by scholars, and mirrored their particular scientific interests and pursuits. Moreover, they existed as a by-product of the political conditions prevailing in Palestine over the last two hundred years. Yet, there has been no demonstrable, genuine interest in these libraries, save for some rather limited efforts. Indeed, in studies on al-Quds and the cultural life of this holy city, these libraries received no more than passing mention in a few lines, or simply in name. Such information usually comprised some general comments, while interest in these libraries never amounted to anything practically tangible, framed only within political discourse. The exception being Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation’s efforts in the pursuit of cataloguing and studying Islamic manuscripts worldwide, initiated the last quarter of the 20th century. Indeed, in recent times, Al-Furqān has pursued funding from philanthropists around the world with the purpose of reviving these libraries. Several of these libraries have been quite renowned for well over a century. In the Old City, these are al-Khālidiyyah, al-Budayriyyah, al-Zāwiyah al-Azbakiyyah, and al-Masjid al-Aqṣá libraries. History of al-Aqṣá Mosque library The establishment of al-Masjid al-Aqṣá library dates back to the British Mandate. One of the first decisions by the Supreme Muslim Council (al-Majlis al-Islāmī al-A‘lā) in Palestine was to establish the Islamic Museum and a library named “Dār Kutub alMasjid al-Aqṣá”. This opened on 2 November 1922CE, and finally, in 2000CE, was relocated to the current premises, i.e. “Masjid alNisā’” south of the Al-Aqṣá Mosque courtyards. Sources of the Library collections The Library holdings come from various sources, as follows: • Remnants of madrasah libraries in al-Quds. The majority are Islamic manuscripts transcribed in Arabic script, others in Turkish (Ottoman) and Persian. • Manuscript collections from al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf or Al-Aqṣá Compound library, especially those of the Dome of the

Photograph No. 203: al-Nawādir al-ṣulṭāniyyah wa al-maḥāsin alYūsufiyyah



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017

Physical state of the manuscripts It is quite rare to find any manuscript in al-Quds that is free of termite damage. Naturally, the level of damage varies from one manuscript to another, and from one collection to the other. We find that over a third of the extant manuscripts in the Shaykh Muḥammad al-Khalīlī (d. 1734CE) collection suffer degradation of between 70-100%. Indeed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to remedy this by restoration, as it requires funds that are not readily available. This sad state arose due to the library’s journey over decades from one location to another, at the decision of the Waqf administrator. This led to thousands of folios becoming detached from their manuscripts, in what is known as loose folio. This was further aggravated each time the library was relocated. Attempts are underway to restore some of these loose folios to the original manuscript, where found. It is important to mention a vital point relevant to all manuscript libraries found in the Arab world. Indeed, the state of manuscripts in the towns of Palestine, and the Levant, is quite similar. There may be some variation due perhaps to the early interest in preserving these manuscripts in some countries, and the start in publishing catalogues, also varying from one country to another. The number of manuscripts in Palestine may be estimated to be ten thousand, distributed among the different towns of the Palestinian Authority. Perhaps the most important Photograph No. 1052: al-Wajīz and numerous are found in the Holy City, as it possesses several collections holding varying numbers of manuscripts. We may record the following observations common to all manuscripts, at least in Palestine: • Despite these libraries are holding Arab-Islamic heritage that is witness to the continuity of the Arab and Islamic presence in this city, the task of promoting these libraries’ collections, history, and founders has only been undertaken in a limited way. Interest in the manuscript collections of Palestine, whether family or otherwise, may be traced back to the second half of the 20th century. Indeed, the appearance of information about some or all collections in an article or book here and there was the exception rather than the rule. The only, yet illfated, attempt to image these manuscripts was by the Culture Department of the Arab University in the 1950’s. A delegation visited those libraries in al-Quds where manuscripts were held, and photographed several dozen selected manuscripts.1

Photograph al-Rawḍah No. 824: effect of termites, from al-Khalīlī Library

manuscripts were written in Arabic, with a varied number of copies executed in Ottoman Turkish and Persian. • There is some overlap among the library collections, which suggests that some system of exchanging, copying, or borrowing manuscripts was in place. For example, we find manuscripts belonging to scholars in al-Quds in al-Khālidiyyah Library; these seem to have been borrowed from Shaykh Muḥammad al-Khalīlī Library. • The appalling conditions in which these manuscripts are stored, within old historical sites that suffer damp, and limited sunlight and ventilation are leading to termite infestations. • The interest and attention to this cultural wealth remains the preserve of a small group of scholars, and did not translate into tangible mobilisation of institutions or indeed, the public. • The loss of part of this heritage is also due from it being taken abroad, and from slow destruction due to various factors. • Information on al-Quds libraries and manuscripts,2 which form part of the city’s cultural history is still dispersed within books, and has not been examined or collated. Such works contain disparate pieces of information on al-Quds libraries and manuscripts, especially those relating to biographies of its scholars. Moreover, the records of the Sharīʿah Court3 in alQuds contain valuable information about libraries belonging to religious schools, mosques, and scholars.

2 Salah al-Din al-Munajjid re-published four articles on Palestine manuscripts in al-Quds and Nablus. These had been written by Asad Talas, Abdallah Mukhlis, and Mohammed Daruzah. He edited the articles, added various indexes, and published them under the title “al-Makhṭūṭāt al-‘Arabiyyah fī falasṭīn”, ed. Salah al-Din al-Munajjid, Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-Jadīd, 1982. 3 These are highly important records on the social, economic, and cultural history of al-Quds, covering the Ottoman period from 15291917CE. To this day, there are no catalogues of these records, and so they are quite taxing to deal with, requiring significant time to isolate specific information; in addition, they require expertise in deciphering the script in which such records are transcribed.

• The bulk of manuscripts relate to the humanities, and Islam in its diverse branches of knowledge. On the other hand, scientific manuscripts were few in number. The majority of 1 The work attempted by the Arab University represented by its

Culture Department was part of a project to photograph select manuscripts in libraries of the Islamic world. These were published by the Arab University in the 1960’s, with catalogues of these facsimiles organised by subject executed by the late Fouad al-Sayed, under the title “Fahāris al-makhṭūṭāt al-muṣawwarah”.



Newsletter No. 16

Winter 2017


Islamic Heritage Foundation Glorious Past, Brighter Future

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