IIUM Manuscript

About the Repository

DIGITIZED MANUSCRIPT AT IIUM DAR AL-HIKMAH LIBRARY

This database contains digitized manuscripts available at the IIUM Dar al-Hikmah library. The initiative to develop this repository of digitized manuscripts has started since year 2019 to enable library users and researchers to see snippets of our collections. Our collection consists of original manuscripts in book format as well as in microform formats. Since these collections are located in two different campuses, i.e. Dar al-Hikmah Library, Gombak Campus (Gombak) and Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas (SMNA) Library, KL Campus (KL), there is a need to develop a single repository to facilitate access. Full texts are accessible in-person at the dedicated campus libraries. Request for reproduction of pages can be made through Inter-Library Loan and Document Delivery Service at the email iiulib2@iium.edu.my

Our collections are listed below. Please note that not everything has been digitized. Printed catalogues or hand lists are available for certain collections at the respective campus.

1. Manuscripts in book (original) format.

No. Collection Location
1. Arabic manuscripts KL
2. Dawoodi manuscripts KL
3. Malay manuscripts KL
4. Ottoman Turkish manuscripts KL
5. Persian manuscripts KL
6. Urdu manuscripts KL
7. Other unidentified foreign languages KL

2. Manuscripts in microforms

No. Collection Location
1. British Library (BLIB) Gombak
2. Gazi Husrev Beg KL
3. Helmutt Ritter Gombak
4. Jerusalem KL
5. Maktabah Makkah al-Mukarramah Gombak
6. Minggana Gombak & KL
7. Oriental Manuscript from Moscow State University Gombak
8. Pococke Gombak
9. School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) Gombak & KL
10. Yahuda Gombak & KL

Arabic manuscripts

Contains 383 titles of Arabic manuscripts. This collection was acquired through Het Oosters Antiquarium (Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium) of Leiden as well as via Ars Libri Ltd. of Boston through Dr. Elmar W. Seibel, the founder and president of the company that has since 1976 served as a resource for scholars, librarians, collectors, and artists. The manuscripts can be traced in 2 volumes of Arabic hand lists containing longer or shorter manuscripts' descriptions followed by a title index.

Highlights include the manuscript of Mahmud b. Muhammad al-Rumi, known as Miram Chalabi (d. 1525 A.C.) namely his Fath al-Fathiyah (Commentary on al-Fathiyah), dated 890 A.H. (1485 A.C.) with a signed holograph by the author. This is an early holograph by a celebrated Ottoman astronomer. Miram Chalabi (Celebi) was one of the earliest astronomers at the Ottoman court at the time of Mehmet II (1444-1446, 1451-1481 A.C.), the conqueror (al-Fatih) of Costantinople (Istanbul), and his successors. (Istac Illuminated, p. 124). Our copy was written during the reign of Mehmet's successor Beyazit II (1481-1512 A.C.). Miram Chalabi also wrote a commentary on the Zij (Calendar) of the Great Timurid ruler Ulugh Beg (1447-1449 A.C.), part of an Ottoman effort to revive the glory days of a short-lived Istanbul observatory aimed at correcting Ulugh Beg's calculations (Nasr, 1976). A later holograph of the same work, written in the last years of the author's life, is available at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland.

Another remarkable and significant manuscript is that of Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Kathir al-Fargha'i (d. 833 A.C.): Hay'at al-Aflak wa-Harakat al-Nujum (The Forms of the Celestial Bodies and the Movement of the Stars), ca. 16th century. This is a rare work from the earliest period of Islamic astronomy when the first observations were being made with fairly accurate instruments. The Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun (813-832 A.C.) also built an observatory near his Bayt al-Hikmah at Baghdad during that period. Al-Farga'i's work predates the much more famous book on similar topics, al-Mudkhil ila 'Ilm Hay'at al-Aflak bu Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad al-Farghani (Alfraganus). Our copy dates from the era of the Istanbul Observatory, built in 1579 under Murad III (1574-1595 A.C.) (Istac Illuminated, p. 125).

For complete listing please refer to Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad (1994), Catalogue of Arabic manuscripts in the Library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. Volume 1 & 2 [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, available at SMNA Library, KL Campus, or click here. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DAxznSCNBYeQE62dOv_VmrBfi_oxhV1E/view

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Dawoodi manuscripts

This massive collection of 1,150 manuscripts was obtained from Khalil-ur-Rahman Dawoodi of Lahore, Pakistan in year 1999. It was provided with a hand-written listing in which the entries are difficult to understand and not arranged in any standard or systematic order. Ongoing efforts are being done by the Library in providing a handlist or catalog of Dawoodi's manuscript as very little information are known to scholars and researchers regarding this collection.

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Malay manuscripts

Malay manuscripts are authentic sources for understanding the history and development of Islam and Islamic thoughts and civilization in the Malay world. Currently, Malay manuscripts in the SMNA Library is the smallest in number out of the total manuscripts collection at SMNA Library; and it mainly consists of Jawi and Arabic scripts.

The Malay Manuscript collection was acquired and gathered since year 1995 to 2014. The first ten (10) manuscripts have been acquired during the tenure of Prof. al-Attas and the rest of them have been obtained at a later time due to the rising and growing needs of ISTAC's research which is related specifically to the Malay world.

A large number of the Malay collections in Arabic, Malay and Javanese scripts comprises of seventy-nine (79) manuscripts on the evolution of spiritual and devotional practices and related laws in the Malay world.

In addition, nineteen (19) others are on Islamic theology, Arabic grammar and traditional medicine. It also consists of eighteen (18) pieces of rare Qur'an and Arabic manuscript from the Malay world which is believed to be from the period of early 1800.

It also worth to mention here that there are eight (8) manuscripts in the collection that were once belonged to Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, the 25th Sultan of Kedah, who ruled the state from 1882 to 1943. He was a pious Muslim ruler and was often associated with prominent Islamic figures of his time. Some quarters deemed him to be a 'wali' or 'keramat' because of his devotions to Islam and his concern over the development of Islam in Kedah. The collection focuses more on Tasawwuf, Sufism, work and poetry in praising the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, Qur'anic Exegesis (Tafsir al-Qur'an), and Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh).

Furthermore, the collection also consists of six (6) Malay Pattani and Bagan Jermal manuscripts and its provenance were from Butterworth, Seberang Perai, Penang whilst another five (5) manuscripts came from Kelantan, Sumatera and Acheh.

An extremely important manuscript especially for the history of Islam in the Malay world and one of the eldest extant work in Malay is the manuscript of Sirat al-Mustaqim by Nur al-Din al-Raniri, 16th century A.C., dated 9 Ramadhan 1054 A.H. It is the original work of al-Raniri and written during his lifetime. This particular work deals with the practical judgements of the religious practice pertaining to devotional duties (fiqh al-'ibadat) and was quite influential in the Islamization of Kedah.

Other important work of al-Raniri which is also in the Library's possession is Kitab Lata'if al-Asrar. This valuable work was prepared under the directive of Sultan Iskandar Thani of Acheh and it bears the royal seal of the Sultan himself as the Protecter of Lingga at that period. The Library has two copies of the work, including the hitherto lost original copy of the text completed in the first half of the 19th century. This manuscript particularly deals with the fundamental aspects of the Sufi doctrines (Istac Illuminated, p. 126).

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Ottoman Turkish manuscripts

Contains 200 titles of Ottoman Turkish manuscripts. These manuscripts were similarly acquired from Het Oosters Antiquarium (Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium) throughout the year 1992 until 1994. The list of works in this collection can be found in the handlist containing longer or shorter manuscripts' descriptions in alphabetical order.

Among the notable manuscript is the Book of Prayer, Ottoman, 16th century, signed by Darvish Muhammad ibn Aud. This short manuscript is an exquisite early Ottoman handbook for daily prayers which is still in excellent condition. The jewel-like prayer book, primarily devoted to the responses to the five daily prayers of fajr, zuhr, 'asr, maghrib, and 'isha', was produced as a personal guide to worship possibly for the Ottoman Sultan himself and is therefore of exceptionally high quality. This book is remarkable also for the subtle naturalism of its floral elements and the finest royal manuscripts from the Ottoman atelier and derives from the work of Kara Mehmed Celebi (active 1550s), the head of scriptorium of Suleyman the Magnificient.

For complete listing please refer to Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad & Zainiah Haji Md. Sood (1995), The Ottoman Turkish Manuscript Collection. An annotated title catalogue. [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, available at SMNA Library, KL Campus.

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Persian manuscripts

The collection of SMNA Library holds 331 titles of Persian manuscripts which were obtained from Het Oosters Antiquarium (Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium). These titles can be found in the Persian hand lists containing longer or shorter manuscripts' descriptions at the title index.

The most important Persian manuscripts in the Library's possession is the Kitab al-Tafhim li-Awa'il Sina'at al-Tanjim (Instruction in Elements of the Arts of Astrology) by the famous tenth century astronomer Abul-Rayhan al-Biruni (973-1048CE.). This is the earliest known Persian example of the first major work on the mathematical sciences. This manuscript is dated 593AH./1197CE., which makes it just over 800 years old (Istac Illuminated, p. 123).

The Persian edition is the first major mathematical work in that language, and went to influence a long tradition of similar Persian treatises. Although a number of early Arabic versions are known, our belonging is the earliest known Persian edition, and was compiled a century and a half after the author's death. Stylistically, our copy is comparable to a number of illustrated editions in museums; especially a later version also in Persian in the British Library dated A.D. 1286 (British Library, Add. 7697 Near East, A.D. 1286). Also similar to our copy is a collection of treatises on astrolabes including Biruni at the al-Sabah Museum in Kuwait, which is dated A.D. 1230-31 and might be from Anatolia.

Another important Persian manuscript housed in SMNA Library is that by 'Uthman b. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr al-Shirazi entitled Marasid al-Maqasid and al-Majisti (Observatories of Meaning and The Almagest), dated 666 A.H. (1267 A.C.). The manuscript is signed by the author. This is a unique holograph of an unknown work by a contemporary of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. The subject of the manuscript is geometry, trigonometry, mathematics, algebra, astronomy, and the use of astronomical instruments (Istac Illuminated, p. 124).

Notable among these is Firdausi's Shahnamah (Abu al-Qasim Mansur Firdausi al-Tusi, d. 1020 A.C.), dated 1612 A.C. and containing 29 beautiful miniatures describing the line of descent of legendary Persian kings (Istac Illuminated, p. 120). Shahnamah or Shahnameh is considered important as an essential source for reviving the Persian language. It took Ferdowsi some 35 years to complete the Shahnameh, starting after 975 AD and finishing around 1010 AD. It has 62 stories, 990 chapters, and contains 60,000 rhyming couplets, making it the largest poem ever written in any language. In terms of presenting the Iranian identity in its totality, the Shahnameh can be compared to Homeric Iliad which is known to portray Greek cultural identity though the former surpasses the latter by far in sheer length by seven times (Zekrgoo, 2018).

For complete listing please refer to Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad (1994), Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the Library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, available at SMNA Library, KL Campus.

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Urdu manuscripts

Contains 412 titles, were acquired within year 1992 to 1994 from Het Oosters Antiquarium (Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium). The titles are available in the Urdu hand lists containing longer or shorter manuscripts' descriptions supplied with a title index.

Highlights include the famous allegorical Sufi (Islamic mystical) narrative poems of Mathnavi-i Layla va Majnun, dated 19th centuries by Persian poet Abu Muhammad Nizami of Ganjah. He composed the third mathnavi or long poem in rhymed couplets of his Khamsa ('Quintet') also known as the Panj Ganj ('Five Treasures'). This mathnavi, entitled Layla va Majnun, was apparently dedicated to the Sharvan Shah Akhsitan I (d. 1197), ruler of Sharvan, the region in the eastern Caucasus where Nizami lived.

For a complete listing, please refer to Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad (1994), Catalogue of Urdu manuscripts in the Library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. Volume 1 [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, available at SMNA Library, KL Campus.

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British Library (BLIB)

This is the collection of Arabic and Islamic manuscripts of the British Library. The materials came from many different individuals, collected throughout eighteen and nineteen centuries by administrators, missionaries, scholars and travellers. It covers the subjects of Qur'an, Hadith, Kalam, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Philosophy, Arabic Literature, History, Biography of Muhammad (pbuh), Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Geography; and a small number of Baha'i literature, Druze literature and Jewish literature.

For further information to access the yet-to-be digitized manuscripts in this collection, please refer to the British Library. Oriental and India Office Collections (2001) Subject-guide to the Arabic Manuscript in the British Library, London : The British Library. Call no. r Z6621 O732 B75S 2001. The catalogue is also available at the counter of Multimedia and Special Collection Unit (MSCU), Level 3, Dar al-Hikmah Library, Gombak Campus.

Helmutt Ritter

Containing approximately 1269 titles collected by Dr. Hellmut Ritter, 1892-1971, covers various subjects of Islam including 'Aqidah, Fiqh, Hadith, Philosophy and Arabic literature, subject of science like Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine and Chemistry and Geography. Readers can also find a great number of Arabic Philosophy works by al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes. In addition, there are a number of works translated from Greek including works of Aristotle, Plato, Ptolemy and Pythagoras. For the full catalogue, please refer to Lewin, Bernhard (1992), Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Hellmut Ritter microfilm collection of the Uppsala University Library: including later accessions.Stockholm : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Call no. r Z6621 U63 A7 L672C. The catalogue is also available at the counter of Multimedia and Special Collection Unit (MSCU), Level 3, Dar al-Hikmah Library, Gombak Campus.

Maktabah Makkah al-Mukarramah

This collection consists of manuscripts and classical publications. The collection was formed originally from the collections from many different libraries, such as al-Majidiah Library, al-Qudsiah Library, Library of Shaykh Muhammad 'Ali Maliki and Library of Muhammad Sulayman Hasb Allah. Subjects of manuscripts includes Tafsir, Tawhid, Hadith, Fiqh al-Hanafi, Fiqh al-Shafi'i, Fiqh al-Maliki, Usul al-Fiqh, Fara'id, History, Arab literature and many other subjects.

For more detailed information, please refer to Hilah, Muhammad al-Habib (1994), Fihris Makhtutat Maktabah Makkah al-Mukarramah. London : al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation. Call no. r Z6621M4H641F 1994. The handlist is also available at the counter of Multimedia and Special Collection Unit (MSCU), Level 3, Dar al-Hikmah Library, Gombak Campus.

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Minggana

This collection consists of manuscripts collected by Dr. Alphonse Mingana, 1881-1937 throughout his journeys from 1924-1929. Our collection are mostly the Islamic Arabic manuscripts. As it is on Islamic Arabic, certainly among other subjects must be Qur'an and Hadith. However, this rich collection is also proud to keep other subjects in the safe including Arabic Literature, Poetry, History, Biography, Geography Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Medicine and a number of encyclopaedic works. To mention only a few manuscript titles of popular encyclopaedias, readers may find Mufid al-'Ulum wa Mubid al-Humum / Jamal al-Din Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qazwini; and al-Jami' al-Azhar wa al-Lami' al-Anwar.

For further information about the collection please refer to Mingana, Alphonse (1985), Catalogue of the Mingana Collection of Manuscripts, volume IV Islamic Arabic Manuscripts. Zug, Switzerland : Inter Documentation Company AG. Call no. r Z 6621 B62 M664C 1985v4. The catalogue is also available at the counter of Multimedia and Special Collection Unit (MSCU), Level 3, Dar al-Hikmah Library, Gombak Campus.

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Pococke

The collection of Islamic manuscripts at Bodleian Library, University of Oxford in microfilm format. All titles in this collection was originally collected by a biblical scholar, Edward Pococke, 1604-1691. It contains manuscripts in different languages including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew and one Malay manuscript, Hikayat Bayan Budiman.

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School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS)

These are collection of Arabic manuscripts held at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London. It covers so many disciplines of knowledge such as the traditional Islamic knowledge including Tafsir, Hadith, and Fiqh; works on Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Falconry (hunting of wild animals using a trained bird of prey), Archery and Military Equitation, and some titles of Shi'ah literature. Further reference can be found in Gacek, Adam (1981), Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. London : SOAS, University of London. Call no. r Z6621 L6 1981.

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References

British Library. Oriental and India Office Collections (2001). Subject-guide to the Arabic Manuscript in the British Library. London : The British Library.

Gacek, Adam (1981). Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. London : SOAS, University of London.

Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad (1994). Catalogue of Arabic manuscripts in the Library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. Volume 1 & 2. [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization.

Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad (1994). Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the Library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization.

Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad (1994). Catalogue of Urdu manuscripts in the Library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. Volume 1. [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization.

Haji Ali bin Haji Ahmad & Zainiah Haji Md. Sood (1995). The Ottoman Turkish Manuscript Collection. An annotated title catalogue. [Kuala Lumpur] : The Library, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization 1995. 'Library. International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC). Bibliographical series, No. 9 (July 1995)'.

Hilah, Muhammad al-Habib (1994). Fihris Makhtutat Maktabah Makkah al-Mukarramah. London : al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation.

Lewin, Bernhard (1992). Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Hellmut Ritter microfilm collection of the Uppsala University Library: including later accessions. Stockholm : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Mingana, Alphonse (1985). Catalogue of the Mingana Collection of Manuscript...Volume IV Islamic Arabic Manuscripts. Zug, Switzerland : Inter Documentation Company AG.

S.H. Nasr (1968). Science and Civilization in Islam. Suhail Academy Lahore, Pakistan

Sharifa Shifa al-Attas (1998). Istac Illuminated. A Pictorial Tour of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (Istac), Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur : ISTAC.

Watson, Alasdair (2013). From Qays to Majnun: the evolution of a legend from ?Udhri roots to ?ufi allegory. The La Trobe Journal, 91, 35. Retrieved from https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/La-Trobe-Journal-91-Alasdair-Watson.pdf

Witkam, Jan Just (2017). The Former ISTAC Library in Kuala Lumpur and Its Islamic Manuscripts. Travel Notes. Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, 8, 281-339. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org: 10.1163/1878464X-00803003

Zekrgoo, Amir H. (2018). Form and Content: A Historical and Artistic Assessment of a 17th Century Illustrated Manuscript of Shahnameh from S.M.N.A. Library, Malaysia. Al-Shajarah: Journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) 23 (1), 41-65. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/shajarah/index.php/shaj/article/view/666.





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Contact Information

Any correspondence concerning this specific repository should be sent to hana@iium.edu.my.

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