The nation’s biggest library houses around a thousand Quranic volumes.
To celebrate the Holy month of Ramadan and Arabic Manuscript Day, Qatar National Library [QNL] is hosting a number of online events dedicated to the study of Quranic manuscripts throughout the month of April.
The latest effort aims to promote cultural understanding among the community and enhance historical research on the region. This comes in line with QNL’s goal of becoming the prime institution of reference for Arabic and Islamic heritage and civilisation.
“We look forward to sharing valuable insights about Quranic manuscripts based on our rich collection at the Heritage Library,” said QNL Manuscripts Specialist, Mahmoud Zaki.
“Our events, which target academics, specialised researchers, and the general public, aim to share knowledge and research on Quranic manuscript traditions of production, reading and analysis. They further aim to introduce interdisciplinary research approaches when studying these materials.”
Currently, the library houses over a thousand Quranic volumes showcased to the public. The display includes a range of complete Quranic manuscripts and individual sets that are divided into thirty parts.
Visitors can view the oldest Quranic fragments in the library that are written on parchment and date back to the 7th and 8th century of the Gregorian calendar. Quran manuscripts that are attributed to prominent calligraphers, including Ahmed Karahisari, Umar al Aqta and Al Zubara Mushaf, are also amongst QNL’s precious collections.
“The Heritage Library provides a rich collection of valuable historical texts, manuscripts, and rare items which can be accessed by researchers, historians and the general public,” said Wassilena Sekulova, Head of Manuscripts and Archives at the library.
“Our vast collection of Arab and Islamic heritage is important in promoting cultural understanding and historical research in the region, thereby continuing the library’s mission towards preserving and sharing Arab and Islamic heritage for future generations.”
In order to understand the history behind the manuscripts and their significance, here are all the important events to keep an eye on:
The library will host an online international seminar titled “Quranic Manuscript Traditions: Readings from the Qatar National Library Collection,” featuring a number of prominent international experts on Quran manuscripts production.
The lecture will focus on the manuscripts dating over 14 centuries ago across different geographies, from the library’s rich collection.
The much-anticipated QNL monthly “Manuscript Studies Lecture Series” will be back on April 11 with an interesting lecture titled “Studying Quranic Manuscripts: A New Approach.”
The event is in collaboration with the Manuscript Centre at Fatih Sultan Mehmet University in Istanbul, and will be delivered by Mahmoud Zaki.
The session will allow participants to know more about the new scientific approaches to studying Quranic manuscripts, including areas of science, research and disciplines of the holy book’s text and studies.
The final event will feature a Quran recitation session that will allow attendees to recite from Quran manuscripts dating from the first and second Hijri centuries.
The session will be moderated by Ahmed Khaled Shukri, Professor of Quranic Studies at Qatar University, in addition to Ahmed Shaker, Researcher in Quranic manuscripts, and Mahmoud Zaki, Manuscripts Specialist at QNL.