Makkah and Madinah, the Cradle of Islamic Civilisation
Before the revelation of
Islam, the two cities of Makkah and Madinah were civilisational centres and
meeting points of different cultures and religions. With the revelation of
Islam they became the focal points for the announcement of the last of the
divine religions. Makkah was the birthplace of the Prophet and Madinah was the
place to which he migrated. For fourteen centuries the two cities have
maintained their very special position as centres of Islamic cultural and
importance of studying the Islamic and historical heritage of the two cities,
as well as the eminence and sacredness of this heritage to all Muslims, Al-Furqan
Foundation took upon itself the responsibility of publishing a comprehensive
reference work entitled The Encyclopaedia of Makkah and Madinah, to
specialise in all fields related to the two cities. The project was to be based
in the city of Jeddah.
The first meeting of the
Encyclopaedia's Council of Consultants was held in Jeddah on 4th November
1994, under the chairmanship of Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani.
In preparation for the
implementation of the Encyclopaedia project, two boards of distinguished scholars
have been set up, chaired by Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani: the Advisory Board and
the Academic Board.
The general structure of
the two boards was agreed upon and names of qualified experts in their
particular disciplines were proposed. A unified set of scientific, linguistic
and methodological rules has been determined upon, which is adhered to in the
preparation of the Encyclopaedia and its various sister publications.
Terminology and meanings have been clearly defined and work schedules and
systems of cross-referencing and bibliographic listing have been drawn up.