|As part of its continuous
activities over 25 years, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation held its Sixth
Conference on Islamic Manuscripts, under the title: “Editing Islamic
Manuscripts on Social Sciences and Humanities”.
The conference was organised by
the Al-Furqān’s Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts and it took place
on Tuesday the 26th and Wednesday the 27th of November 2013, at the
Foundation’s London headquarters.
The five previous conferences
covered the following topics: “The Significance of Islamic Manuscripts”; “The
Codicology of Islamic Manuscripts”; “The Conservation and Preservation of
Islamic Manuscripts”; “Editing Islamic Manuscripts on Science” and “The Earth
and its Sciences in Islamic Manuscripts”.
Left to right: Prof. Chabbouh, Prof. Binebine & Dr. Zahri
Nearly 60 experts and highly
qualified scholars attended the conference. They represented a wide range of
interests and work at various universities and institutions in the UK. The
contributors and researchers, who came from all parts of the world, were
prominent scholars in the field. Their research papers dealt with the present
status and future developments in the field of editing Islamic manuscripts on
social sciences and humanities.
Among the lecturers at the
conference were: Professor Abdullah Yusuf al-Ghunaim, Professor Bashar Awad
Marouf, Professor Ibrahim Chabouh, Professor Ahmed Chouqui Binbine, Professor
Abdelhamid Madkour, Professor Ayman Fuad Sayyid, Professor Mohamed Elsayed
Elgelined, Professor Maroun Aoaud, Professor Enes Karić and Dr. Khalid Zahri.
The titles of the conference
papers were as following: “On the Critical Edition of Abī ‘Ubayd al-Bakrī’s
“Mu‘jam ma Ista‘jam’’; “Ibn Khaldūn’s Methodology in Setting and Developing his
Primary Book of al-‘Ibar (al-Muqaddimah): A Study Based on Verified Hand
Written Sources of the Author”; “Critical Edition of Manuscripts on Sufism:
‘al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyah’ as an Example”; “The Art of the Critical Edition of
the Written Heritage: A Fundamental Study - The Letters of al-Imam al-Ashʿarī
and al-Ghazālī as Examples”; “The Critical Edition of Manuscripts in Sciences
of Theology (ʿilm al-kalām): Errors and Categories”; “The Methodologies of the
Critical Edition on the Social Sciences; Reconstructing Lost Ancient Texts -
Sources of Egyptian History as Examples; Arabic and Syriac Manuscripts in the
Mediterranean: Methodology and Some Results”; “The Codicology: A First and
Essential Step in the Process of Academic Critical Editing - with Examples from
Arabic Written Heritage”; and “Editing Islamic Manuscripts on Social Sciences
and Humanities in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
Dr. Khalid Zahri (right) during his lecture
The conference sessions were
characterised by a high level of effectiveness and depth, with moderators
playing a significant role in promoting interaction and keeping discussions to a high academic standard.
H.E. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
On the morning of Tuesday 26th
November, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu inaugurated the conference with a
welcome speech on behalf of Al-Furqān’s Board of Directors. He thanked the
Foundation for organising such an important conference, and welcomed the
attendees, contributors and guests. Then he gave a detailed introduction to
Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, explaining its aims and activities, by
focusing on the previous conferences and their significance in raising the
awareness of the Ummah’s heritage. Professor Ihsanoğlu said that manuscript
conferences highlight the need for a new generation of researchers who are
specialised in codicology and capable of critical editing of the heritage
Mr Sali Shahsivari, Al-Furqān’s
Managing Director, welcomed the audience and emphasised the importance of the
conference being one of the means of spreading the knowledge of the
Foundation’s contribution to human civilisation.
Mr. Sali Shahsivari thanking the participants on the final day of the conference
The conference concluded with a
panel discussion, where panel members answered questions regarding technical
issues, including the latest developments and issues in the field of editing
Islamic manuscripts, as the audience included a considerable number of
specialists interested in and working on Islamic manuscripts. Mr. Sali
Shahsivari concluded the conference with words of thanks to the contributors
and the members for their efforts in making the conference successful and
presented a brief account of the Foundation’s plan of projects and activities
for the coming year.
Conference guests also expressed
their delight at taking part and wished the best to Al-Furqān, that it may
pursue its services to knowledge and heritage.
Group photo on the final day of the conference