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Welcome to Al-Furqan Digital Library Portal

The largest gateway of Islamic written heritage



World Collections

Islam is a global religion, and many of its treasures have for centuries been in libraries outside the heartlands of the Middle East, unknown to all but a few local elites. Al-Furqan’s Digital Library Portal gives scholars and researchers across the globe access to this wealth of newly-discovered material, much of which has been vastly underexploited to date. In doing so, the Foundation brings together the many communities who share a common interest in the preservation of Islamic heritage.

In 1989 the Foundation set up a research project to investigate, as comprehensively as possible, the present state of Islamic manuscript collections extant worldwide. Scholars were identified and commissioned to carry out a survey in more than 100 countries. The outcome of this project was the World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts publication.

The Foundation made history in the field of Islamic manuscripts with the publication of the World Survey. It was a project that brought together manuscript scholars from almost every part of the world with the shared goal of realising the ambitious bibliographical work.

The World Collections area of the Digital Library Portal presents the libraries of the World Survey in geographical context for the user to browse and explore interactively. For example, hovering over a library on the world map provides a quick preview of the library and its holdings.


Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute (formerly Asafiya Library)

Contact:Chikkadpalli, Chandana Brothers, Tyagaraj Gana Sabha, Ashok Nagar, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 5000, India
Date of establishment:1975.‎ Moved to its present rented accommodation in 1983.‎ The Aṣafiya Library was founded in 1890.‎
Status Details:Public library
Condition of access:Open on all working days 10.30 -17.00. Only established scholars are permitted to study the manuscripts after obtaining special permission.
Total number of Islamic MSS:16,963 (6,337 Arabic; 13 Hindi-Persian; 3 Pashto; 8,915 Persian; 4 Punjabi; 3 Sindhi; 14 Turkish; 1,674 Urdu).
Description of Collection:The Libraries of Nawab ʿImad al-Mulk and Nawab Aʿẓam Yar Jung were donated by their heirs or successors.‎ See:
1988  Handbook of Andhra Pradesh Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute.‎By V.‎V.‎L.‎ Narasimha Rao and V.‎ Sarala Kumi.‎Hyderabad, 39pp.‎
1991  Andhra Pradesh Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute, Hyderabad.‎By V.‎ Venkatappaiah.‎In: Handbook of Libraries, ArchivesInformation Centres in India.‎ Ed.‎ B.‎M.‎ Gupta, New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, Vol.‎ 9 ii, pp.‎ 261–265.‎
The following are the five most important, old and rare manuscripts of this library:
(i) An illuminated MS.‎ of the Qurʾan transcribed in 1264 C.‎E.‎ by Yaqut al-Mustaʿṣimi, the celebrated calligrapher.‎ It once belonged to the library of Sultan Muḥammad Quṭb of Qolconda.‎
(ii) A rare and illuminated copy of a Qurʾan Commentary in Persian, entitled Jamharat al-Tafsir by Mulla Ḥusayn Vaʿiẓ al-Kashifi, which once belonged to the royal library of Golconda.‎
(iii) An autograph copy, dated 1348 C.‎E.‎ of Khulaṣat al-Badr al-Munir on Shafiʿi law, by ʿAli al-Andalusi (d.‎ 1401 C.‎E.‎).‎
(iv) An old, rare and valuable copy of three works, Fayṣal al-Tafriqa, Qisṭas al-Mustaqim and Mishkat al-Anwar by Imam Shadhili, dated 1123 C.‎E.‎
(v) A very early MS.‎ of the Divan-i Ḥafiẓ, made only 25 years after the death of the poet, in 1315 C.‎E.‎
Notes: See published World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts. 1992 - 1994, Vol. 1, p 400.
Published Catalogues:9
Unpublished Catalogues:2
Published Catalogues
Total: 9

Kutubkhāna-i Āṣafīya-i Sarkar-i ʿĀlī.‎
Hyderabad: Shamsi Press, 1308; Vol.‎ I Arabic, Persian & Urdu printed books and MSS.‎

Fihrist-i kutub-i ʿarabī va fārsī va urdū bi-Kutubkhānah-i Āṣafīyah.‎
By Syed Taṣadduq Husain al-Kantūrī.‎
Hyderabad: 1332–1355.‎ 4 vols.‎

See: 1931 – 1932  Tadhkirat al-nawādir min al-makhṭūṭāt al-ʿarabīya.‎By Hāshim al-Nadwī.‎Hyderabad.‎ 228pp.‎

Note on the Arabic MSS on alchemy in the Āsafīyah Library, Hyderābād (Deccan), India.‎
By H.‎E.‎ Stapleton.‎
Archeion, 14, 1932, pp.‎ 57–61.‎


Fihrist-i mashrūḥ-i baʿḍ-i kutub-i nafīsah-i qalamīyah-i makhzūnah-i kutubkhānah-i Āṣafīyah-i Sarkār-i ʿAlī.‎
Hyderabad, 1357, 2 vols.‎

Urdu manuscripts: a descriptive catalogue of State Central Library {Kutub Khan-e-Asafia}.‎
By Nasiruddin Hashmi.‎
Hyderabad? 2 vols.‎

An alphabetical subjectwise index of Urdu manuscripts available in Andhra Pradesh Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute.‎
By Mīr Karamath Ali
Hyderabad, 106pp.‎

See: 1986  New manuscript findings from Indian libraries.‎ By H.‎ Daiber.‎Manuscripts of the Middle East, 1, 1986, pp.‎ 26–48.‎

Fihrist-i makhṭūṭāt-i Urdū davāvīn va kullīyāt.‎
By Rafʿat Riḍvāna.‎
Hyderabad, 220pp.‎

Unpublished Catalogues
Total: 2

The complete lists of manuscripts in Urdu, Arabic, and Persian, etc.‎ are contained in four registers.‎ The manuscripts are recorded by subject and language in the hand list.‎

The classification of Urdu, Arabic and Persian manuscripts and preparation of comprehensive catalogues are in progress.‎

Union Catalogues & Surveys
Total: 12

Notes on important Arabic and Persian manuscripts found in various libraries, in India.‎
By Hafiz Nazir Ahamad
Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, N.‎S 13, 1917, pp.‎ LXXVII–CXXXIX; 14, 1918, pp.‎ CXCIX–CCCLVI.‎

Tadhkirat al-nawādir min al-makhṭūṭāt al-ʿarabīya.‎
By Hāshim al-Nadwī.‎
Hyderabad.‎ 228pp.‎

Further notes on the Arabic alchemical manuscripts in the libraries of India.‎
By H.‎E.‎ Stapleton.‎
Isis, 26, 1936, pp.‎ 127–131.‎

Guzārish-i safar-i Hind.‎
By G.‎ Ṣīddiqī.‎
Teheran, 1326.‎

Bāzdīd-i kitābkhānahʾhā-yi Hindūstān.‎
By ʿA.‎ Jawāhirkalām.‎
Teheran, 1326.‎

Nafāʾis-i kitabkhanahʾha-yi islami-i Hindustan.‎
By S.‎ Nafisi.‎
Majallah-i Payam-i Naw, 5 v, 1951, pp.‎ 58-61.‎

Manuscripts from Indian collections: descriptive catalogue.‎
New Delhi: National Museum, 113pp.‎

The sources of of Arabian musica.‎ An annotated bibliography of Arabic manuscripts which deal with the theory, practice, and history of Arabian music from the eighth to the seventeenth century.‎
By Henry George Farmer.‎
Leiden: Brill.‎ 71pp.‎

Makhṭūṭāt al-musīqā 'l-ʿarabīya fi 'l-ʿālam.‎ III: Makhṭūṭāt al-Hind, Bākistān, Afghānistān.‎
By Z.‎ Yūsuf.‎

Fihrist-i nuskhahʾhā-yi khaṭṭī-i fārsī.‎
By Aḥmad Munzavī.‎
Tehran: Regional Cultural Institute.‎ 6 vols.‎

New manuscript findings from Indian libraries.‎
By H.‎ Daiber.‎
Manuscripts of the Middle East, 1, 1986, pp.‎ 26–48.‎

Bhārat men makhṭūṭāt kī fihristen.‎
By Sayyid ʿĀrif Nawshāhī.‎
Lahore: Maghribī Pakistān Urdū Ikaidamī, 160pp.‎ (Kitābiyāt-i Islām, 3).‎

Bibliographical appendix
Total: 12

Répertoire des catalogues et inventaires de manuscrits arabes.‎
Vajda, Georges and Durantet, Madeleine.‎
Paris: CNRS, 1949.‎ 48pp.‎

Kitābshināsī-i fihristhā-yi nuskhahʾhā-yi khaṭṭi-i Fārsī dar kitābkhānahʾha-yi dunyā.‎
Afshār, Īraj.‎
Tehran: University of Tehran, 1958.‎ 3 + 88pp.‎

Les manuscrits arabes dans le monde: une bibliographie des catalogues.‎
Huisman, A.‎J.‎W.‎
Leiden: E.‎J.‎ Brill.‎ 1967.‎ 84pp.‎

Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums.‎
Sezgin, Fuat.‎
Leiden: E.‎J.‎ Brill.‎ 1967– .‎ 9 vols, in progress.‎

Library resources in Oriental studies in India.‎
Kesavan, B.‎S.‎ and Banerji, C.‎R.‎
Papers on Oriental library collections.‎ Ed.‎ J.‎D.‎ Pearson.‎ Zug: Inter Documentation Company, 1971, pp.‎ 14–24.‎

Persian Literature: a bio-bibliographical survey.‎
Storey, C.‎A.‎
London.‎ 1927–.‎ (Russian rev.‎ ed.‎ Moscow, 1972– ).‎

Hindustān ke mashriqī kutub khāne, I.‎ [In Urdu.‎ Added English title:] Oriental libraries of India.‎
Nadvī, Salmān Shamsī.‎
Lucknow, (ca.‎ 1973).‎

Po rukopisnym fondam Indii; [In Russian, with English summary: “Through the manuscript funds [i.‎e.‎, collections] of India.‎”].‎
Suleĭmanov, Khamid S.‎
Sovetskaya Tyurkologiya, 2, 1979, pp.‎ 68–73.‎

Bibliografiya arabskikh rukopiseĭ.‎
Mikhaĭlova, I.‎B.‎ and Khalidov, A.‎B.‎
Moscow: Nauka.‎ 1982.‎ 302pp.‎

Turkish manuscripts: cataloguing since 1960 and manuscripts still uncatalogued.‎ Part 3: USSR, Iran, Afghanistan, Arab lands (except Palestine), Israel & Palestine, India & Pakistan, China.‎
Birnbaum, Eleazar.‎
Journal of the American Oriental Society, 103, 1983, pp.‎ 691–707.‎

Fahāris al-makhṭūṭāt al-ʿArabīya fī 'l-ʿālam.‎
ʿAwwād, Kūrkīs.‎
Kuwait: Maʿhad al-Makhṭūṭāt al-ʿArabīya, 1984.‎ 2 vols.‎

Handbook of libraries, archives and information centres in India.‎
Gupta, B.‎M.‎ & others (eds.‎).‎
Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1984– .‎


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