21 February 2024 02:35 PM

Al- Azhar Library

Wednesday، 19 January 2022 - 04:29 PM

1- Al-Azhar ancient library:

The library that now exists is an extension of the ancient library referred to by historians to be found before 517 Ah -1123 AD at al-Azhar Mosque.

2- Al-Azhar Library in the modern era:

In 1897AD-1314 AH, al-Azhar's Board of Directors issued a decision to establish the library on the recommendation of Imam Muhammad Abdo, Mufti of Egypt at that time.

He thought of collecting the scattered books from the corridors of al-Azhar Mosque and the libraries of the great mosques in one place so that they could be fully preserved and used.

3- The place of the library in al-Azhar Mosque:

The library occupied six different places inside al-Azhar Mosque:

1- Madrasa al-Aqbaghawiyya.

2- Madrasa al-Taybarsiyya 

3- The Abbasid gallery.

4- The Shawam gallery.

5- The Turkish Gallery.

6- The Moroccan Gallery.

 Al-Azhar Present Library:

In 1994, the contents of al-Azhar Library were transferred to the new library building in Al-Khalideen Park, Darrasa. It is a 14-storey building.

4- Library contents:

Al-Azhar Library was established as a small library, and then grew and contents multiplied with the passage of time. The progress of printing and writing movement helped to increase the books of the library through donations or purchase, in addition to the original contents of the library, including but not limited to the following:

- Holy Qur'ans – Books on The Readings (The modes of Holy Qura’an recitation)-Hadith (Prophetic tradition) - The Study of Hadith- the fundamentals of jurisprudence - the jurisprudence of Imam Abi Hanifa - the jurisprudence of Imam Malik - the jurisprudence of Imam Shafi'i - the jurisprudence of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal - general jurisprudence –Arabic grammar –Arabic morphology - astronomy - mathematics and engineering -  medicine ... etc.

5- Rare books:

The library contains rare books in many fields, which are not available in any other library. It comprises the writings and publications of the scholars of al-Azhar Mosque in particular and scholars of Islam in general. Despite the repeated raids on the libraries of the galleries and mosques from which the books of Al-Azhar Library was collected, the library has a number of rare books, some of which were gained by donations.

6- Al-Azhar Library Museum:

During 2008AD, 1428 AH, a museum was prepared and equipped for the rare books of al-Azhar Library's collections of manuscripts and early publications.

7- Library databases:

The library has databases for printed data and manuscripts. The data bases were introduced in 2001 AD.

  • The number of titles printed in the library is about 110,000 in about 300,000 volumes.
  • The number of manuscripts in the library is about 50,000.

Al-Azhar Library Development and Modernization Projects

During the era of the grand imam Shaikh of Al-Azhar Professor Dr. Muhammad Sayed Tantawi, Al-Azhar Library witnessed development in all fields and many projects that develop the capabilities of the library to perform its mission both domestically and abroad. The development process is being completed by current imam, His Eminence Professor Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb Shaikh al-Azhar. This is represented in:

-Operating the project of his Highness Shaikh Muhammad bin Rashid to digitize the manuscripts of Al-Azhar Library and publish them on the Internet. The project aims to transform the hard copies of the manuscripts of al-Azhar Library to soft copies, with applying high insurance technology.

-Establishing a website for al-Azhar Library.

- Launching an e-mail service that allows Al-Azhar to answer religious inquiries received from different countries of the world.

Restoration and Digitization Project

The project began in 2005 AD/ 1425 AH, after supplying the library with restoration materials such as equipment and synthetic fibers. In addition to that, specialized training courses in the field of restoration and digitization were held.

  • The restoration of 30,000 manuscripts has been completed.
  • In 2008 AD/ 1428 AH, the second unit for automatic restoration began operating.

Saqifat al-Safa Scientific Project

The project aims to make a unique and revised edition of  al-Azhar Library manuscript catalogue to complete the development plan that began in April 1943AD, 1361 AH. This is to allow Al-Azhar library to reveal its valuable services and facilitate its mission to scholars. Thus, it began to develop a general catalogue of its contents to be a mirror of the treasures it contains.

Signing of al-Azhar Memory Project Agreement

It aims to evoke the greatness of al-Azhar's history and highlight its moderate approach as being the fortress of religious studies in the Muslim world. This is through:

1- A website containing the intellectual production of al-Azhar shaikhs and scholars.

2- A panorama of heritage that highlights the history of Al-Azhar from its beginning to the present, in addition to highlighting the architectural heritage of Al-Azhar Mosque and the national events and positions.

New Library Project

Al-Azhar signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center that will  finance the design work for the construction of a new state-of-the-art library befitting Al-Azhar al-Sharif and the valuables contents of its library so that the library can play its role in spreading Islamic culture and providing students, scholars, and researchers with its rare books and manuscript.

Library Services

1- Internal access service, which includes: (manuscripts, publications, dissertations, and e-books).

2- Research service

3- Ongoing briefing service

4- Internet service

5- E-service

6- Copying service

7- Reference service

8- Museum and visits service

9- Panorama Service

10- People with special needs service.

Contact information:

Mail: Al-Khalideen Park, Darrasa - Cairo - Arab Republic of Egypt.

Postal number: 11511 P.P. 1826

Telephone: 25881152 (002), 25881154 (002), 27871701 (002), 27866612 (002) - 27866614 (002) Fax: 25881156 (002).

Web Site: info@alazharlibrary.gov.eg

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