Dar Al Makhtutat’s “Manuscripts of the 7th Century” Conference

SeekersGuidance’s International House of Manuscripts (Dar al Makhtutat) is excited to announce its first annual international conference on Manuscripts of the 7th Century.

When/ Where:
November 3 and 4, 2021 – Sultanahmet Medrese, Istanbul
November 5 and 6, 2021 – Muradiye Complex, Bursa

The Concept:
The predominant belief for a long time throughout the academic literature of the history of science was that the fourth Hijri century was the golden age of knowledge in Islamic civilization, and from there the civilization began to regress through years of stagnation.

But a fair look at the scientific heritage that the following years carried down to us from the fifth to the seventh centuries will prove that the rise in the level of innovative academic production continued until the seventh century. This is not to belittle the centuries to follow (the eight and ninth centuries), nor to see them as years of redundancy, but the summit of the seventh century cannot be suddenly made into a plateau. The centuries to follow were in reality an extension of it in many different ways.

Looking critically at the History of Science and the lists scholars whose names have been passed down to us from the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries will uncover a brilliant shine to seventh century, either due to the abundance of pioneering scholars whose names are etched in history, or from the academic productions of their civilization in a wide variety of fields that have forced themselves onto us, becoming the foundational and indispensable resources from which the terminology of the various disciplines were standardized. It is the century in which the various schools of science developed, reaching a more refined critical analysis of previous scholars’ works. Those who came to follow the scholars in this century were indebted to them, either in the production of written works or in their scholastic achievements.

From any angle we examine the issue, we are in need today of deeper and more comprehensive studies in the History of Science that pertain to the manuscripts of the seventh Hijri century and its scholars. Our end goal is to answer some important questions:

  • Is it possible that this century was the pinnacle era for Islamic civilization, rather than the fourth Hijri century?
  • What were the contributing factors of this century that culminated in the academic achievements of the Islamic civilization in the height of its glory?

This is what we must study through examining the original texts that are preserved in the manuscripts. We must look into the sciences of Shariah, the natural sciences, the humanities, and art and literature altogether.

Without rushing to conclusions or forgoing academic principles, we affirm with certainty that the discussion above is not some scholastic theory that awaits being proven or disproven. Rather it has been obscured and veiled from us by the dense clouds of the error and deception of orientalism, as well as the inferiority complex and insecurities of those who claim to be a part of the tradition. And so we will present in the following lines the names of the leading scholars of the era in discussion in various fields of study:

  • Qur’an Recitation: Al Sakhawy, Abu Shama, Al Shatibi, Ibn al-Jundi, Al Jaʿbari, and Ibn al-Qasih
  • Tafsir: Fakhr ul-Din al-Razi, Ibn Kathir, Al Baydawi, Al Nasafi, Al Qurtubi, Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi, Al Khazin, and Ibn Adil
  • Hadith: Ibn al-Salah, Al Mundhiri, al-Diya al-Maqdisi, Al Dhahabi, Al Mizzi, Al Qastillani, Ibn Shaddad, Ibn Abi Jamra, Ibn Jamaʿah, and Ibn Sayyid al-Nas
  • Fiqh: Ibn Daqiq al-ʿId, Abu Shama al-Maqdisi, and Ibn al-Qattan al-Fasi
  • Tasawwuf: The Great Muhyi al-Din Ibn Arabi, Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, Al-Sadr al-Qunawi, and al-Sahrawirdi
  • Linguistics: Ibn Malik, Ibn Manzoor, Ibn Yaʿish, Ibn Abi Asbaʿ, and al-Jazuli
  • Literature: Yaqoot al-Hamawi, Ibn Khalkan, Ibn al-Munir, and Ibn Abi al-Hadid
  • Poetry: Saʿdi Shirazi, al-ʿAfif al-Tilmisani, al-Busiri, Al-Safiy al-Hilli, and Ibn Sanaʾ al-Mulk
  • Medicine: Ibn al-Baytar, Ibn al-Nafis, al-Dikhwar, Abdul-Latif al-Baghdadi, Ibn al-Qaf, Ibn al-Rumiyya, Ibn al-Qas, Ibn al-Siraj, Ibn Qadi Baʿlabek, Ibn al-Khawwam, Ibn al-Sabbagh, Musa bin Maymun, and Najib al-Din al-Samurqandi
  • Natural sciences: Ibn al-Bannaʾ, al-Tusi, Ibn Yunus al-ʿUqayli, Ibn Kammoona, and Ibn al-ʿIbri
  • Invention: Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari
  • Philosophy: Al-Abhari and al-Amidi
  • History: Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn al-Najjar, Ibn al-Abar, Ibn Abi Usaybiʿa, Abu al-Hasan al-Marrakeshi, and al-Sharazuri
  • Geography: Al-Qazwini
  • Calligraphy: Yaqut al-Mustaʿsimi and Ibn al-ʿAdim
  • Music: Al-Armawi
  • And many polymaths such as al-Nawawi, al-ʿIzz ibn Abdul-Salam, Ibn al-Athir, al-Yunini, Ibn Taymiyah, and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

An era that produced scholars like these deserves to be reevaluated in light of the History of Science, as we know that the contributions of these scholars, each within their respective fields, comprise a turning point in the history of science. They all represent the climax of their respective sciences.

These names are sufficient in our goal to spark a wide interest in this century, beginning with its manuscripts. This can be achieved through bibliographic research and academic study in all of the different fields of study: Quran and its science, Hadith and its terminology, Fiqh and its principles, Arabic Linguistics, Kalam theology, Tasawwuf, Logic, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, Literature, Arts, and Humanities.

The Themes

The First Theme: The Iconic Scholars

  • A Bibliographic Perspective: Studying the distribution of the manuscripts of a particular scholar (or several) throughout libraries around the world
  • A Codicological Perspective: Studying the manuscript of a particular scholar from the angles of the physical and external components of the manuscript
  • A Critical Perspective: Studying the critical editions of the manuscript of a particular scholar
  • A Geographical Perspective: Studying the individual copied editions of a particular scholar’s manuscript in a selection of one or several libraries included in any of the aforementioned studies
  • An Academic Perspective: A historical and academic perspective of a particular scholar’s manuscript that has yet to see the light of day

The Second Theme: The Sciences

  • A Bibliographic Perspective: Studying the distribution of the manuscripts of a particular science throughout libraries around the world
  • A Codicological Perspective: Studying the manuscript of a particular science from the angles of the physical and external components of the manuscript
  • A Critical Perspective: Studying the critical editions of the manuscript of a particular science and evaluating it from various angles
  • A Geographical Perspective: Studying the manuscripts of a particular science in a land, or in a selection of one or several libraries included in any of the aforementioned studies
  • An Academic Perspective: A historical and academic perspective of a manuscript that has yet to undergo critical verification

The Third Theme: A Comparative Study

This theme addresses comparisons between the fourth century and the seventh century through an open study of the achievements of each of these centuries in a general approach; or a focused study of a specific science, scholar(s), or texts that are attributed to them.

The People

Supervisory Board:

  • Ismail Hakki Tavman (President of Sultanahmet Vakif, Istanbul)
  • Hamdi Arslan (Sultanahmet Vakif, Istanbul)
  • Dr. Refat Miqati (University of Tripoli)
  • Faraz Rabbani (Director, SeekersGuidance)
  • Dr. Muhammad Fatih Bergul (Bursa Uludağ University)
  • Dr. Bashar Aydinli (Bursa Uludağ University)

Conference President: Dr. Mahmoud Masri (Director, Dar Al Makhtutat)

Academic Board:

  • Dr. Idham Hanash (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Dr. Bahaul Din Durutma (Marmara University)
  • Dr. Behlul Duzenli (Yelova University)
  • Dr. Tongay Pashoglu (ISAM)
  • Dr. Hasan Elosman (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Dr. Hamza al-Bekri (Ibn Haldun University)
  • Dr. Halil Ibrahim Kotlay (Sultan Memet Fatih University)
  • Dr. Sadik Yazar (Medeniyat University, Turkey)
  • Dr. Abdul-Jawad Hamam (University of Tripoli)
  • Dr. Abdul-Rahim Kozeli (Bursa Uludağ University)
  • Dr. Abdul-Samad Romero (Director, Center for Andalusian Studies, Istanbul)
  • Dr. Abdullah Kartal (Bursa Uludağ University)
  • Dr. Abdul-Hadi Keneth (University of Georgia, USA)
  • Dr. Afifi al-Akiti (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Dr. Faisal al-Hifyan (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Dr. Conrad Herscheler (Director of the Institute for Islamic Studies, University of Berlin)
  • Dr. Mahmoud Masri (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Hilal Kazan (Istanbul University)

Administrative Board:

  • Ibrahim Demeral (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Ahmad Masri (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Anas Haroon (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Okan Demir (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Dr. Suleiman Sayar (Bursa Uludağ University)
  • Dr. Salah al-Din Miqati (University of Tripoli)
  • Abdul-Samed Kocak (Sultanahmet Vakif Istanbul)
  • Muhammad Nour Yusfan (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Mulham Masri (Dar Al Makhtutat)
  • Dr. Mutlu Gul (Bursa Uludağ University)

Concurrent Activities

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