The greatest Islamic library nobody knows about


The greatest Islamic library nobody knows about

Ireland’s capital city is home to quite possibly the finest collection of Islamic manuscripts in the western hemisphere, if not the entire world.

The Chester Beatty Library was first opened in a large building in a wealthy suburb of Dublin in 1957, and moved to its current location inside the 18th century Clock Tower of Dublin Castle in February 2000.

Amongst the 20,000 books, manuscripts and scrolls, the multi-millionaire businessman amassed 6,000 items of the rarest and most beautiful Islamic artefacts on earth.

This includes 270 complete or fragmentary Qur’ans dating as far back as the eight century – within a hundred years of the Prophet Muhammad’s(s) life. Sir Beatty was collecting Islamic artefacts long before it became fashionable… Another Quranic gem is the explosion of deep blues, reds and greens wrapped in gold lace that make up the decorative frames for the chapters inside the Ruzbihan Qur’an. Produced in the Iranian city of Shiraz in the mid-16th century, it is named after its copier, the master illuminator and calligrapher, Ruzbihan Muhammad al-Tab’i al-Shiraz.

Non Qur’an treasures in the collection include nearly 1,000 individual Mughal-era paintings, an Ottoman Illustrated volume of The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, copies of works by the great Persian poets Firdawsi and Hafiz, and some of the earliest Arabic translations of Hellenic work.

The library’s Islamic items are mostly from the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and India…

Continue reading at: Islam Today Magazine

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