Qatar National Library Takes Participants on a Journey Through Qur’anic History

To celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, when the Qur’an was revealed, and as part of the Doha Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021 celebration, Qatar National Library hosted “Writing the Qur’anic Text Through the Centuries,” which took participants on a journey through Qur’anic history. The event shed light on the calligraphy used in writing the Qur’an, the artistic elements of the book, and the general traditions of writing and producing Qur’ans.

During the first part of the seminar, Ibrahim bin Yousef Al Fakhro, a Qatari researcher and art collector particularly interested in Qur’anic manuscripts, highlighted the scripts, illumination and other book arts used in the manuscripts of the Qur'an. He shared examples from his collection of Qur’anic manuscripts in Doha, many of which have been displayed in special exhibitions. He also spoke about the book and illustrated catalog he published on the topic, Journey of Arabic Calligraphy in the Context of the Noble Qur’an.

In the second part, Mahmoud Zaki, the Library’s manuscript specialist, spoke about the general traditions of scribing and producing Qur’ans and relevant codicology topics, including materials, ink and book arts, through a practical study of precious and rare Qur’anic manuscripts preserved in the Heritage Library. He highlighted items from the collection representing various places and eras of the Islamic world, from Arabia to Africa and from China to Andalus (Muslim Spain in the medieval period).

Maryam Ahmed Al-Mutawa, Head of Collection Access at Qatar National Library said, “Our partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Sports reflects our commitment to educate and impart knowledge about Islamic culture and traditions. To celebrate Doha as the Capital of Culture in the Islamic World, we have planned a series of educational events that shed light on Qur’anic history, showcase scientific applications of preserving Islamic documentary heritage, highlight the role of public and private libraries in preserving Islamic cultural heritage, and the efforts of the founder of Qatar in printing and publishing religious books.”

Throughout history, Muslims have devoted an abundance of care and attention to serving their First Book in both its content (the very text of the Qur’an) and physical form (the Mus'haf; which was and still is handwritten, produced in manuscript form, and later in printed or digital formats).

The Library will continue to host a variety of educational and informative events this year, in line with the Doha Capital of Culture 2021. To stay up to date with related events, please visit the Events page on the Library’s website (www.qnl.qa/en/events).