Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of Toulouse (France)

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
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In all, six manuscripts in the Toulouse library are described here. Five of these are Arabic manuscripts (mss 898, 899, 900, 1024 and 1635) and one is of a certain interest to the subject (ms 1438, Perbòsc’s notes). Of the five Arabic manuscripts three are copies of (parts of) the Qurʾān (mss 900, 1024 and 1635), and these sometimes also contain prayers or other religious texts. The surprise in the Toulouse library is actually ms 899, with its three well-told Maghribī stories, two of which can be placed in an ʿArabī context whereas one is more of ʿAǧamī, early Persian origin. Due to an inadequate description in the catalogue of 1904, manuscript 899 has remained virtually unknown. The scripts of the Toulousan manuscripts points to three different regions of origin, the Mashriq (ms 898), the Maghrib (mss 899, 900, 1635) and the Bilād al-Sūdān (ms 1024). None of the manuscripts seems older than the 19th century. All are written on paper.

Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of Toulouse (France)

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts




Between March 11–19 2012Mohamed Merah a young man of a French-Algerian family committed a number of murders on French army personnel and Jewish civilians in Toulouse and nearby Montauban. On March 22 2012 he was killed by the French police. See on the event and its aftermath Eric Pelletier & Jean-Marie Portant L’affaire Merah. L’enquête. Document. Neuilly-sur-Seine (Michel Lafont) 2012; and the account of killer’s eldest brother who broke the silence of the Merah family: Abdelghani Merah (avec Mohamed Sifaoui) Mon frère ce terroriste. Un homme dénonce l’islamisme. Paris (Calmann-Lévy) 2012.


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    Figure 1

    A prayer based on a long enumeration of the Beautiful Names, in scroll form. Toulouse library, ms 898 (3).

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    Figure 2

    The beginning of Ghazwat Ḥiṣn al-Ghurāb, ‘The expedition against the Fortress of the Raven’ in a collection of stories from the Maghreb. Toulouse library, ms 899 (1), f. 44b.

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    Figure 3

    Beginning of Ǧuzʾ 26 of a Maghribī Qurʾān, and the beginning of sūrat al-Aḥqāf (sūra 46). The copy originates from the sack of Constantine in 1837: min Awqāf al-Ǧāmiʿ al-Akhḍar. Toulouse library, ms 900, f. 20a.

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    Figure 4

    Beginning of Sūrat Yāsīn (sūra 36) in a Qurʾān from the Bilād al-Sūdān. Toulouse library, ms 1024, f. 92b.

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    Figure 5

    Beginning of sūrat al-Aḥqāf (sūra 46) in a Maghribī Qurʾān. The blue Ḥizb indicates the beginning of Ǧuzʾ 26. Toulouse library, ms 1635, f. 1b (detail).


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