Ibāḍī Manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale de Tunisie: Descriptions, Watermarks, and Implications

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
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This article offers descriptions of a handful of manuscripts by Ibāḍī Muslim authors held in the Bibliothèque nationale de Tunisie (BnT). In addition to the manuscript descriptions, it discusses some of the implications of these and other Ibāḍī manuscripts for the study of the medieval and early modern Ibāḍī traditions in Northern Africa. More specifically, it highlights the previously overlooked potential of manuscript evidence to illuminate our understanding of the formation and long-term maintenance of the Ibāḍī tradition in the Maghrib from the medieval period up to the 20th century.

Ibāḍī Manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale de Tunisie: Descriptions, Watermarks, and Implications

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts

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References

  • 1

    Amr K. Ennami“A Description of new Ibadi Manuscripts from North Africa,” Journal of Semitic Studies15 (1970): 63–87.

  • 5

    Martin CustersAl-Ibāḍiyya: A Bibliography (3 vols.) (Maastricht: Universitaire Pers Maastricht2006). I owe thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this valuable reference.

  • 12

    Custers M.Ibadi Publishing Activities in the East and in the West C.1880–1960s: An Attempt to an inventory with references to related recent publications (Maastricht: Universitaire Pers Maastricht2006) 8 fn. 40.

  • 23

    On similar polemics see Alexander KnyshIbn ʿArabi in the later Islamic tradition: the making of a polemical image in medieval Islam (Albany: State University of New York Press1999).

  • 26

    CustersIbāḍī Publishing Activities27–31.

Figures

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    Figure 1

    The first folio (f. 1b) of BnT A-MSS-03606, Kitāb al-ṭabaqāt by Abū l-ʿAbbās al-Darjīnī. This manuscript, written in a clear Maghribi script, dates to the mid-to-late 19th century based on its watermarks. The copy also deserves note as an example of manuscript written in a single hand on at least five different supports.

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    Figure 2

    The first text page (f. 2a) of BnT A-MSS-24493, Kitāb al-jawāhir al-muntaqāt by Abu l-Qāsim al-Barrādī. A later reader noticed that the original copyist was mistaken in attributing the object of work as that of “Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. Saʿīd al-Shammākhī” instead of the nisba “al-Darjīnī”.

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    Figure 3

    The final folio of BnT A-MSS-22257, Kitāb al-siyar by Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad al-Shammākhī. The top margin bears the shelfmark and stamp of the Bibliothèque nationale de Tunisie. The right hand margin beside colophon at the bottom of the page bears a clarification as to the copyist (of the exemplar), adding the kunya “Abū Zakarīyāʾ.”

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