The Former ISTAC Library in Kuala Lumpur and Its Islamic Manuscripts. Travel Notes

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
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This article first describes manuscript collections in the former ISTAC, the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation in Kuala Lumpur. These are mostly Middle-Eastern collections that were commercially acquired in the 1980s and 1990s. They have been described briefly in a number of catalogues that are little known outside the ISTAC. The present article also discusses some earlier provenances of the manuscripts.

A number of the ISTAC manuscripts have been described here in detail. Some of these are illustrated copies of the prayerbook Dalāʾil al-Khayrāt by al-Ǧazūlī from a variety of origins: the Maghrib, the Mashriq and India (one of which has a remarkable iconography), but the article also treats several other texts; more specifically, a collection of texts on the phenomenon of the Isnād, with a number of readers’ notes, Iǧāzāt and transmission certificates. A short note on an as yet little-known manuscript of Firdawsī’s Shāhnāma concludes these travel notes.

The Former ISTAC Library in Kuala Lumpur and Its Islamic Manuscripts. Travel Notes

in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts

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References

12

They are also mentioned by Abaza‘Intellectuals’ p. 205.

14

Abaza‘Intellectuals’ p. 205; Istac Illuminated on the dust jacket at the back.

50

In the morning of Friday 16 March 2012I had temporarily stopped my work on this manuscript in order to give a lecture for the fellows of ISTAC. During my short absence from the library ISTAC’s librarian Ms. Hajjah Normala Harun cleared my table stored away the manuscripts on which I was working and went home taking the key of the manuscript storage room with her. This effectively ended my work on the ISTAC manuscripts.

Figures

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    Figure 1

    Title-page of a Magribi copy of al-Ǧazūlī’s Dalāʾil al-Khayrāt. ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 1, No. 18, f. 1b.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 2

    Image of the Great Mosque in Mecca in an Indian copy of al-Ǧazūlī’s Dalāʾil al-Khayrāt. ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 1, No. 61, f. 7a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 3

    Image of the three moons that ʿĀʾisha saw in her dream, al-Ḥuǧra al-Maymūna in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, in an Indian copy of al-Ǧazūlī’s Dalāʾil al-Khayrāt. ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 1, No. 61, f. 10a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 4

    Part of the Silsila of the Zaydī imam al-Manṣūr billāh al-Qāsim b. Muḥammad (d. 1029/1620), at the end of the Kitāb al-Khaṣāʾiṣ by al-Nasāʾī. Manuscript from Ṣanʿāʾ, Yemen, dated 1165/1752. ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 2, No. 4, f. 71b.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 5

    Silsila for the transmission of al-Ǧawāhir al-Ghawālī fī Bayān al-Asānīd al-ʿAwālī, by al-Budayrī (d. 1140/1747). ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 2, No. 6, ff. 28b–29a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 6

    Iǧāza for al-Ǧawāhir al-Ghawālī fī Bayān al-Asānīd al-ʿAwālī, by al-Budayrī (d. 1140/1747), in the author’s hand, dated 1 Ṣafar 1134 (1721), issued to al-Ḥāǧǧ Ibrāhīm Efendī. ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 2, No. 6, ff. 29b–30a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 7

    Iǧāza text, issued and signed by Ibrāhīm al-Bāǧūrī (d. 1276/1860) to Yūsuf al-Bannānī, concerning the Thabt al-Asānīd wal-Iǧāza, compiled by al-Amīr al-Kabīr (d. 1232/1817), and other works. At the bottom follows another Iǧāza text, written, signed and sealed by Yūsuf Badr al-Dīn al-Madanī, dated 1 Muḥarram 1257 (1841), issued to ʿAbdallāh Efendī. ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 2, No. 6, f. 114a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 8

    Table of contents (Fihris), with reference to folio numbers, to the forty-five numbered Musalsalāt al-Fawāʾid al-Ǧalīla fī Musalsalāt Muḥammad b. Aḥmad ʿAqīla (d. 1150/1737). ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 2, No. 6, f. 117a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 9

    Table of contents (Fihris), with reference to folio numbers, to the eighteen Ṭuruq, mentioned in ʿIqd al-Ǧawāhir fī Salāsil al-Akābir by Muḥammad b. Aḥmad ʿAqīla (d. 1150/1737). ISTAC, Arab. Cat. 2, No. 6, ff. 174b–175a.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 10

    Previous NAZI ownership stamp, from a copy of Firdawsī’s Shāhnāma. ISTAC, Pers. Cat., No. 14, inside frontboard, detail.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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    Figure 11

    King Bahrām enthroned in Madāʾin, pages from a copy of Firdawsī’s Shāhnāma. ISTAC, Pers. Cat., No. 14, unnumbered page, near the end of the volume.Photo Jan Just Witkam

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