Author: Dr. Mustafa Siba'I; S. M. Hasan al-Banna (translator, revisor)
Publisher: Awakening Publications (September 2007)
Pages: 235 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
For a thousand years the Islamic civilization was the central light whose rays illumined the world. It was the mother of European culture, for men reared in this civilization were the masters in the Middle Ages at whose feet the Spaniards, the French, the English, the Italians and the Germans sat to learn philosophy, science of mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, medicine and industrial techniques.'
This book covers the glorious Islamic past when Islam reached its peak in terms of Justice, Peace and Prosperity.
Learn about Islam's contribution to Science, Medicine, Mathematics, Human Rights, Animal Rights, Race Relations and Astronomy.
Chapter ElevenPrivate and Public Libraries:
One of the Caliphs sent for a certain scholar to talk to him. When the servant found the scholar, he found him sitting and engrossed in reading whilst around him were many books. He said to him: "You have been called by the Amir al-Mu'mineen." He replied: "Tell him that I am presently in the company of great learned men and philosophers and engaged in conversation with them. When I have finished with them, I will come and see him." The servant returned and informed the Caliph. He asked the servant: "Who are those learned men and philosophers engaged in conversation with him." The servant replied: "By Allah, O Amir al-Mu'mineen! I did not see anyone there." The Caliph said: "Bring him here at once." When he came, the Caliph asked him: "Who were those learned men who were keeping you company." He replied: 'O Amir al-Mu'mineen'
They are companions whose talk does not bore you;Present or absent they are constant and trustworthy.When we in seclusion their talk is very beneficialAnd helpful in taking away anxieties and worries.They benefit us with their knowledge; knowledge of what has passesWith wisdom, affability, prudence and sound opinion.You will neither have any apprehension nor fear of discourtesyNor dread of any injury from their hand or their tongue.If I said that they are dead, I would not be a liarAnd if I say they are living, I would not be lying.
The Caliph on learning that what he meant by 'learned people gathered with him' was the books of the scholars and learned people, did not reprimand him for not responding to his call immediately....
...It would be appropriate to mention here some of the public and private libraries, that have been mentioned in history:
1. Maktabah al Khulafa al Fatmiyyin, Cairo This library of the Fatimid caliphs of Cairo was one of the most famous ones of that time. This was the wonderful library containing the finest copies of the Qur'an and other books, which were 2 million in number according to most historians, although Maqrizi is of the opinion that it comprised 1.6 million books..
About the author...
Dr. Mustafa As-Siba'i was born in 1915 in the city of Hams, Damascus. He memorized the Qur'an at a very young age. His primary and secondary studies were completed in the Masudiyyah School.
He always excelled in studies and was known for his intelligence and academic brilliance. He studied the Islamic Sciences with his father Shaykh Hasani Sibai and in circles with great scholars and jurists of Hams. His teachers included Shaykh Tahir Al-Atasi (Mufti of Hams at the time), Shaykh Zahid Al-Atasi, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yasin, Shaykh Anis Kalalib and others.
From the young age of eighteen he used to deliver the Friday khutbahs in the absence of his father. In 1933, he went to Egypt and enrolled at the University of Al-Azhar to study fiqh.
Upon completing his studies of fiqh, he enrolled at the Usul al-Deen Faculty of Al-Azhar and excelled in his studies. In 1949, he completed his Phd on the theme of 'The Position of Sunnah in Legislation'.