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Arabic Historical Manuscripts

Arabic Historical Manuscripts

Historical manuscripts represent for every nation a civilizational and cultural treasure that emphasizes its nobility. The Arabic historical manuscript, in particular, is considered one of the most important things that represent the civilizational existence of the Arab Islamic nation. “The manuscript heritage left by this civilization is considered, in comparison with the heritage of ancient civilizations, especially the Greek and Latin ones, the largest scientific and the greatest intellectual heritage known in the history of various human civilizations” [1]. “This huge heritage that has bequeathed to us from our ancestors, the makers of Islamic culture, deserves that we stand before it with reverence, and then raise our heads with pride and a sincere feeling of pride and glee” [2].

We did not find – to the best of our knowledge – a more accurate description of this heritage than what, Professor Abd al-Salam Haroun said [3]  


“It suffices to refer to “Kashf al-Zunun” to read the names of about two hundred sciences or arts such as …., weights and measurements, veterinary, surgery and botany, engineering …. to very much… These are the names of their sciences, and they are about one thousand five hundred, according to what Viscount Philippe de Tarrazi in his book called “The Arab Book Treasures in Al-Khafiqin”


The Arabic manuscript book represents the most apparent evidence of the progress of Muslims in various sciences, so many centers strive to collect this precious heritage and protect it from damage and loss. There are about (124,000) manuscripts in Istanbul, most of which have not been studied or edited before, and what is found in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, India, Algeria, and other international museums and libraries is similarly important. Unfortunately, many of these manuscripts, which abounded in Arab and Islamic libraries in the past, were lost due to the wars and strife that Islamic countries were subjected to [4], and some researchers estimate what is left of them at about three million manuscripts. [5]

 classified according to the language in which they were written [4] The first type:

“Arabic manuscripts”: These are those written in the Arabic language, to distinguish them from Islamic manuscripts.

Manuscripts are other than Arabic: Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Urdu, and Tatar (7000 manuscripts in Tatarstan). 

Al-Jami Al-Musnad Al-Sahih Al-Mukhtasar Min Umur Rasul Allah Sallá Allah Alayhi Wa-Sallam Wa-Sunanihi Wa-Ayyamihi (Sahih Al-Bukhari), Leipzig library

"The Doctors' Argument" - in Turkish - (King Saud University in Riyadh)

"Message on Preaching" in Persian (Abdullah bin Abbas Library of Yemen)

This is a brief mention of the Arabic-Islamic manuscript heritage, many of which are still requiring editing. “The heritage editors, who are the truly striving Mujahideen, are still in urgent need of facilitating their arduous task.” [6] There have appeared in the Arab and Islamic world blessed efforts and huge projects to digitize and preserve the manuscript heritage. To revive the great Arab-Islamic scientific edifice, the Zinki platform represents an innovative approach to manuscript transcription.



[1] Ahmed Shawqi Binbin, in the Arabic manuscript book, p. 21

[2] Abd al-Salam Haroun, Verification and Publishing of Texts, Al-Khanji Press, 6th Edition, 1995, pp. 5-6 

[3] Abd al-Salam Haroun, The Revival of Heritage and What Was Done in It, Majalla, Issue No. 114, June 1, 1966, pp. 17-18 

[4] Harun Bolgarinat, Manuscripts Definitions and Conventions, Al-Malikiyah Center for the Investigation of Manuscripts and Islamic Studies, p. 1 

[5] Ayman Fouad Al-Sayed, The Arabic Manuscript and Manuscripts Book, pg. 1 

[6] Abd al-Salam Haroun, The Revival of Heritage and What Has Been Done in It, Majalla, Issue No. 114, June 1, 1966, p. 30

Mataliaa Al-Saud wa Fateh Al-Wadud ala  Tafsir Abi Al-Saud 

Mataliaa Al-Saud wa Fateh Al-Wadud ala  Tafsir Abi Al-Saud 

Zinki platform appoints the manuscript editing team, professors and researchers at the “Al-Malikiyah Center for Manuscripts Editing and Islamic Studies” in Tunisia to produce the largest book in the science of Quran interpretation known to the Tunisian country to serve the Zaitouni heritage of the imam, the interpreter Muhammad Zaitouneh:

It is a huge book in dozens of volumes. The manuscript version that the researchers are working on and the types of fonts in which it was written vary. We give an example with the first font in which some volumes of the book were written, which is the Tunisian Al-Husseini font, as in Picture No. 1. The Zinki platform was able to automatically transcribe this font with an accuracy of 94% in character recognition and an accuracy rate of 88% in word recognition. We note that this percentage can be improved.

The application made it easier for the team of researchers, headed by Dr. Ali Alaimi, Professor Haroun Boulqrinat and Professor Ayman bin Hamida, the task of reading the text, transcribing and controlling it, with the possibility of meeting copies of the manuscript and highlighting the difference between them.  All of these tasks were done in a very short time, that reduces the effort of researchers to typing, transcribing the text, and verifying the words.

The application of Zinki was previously able to identify several other types of fonts at high rates, such as the Naskh font, the Nasta’liq font, the Persian font, the Raq’ah font, the Moroccan font, and other fonts.