Message from the Chairman

Mr Sharaf Yamani
Mr Sharaf Yamani, Chairman of the Board of Directors

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Yamani Cultural and Charitable Trust, and the Board of Directors of the Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, it gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to our website. 

Our objective – through this window - is twofold: firstly, to offer you direct access to the world of Al-Furqan, and, secondly, to fulfil our responsibility to communicate effectively with our global community of institutions, academics, scholars, students and all those interested in the field of Islamic written heritage.

Al-Furqan’s journey began in 1988, as the brainchild of my dear father, our beloved Founder and late Chairman, HE Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani (may his soul rest in peace), who was born in Makkah, an important hub for trade, and cultural and ideological diversity throughout history.  Guided by his love for books and the Islamic written heritage, and driven to protect them from the existential threat due to wars, political conflicts, social upheavals, natural disasters, negligence, elements of wear and tear, and lack of resources essential for their maintenance and preservation, our late Chairman established this leading Foundation, in order to serve, preserve and study the Islamic written heritage. 

This journey continues, and we are dedicated in every respect to honour and build upon the legacy of our late Chairman, aiming towards new horizons, in order to fulfil a common and noble cause in preserving our heritage and enriching our knowledge of the present, while facilitating a constructive dialogue across time and between different cultures and perspectives.

Like in the past, our website will continue to promote the activities that Al-Furqan is pursuing with scholars and experts, and we hope it will be another useful venue for researchers and students of the Islamic heritage and civilisation all over the world.

Through this website, our visitors will have instantaneous and easy access - in both Arabic and English - to the Foundation’s scope of work, projects, events, publications, studies, articles, databases, and various other activities undertaken through its three centres of excellence, i.e. the Centre for the Study of Islamic Manuscripts (Manuscript Centre), the Centre for the Encyclopaedia of Makkah and Madinah (Mawsoa Centre), and the Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law (Maqasid Centre).

I kindly invite our visitors to spend some time browsing through our Digital Library, a rich database, currently containing over 180,000 records; with plans to increase them many folds.  

Through it, you will be able to search the World Collections database, which provides the digitised content of the “World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts” (our flagship encyclopaedic project, undertaken and published between the years 1989-1994; the only one of its kind to date), which identifies and records the Islamic manuscript collections in 106 countries. 

You will also be able to find - within the Manuscripts database - a large collection of Islamic manuscript cataloguing cards, compiled over 30 years.   

Furthermore, the Maqasid database provides the digitised content of the “Bibliography for Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah” (an encyclopaedic project undertaken and published by the Foundation between the years 2007-2014; the only one of its kind to date), which is considered a comprehensive reference manual and historical documentation of what has been written in the field of the objectives of Islamic law (Maqāṣid al-Shari’ah) from the 3rd century of the Islamic calendar, up to date; it includes around 2000 references (manuscripts, university theses, conference proceedings and contemporary studies), in all the juridical schools of Islamic law (madhabs) and the Islamic schools of thought.

In addition, the Library - with its own database and online catalogues - is another feature on the website, enabling users to communicate with our Library rapidly and easily. 

Moreover, visitors will also be able to access the vast portfolio of Our Publications, and in due course purchase them online.

During the past 3 decades, the Foundation has achieved significant progress in all spheres of its work; nevertheless, we are aware that a lot remains to be done.  

Hopefully, in the coming days, months and years, and through this website, we will be able to share with you our progress every step of the way.

I welcome you all again to our website and wish you many fruitful and pleasant visits.

Sharaf Ahmed Zaki Yamani,
Chairman of the Board of Directors 
Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation

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