Mawsoa Centre

About the Centre

The Centre for the Encyclopedia of Makkah and Madinah

About the Mawsoa Centre

Makkah and Madinah, the Cradle of Islamic Civilisation

Before the revelation of Islam, the two cities of Makkah and Madinah were civilisational centres and meeting points of different cultures and religions. With the revelation of Islam, they became the focal points for the announcement of the last of the divine religions. Makkah was the birthplace of the Prophet, and Madinah was the place to which he migrated. For fourteen centuries the two cities have maintained their very special position as centres of Islamic cultural and academic activity.

Acknowledging the importance of studying the Islamic and historical heritage of the two cities, as well as the eminence and sacredness of this heritage to all Muslims, Al-Furqan Foundation took upon itself the responsibility of publishing a comprehensive reference work entitled “The Encyclopaedia of Makkah and Madinah”, to specialise in all fields related to the two cities. The project was to be based in the city of Jeddah.

The first meeting of the Encyclopaedia's Council of Consultants was held in Jeddah on 4thNovember 1994, under the chairmanship of Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani.

In preparation for the implementation of the Encyclopaedia project, two boards of distinguished scholars were set up, chaired by Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, namely: the Advisory Board and the Academic Board.

The general structure of the two boards was agreed upon, and names of qualified experts in their particular disciplines were proposed. A unified set of scientific, linguistic and methodological rules were determined upon, which was adhered to in the preparation of the Encyclopaedia and its various sister publications. Terminology and meanings were clearly defined, and work schedules and systems of cross-referencing and bibliographic listing were drawn up.

The Mawsoa Centre’s Mission

The Mawsoa Centre’s main goal is to acknowledge Makkah and Madinah's scientific and cultural roles, as well as their significance throughout history. 

The Mawsoa Centre’s Advisory Council

The Mawsoa Centre’s Advisory Council was a body of outstanding academics and scholars in the field of encyclopaedic studies. 

The Mawsoa Centre’s Advisory Council consisted of the following members:

  • HE Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Chairman
  • Dr Abdu-l-Malik bin Duhaysh
  • Dr Abdu-l-Wahab abu Sulaiman
  • Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu
  • Dr Jan Just Witkam
  • Dr Kazim al-Musawi al-Bojnourdi (Islamic Encyclopaedia – Iran)
  • Dr Nasir al-Din al-Asad
  • Dr Robert McHenry (Encyclopaedia Britannica – UK)
  • Dr Tayyar Altikulaç (Islamic Encyclopaedia – Turkey)
  • Dr Yusuf Ibish

The Mawsoa Centre’s Aims and Objectives

The Mawsoa Centre’s main aims and objectives are:

  • To promote research into and specialised study of the two holy cities, Makkah and Madinah.
  • To acknowledge Makkah’s and Madinah's scientific and cultural roles as well as their historical significance.
  • To compile a comprehensive Encyclopaedia about these two holy cities. 

To achieve its aims and objectives, the Centre pursues the following activities:

  • Compiling a comprehensive Encyclopaedia about these two holy cities.
  • Publishing books, studies and theses on Makkah and Madinah.
  • Publishing critical editions of historical references related to Makkah and Madinah.
  • Holding lectures and other public activities to stimulate research and discussions on topics related to Makkah and Madinah. 
  • Compiling and publishing a multi-lingual bibliography of published works, references, theses and articles on Makkah and Madinah.
  • Establishing an Information Centre, holding a collection of texts, references, photographs, documents, maps, theses, travellers’ accounts, journals, microfilms and audio-visual material on Makkah and Madinah.

The Encyclopaedia project is implemented under the supervision of the Academic Board, a number of specialised committees, and the executive management.

The Mawsoa Centre’s Academic Board

The Mawsoa Centre’s Academic Board members are:

  • Dr Abbas Saleh Tashkandy
  • Dr Abdu-l-Lateef bin Abdullah bin Duhaysh
  • Dr Abdu-l-Wahab abu Sulaiman
  • Dr Abdu-l-Rrahman Sulaiman al-Mazeni
  • Dr Adnan Mohammed al-Shareef
  • Dr Mi’raj Nawab Mirza
  • Dr Mohammed Abdu-l-Karim bin Obaid
  • Dr Omar Hasan Falatah
  • Dr Yusuf Ahmed Hawalah

Dr Abbas Saleh Tashkandy is the Secretary General of the Mawsoa Centre, as well as the Chief Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Makkah and Madinah.

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