6th July: National Day of The Comoros
A brief about The Comoros’ Islamic written heritage
Among the 106 countries included in the “World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts” (the flagship project undertaken by Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation between the years 1989 – 1994) was The Comoros.
The Comoros’ Islamic written heritage was surveyed in 1993, by Ahmad Shaykh Nabhany & David C. Sperling.
This survey brought to light a wealth of information about the Country’s collections of Islamic manuscripts, by indicating: the cities and libraries that hold these manuscripts, the approximate number of manuscripts within each collection, the subjects and languages in which they are written, the conditions in which they are and whether they have been catalogued and studied, the particular significant manuscripts which they contain, etc.
According to this Survey, Comoros just under 74 manuscripts, held in 25 libraries private and institutional. No comprehensive study has been made of Comorian literary traditions. The earliest known manuscripts date to the 16th century. During subsequent centuries, Islamic texts reached the Comoros from India and the East African coast as well as from the Near East. Arabic and Swahili came to be the literary languages used by clerks, poets, scholars and members of the royalty, while Comorian, the spoken idiom of the majority of the inhabitants, remained largely unwritten.
This information was published in the following book:
“World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts” (English version), 1997-2002, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, London, UK, Vol. 4, pp. 117-126.
Please note that some of the images used in this online version might not be part of the published version of this article within the respective book.
The data figures, the names, and other details are overall reflecting those of the time when the Survey was conducted.
The Foundation is striving to update these details in progress; and, Your help in this regard would be much appreciated.
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