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How to build an Islamic E-Library

 

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Question:

Dear Brother

I want to build an Islamic E-Library. From where can I get the Islamic books?

Atif Ahmed

Hyderabad, Pakistan

Dear Atif bhai

Assalam o alaikum wa Rahmatullah e wa barakatuhu

I am really glad to know that you have modern education and now studying the religion. Ummat-e-Muslimah needs scholars like you who know the religion as well as the modern world. Unfortunately, our religious scholars do not know the modern world and are not interested in knowing it. They live in the life of middle ages. How can they present Islam to a person living in the modern world? On the contrary, modern-educated people do not know the religion. Where are you studying? What books you have studied and what are your plans to study in future? From which institute you've done your B.Com.

It is great that you are making an electronic library. I also have a big e-library having over 20,000 books. We are fortunate enough to live in the information age. Now we can get books which were even not available to the scholars of previous generations. All that is free of cost. My library is comparable to that of one of my teachers. He has a very big library but I've almost all those books in my e-library than he has in printed format. He has spent thousands of Saudi Riyals to establish that but I've made that library without any cost. I live in Jeddah. If you are also here, you can get my library, otherwise download the books from the following websites:

•        Maktaba Waqfeya provides you books in PDF format. It is exactly the printed version. So easy to read. http://www.waqfeya.com

•        Maktaba Mishkat provides you books in MS Word format. It is not good for reading but good for search. http://www.almeshkat.net/books/index.php

•        Maktaba Shamela has its own software which is free to download. You can install it after enabling Arabic. The format is good to read and search. http://www.shamela.ws/

•        The books of Modern Muslim scholars are available at:  http://aboutquran.com/ba/ba.htm . It requires DJVU plugin.

•        The books of Orientalists about Islam are available at http://www.archive.org/details/texts .

•        Maktaba Said Al Fawaid has a lot of books. http://www.saaid.net

•        The software of Nasir ud Din Albani is available at Maktaba Mishkat as well as Maktaba Said.

The pre-requisite of an Islamic library is that you have to install Arabic as well as Urdu in your computer. The problem you've identified is that of drivers. Take your computer to any IT shop and ask them to install the Arabic & Urdu drivers. They'll have to put the CD of original Windows and the system will do it accordingly. After that, follow the procedure mentioned in my previous mail in the following link:

Urdu & Arabic Setup

Next to that, you've to install the following software to read the e-books:

   1. MS Office including Word, Excel, Powerpoint

   2. Adobe Acrobat Reader

   3. Winzip and Win RAR

   4. DJVU Plugin

   5. Maktaba E-Shamela

The IT guy will install the first three software for you. You can get Maktaba Shamela from their website: www.eshamela.ws

I've put the DJVU plugin for you on the following link:

http://www.mubashirnazir.org/djvu.htm

In addition to all of that, if you allow, I want to advise a few points:

1. A religious scholar should always consider himself / herself a student. We should always think that we are students. You are already conscious about the side effect of the knowledge i.e. arrogance. This has impressed me a lot.

2. Another side effect of knowledge is "Biasness". We have to get rid of this issue. In the world of knowledge, personalities are not important. Actually significant thing is the "argument" and "evidence". The claim of any scholar, regardless of his status, is verified by looking at his arguments. If arguments support his view, it is accepted other wise rejected. We respect all our religious scholars but accept / reject their views in the light of their arguments.

3. The knowledge is passed from one generation to another generation. We get advantage of the work done by the previous scholars. If any work done by them is not satisfactory, we can check their arguments in detail and accept / reject their view based on our own research.

4. About Hadith, a few Arab scholars have performed a marvelous work in recent years. Nasir ud Din Albani has worked on Sunan Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maja, Nisai, Mustadrak Hakim, and various other books to check which Ahadith are Sahih and which are not. Shuaib Arnaote has worked on Musnah Ahmed. This work covers almost 98-99% of the entire collection of Hadith.

5. Now it is very easy for us to check the status of a Hadith. Just open the software of Albani, search the Hadith and see his opinion on that hadith. If you are not satisfied with the work done by Albani, you can go further back to the books of Jirh wa Ta'deel and conduct your own research. But this situation is very rare. So you have to refer to the ancient books of Jirh o taadeel rarely.

6. The work done by Mohadisin (Hadith experts) is marvelous. But we have to remember one thing: They have put all their efforts to analyze the Sanad (Chain of Narrators) of Hadith. The work on the Matan (Text of the Hadith) from Dirayat's (Logical Analysis) perspective is done by the Fuqaha (Jurists). We need to review any Hadith from the both angles.

The modern developments in IT have opened a lot of doors to work for Islamic Da'wah and Education. I think that religious scholars like you having knowledge of the Islam and the modern world can contribute a lot in presenting Islam to the humankind. These work help a lot in learning about Islam as well as presenting it to the humanity.

I am working on a lot of projects to do so. If you are interested in it, please let me know. We can work jointly on some projects. You can contact me anytime for any help in your religious studies.

Remember me in your prayers.

Wassalam

Your brother

Mubashir

December 2008

مصنف کی دیگر تحریریں

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