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In 1894, after laying the foundation of Nadwatul Ulama, when the founders presented a new and modern school of thought to get the education, training, arts and learning prevailed among the people ,there was in the same time a thought of establishing a library was in the minds of broad minded scholars which contained a collection of essential printed books, along with the eminent and rare manuscripts and the most distinguished feature which was supposed to be an attractive quality of the library was that it should not be confined to a particular school of thought and instead it could be utilized by everyone who wished to gain the maximum of it. The appeals and articles of Allama Shibli and Maulana Azad published in the news papers and journals of that time very clearly expose that the establishment of this library and its important factor was not supplementary rather it was a very important factor of the objectives and aims of this movement.

In February, 1906 Maulana Abul kalam wrote in an appeal: “Nadwatululama has made it the foremost duty to produce such scholars of Islam as are broadminded, full of patriotic passion and have the ability to protect arts and learning. It wants to establish an institution of Arabic learning to get the academic and ethical status of the nation improved so that the nation could possess a glorious center with a perfect combination of religious requirements along with modern studies. A great obligation was to be fulfilled in order to complete this task and that it should establish a magnificent library of Arabic teaching and those people who are desirous to engage their lives in the service of religion and Islamic learning, may not be deprived of it. Nadwatululama gave its attention towards this need and laying the foundation of a library it has completed its part and duty. Now it is a bounding duty of the nation to lead this task towards its perfection. In order to accomplish this objective, the process of the practical work started from Shahjahanpur. In the very begining and first of all Molvi Abdur Rafey, Depty collector, extended a very precious gift pack of nearly 3000 books to be a foundation stone and the very first lot for the process of this library. Then Molvi Abdul Azeem added into this collection by 200 books in the convention of Patna and Molvi Syed Abdul Gani gifted a pack of 101 books of literature and history. In addition to that this stock kept on increasing with a few more occasional gifts extended by noble personalities.

A great number of more than 150000 books possessed by library is exposing and denoting the sincerity of the people who proved to be magnanimous by extending their helping hand in the form of gift packs of books. The major part of these books is indebted to the gift, bestowed by these sympathetic and kind personalities. Some of the learned and rich people have dedicated even their entire libraries for Nadwatululama. This is why there are certain perfect collections existing here among which the collections of Syed Nawab Ali Hasan Khan, Maulana Hakeem Syed Abdul Haie Hasani, Nawab Rasheeduddin Alias Achchey Mian, Syed Abdul Jaleel, Syed Wajid Ali, Maulana Iftikhar Fareedy, Nawab Syed Najmul Hasan, Nawab Syed Zuhoorul Hasan, Dr.Abdullah Abbas Nadwi including the collections of valuable books written by professor Waliulhaque Ansari which consisted of rare and unparallel hand scripts and printed books, are now the beauty and craciousness of the library. Also many valuable books of Allama Shibli’s personal library having his own signature are the beautiful assets of this library.

There are many who have dedicated their precious collections to this library. Among them Nisar Ahmad Vakeel Sitapure, Hamidullah Khan, District Magistrate Gonda, Yousufuzzaman Farooqui, Munshi Abdul Ahad Kolkata, Maulana Abdul Bari Nadwi, Hakeem Shakeel Ahmad Shamsi, Maulana Owais Nagrami Nadwi, Maulana Munawwar Ali Muhaddis Rampuri, Masroor Khan Dehlawi, Abid Suhail Lucknowi, Doctor Mohammad Iqbal Ansari Ali Garh, Doctor Syed Luqman Azmi Nadwi, Ishrat Ali Siddiqui Lucknowi etc. are remarkable and worth praising. These are the names of those respectable personalities, who managed to provide this library with such a great and magnificent asset as added to the importance of the library in every respect.

Not only now but also 100 years ago, when this library had a total number of 4000 books only, there were such precious gems in it as were considered attractive for the learned Fuzala (scholars), intellectuals and those who were busy with their research works. In view of the importance of the said collection, Maulana Azad wrote an article in 1906 AC.regarding the valuable unprinted books and wonderful pieces of writing in which a few wonderful books were introduced and in the same time he praised the library in the following passage:
Yaqoob Kandi was a very wise and intelligent Hakeem (Physician) who was first of all to be awarded the highest title of philosophy in Islam during the ruling period of the Caliph Mamoon Al Rasheed. Of course the marvelous and rarely existing collection of his letters is of a great importance in the history. It is only the library of Nadwatululama that can present the said collection. Madinatululoom Arneequi and Tazkira Hafte Aqleem Ameen Razi are the two hand scripts of the library which are particularly remarkable and worth mentioning. It is enough to say regarding the first book of these two that the Kashfuzzunoon which is the only list of arts and learning of Muslims, has collected a lot of information from Arniqui’s this book Madinatululoom. Tazkira of Razi is one of best biographies of Persian poets. Although this biography (Tazkira) has not as of this day been printed like other biographies, yet it is still preserved in this library.

There has been the propaganda of scientific Trajim (Translated books) of Akbar’s reign for a very long time, but there is nothing except the story described by Abul Fazal that of course little appealing to us.. There are certain books in the library of Nadwatululama which can strengthen our existing knowledge up to a great extent. Many Sanskrit books have been translated during the reign of not only Akber but also during the reign of Shahjahan. Among them there is a very good book written on music. This book is available in this library for those who wish to make use of it. This book mentions about many experts of music art. Among Hujjatul Islam Ghazzali’s works, Jawahirul Qura’n is an exemplary book. Although this book has been published, yet due to being incomplete, it can not quench our thirst of learning and knowledge. However we have a hand script of Jawahirul Qura’n in this library which is very clear, correct and complete as well. There is a copy of another book (Dictionary) too in this library which bears seal prints of various Mughal kings and a seal of Alamgeer Aurangzeb which can be clearly read.”

This article on this library was written by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad at the time when the number of books was limited up to 4000 books only. Later on this stock kept on increasing and the more days passed the more number of the best and valuable books shot up in the list of this library day by day till it became a treasure of innumerable books.

Most of the books of the library are in Arabic language. However there are many books available in Urdu, English, Turki, Chinese, French, Pashtu, Gujrati, Marathi, Tamil, Sindhi and Malyalam as well.

Two sections of the library: Printed books, Unprinted Books.

As regards to the arts, the stock of History in Arabic and the literature in Persian is remarkable according to its number. There are 5000 books of Arabic, Persian and Urdu here which are unprinted. Of which many have been published. A few have very recently been published. However there are many copies which are still to be printed.

One peculiarity of the library is that it is the center of classic arts and learning where on one hand countless, precious, rare, peculiar and uncommon books and scripts (for reference) are found here, on the other hand a great number of new printed Arabic books also exist here. The biggest reason of the new term invented by the eastern scholars in the division between classic and modern language & style is that due to the lack of resources the opportunities to utilize or study the modern works and books of many of our intellectuals published in Arabic remain unattained. In this situation these books have the value of being a mile stone for all. The unprinted books of Urdu language are already very few and most of them are in old script and there are some which are still to be published or they are rather considered original script.

The complete deewan of Muntazir, the virtuous student of Mushafi, is an unprinted glorious piece of this library and it is the single copy in the whole lot, other copy of which could not be yet traced in any library. In the same way there is only one copy of Hindi biography of Mushafi which has corrections or changes by Mushafi himself. Hence its authenticity and perfection can be verified and believed. In addition to that, the precious, valuable and exemplary scripts like Deewane Brahman, Deewan Saba, Deewan Mushafi, Shahnama Urdu, Deewan Shaida and the exemplary hand scripts of biographies as well as dictionaries exist here. Besides the above mentioned books, the distinguished copies of unprinted scripts like Mahar Jahan Taab and Tazkira Meer Hasan are adorning the library of Nadwatululama. There is one of the best graphic copies of Firdousi Shahnama in which the colour made of precious stone was used for painting. Similarly a very distinguished graphic copy of Ajaibul Makhlooqat also is the decoration part of the library.

It is better to have a little description about some books in the following passages which would be a brief introduction for the library and exposition for its importance as well. A rare hand scripted copy of the famous commentary of Allama Nooruddin Basari, the eminent Islamic scholar of great Madrasa Al Mustansariya of seventh century Hijri with the name of Muntahaluloom Fi Tafseere Kitabillahil Hayyil Qayyum” is available in the library. Allama Noorudddin Basari is a very famous hambaliyan Islamic Scholar of 7th century Hijri. Imam Zainuddin Ibne Rajab Hambali has mentioned him in Tabaqatul Hanabila while Imam Jalaluddin Suyooti has mentioned him in the Tabaqatul Mufassireen.
This copy of Muntahaluloom consists of the commentary from the Sura Nisa to Sura A’raf. This copy has been written 4 years before the demise of the author. The disciple of the author Abdullah Al Marie has read this copy from the author himself. This copy is an unparalleled pattern of old calligraphy and elegant writing. A review of this copy has also been done by the author (Unprinted script copy 680 H).

Another important book is “Al Burhan Fi Mutashabihatil Qura’n”. This is the composition of Burhanuddin Abul Qasim Mahmood Bin Hamza Kirmani.

Kirmani is an Islamic scholar of 6th century Hijri. The Arabic Deewan of Hazrat Shah waliullah Dehlavi also exists in the library. The fascinating and attractive Takhmeesat of Shah Abdul Aziz and Shah Rafiuddeen on a few world reputed odes of Shah Sahib are also a part of this deewan (collection). However the second copy of this deewan does not seem to have yet been available in any place. In addition to that a few very important unprinted books of the library are as follows:

01. Al Muhakamat (777 H)
02. Ejaz Khusravi (735 H)
03. Sharah Miftahul Uloom (802 H)
04. Sharah Maqasid (840 H)
05. Sharah Tawaley (842 H)
06. Sihah Jauhari (896 H)
07. AL Ieza’h (782 H)
08. Zohdatul Usool, composed by Sheikh Bahauddin Amili. It is a selected collection of the particular memory book of the author.
09. Ashiatullam’at (It has been in the library of Mohammad Shah)
10. Wafaul wafa (It has been in the library of Amjad Ali Shah).
11. Safarnama Nasir Khusroo. (1006H)
12. AL Mu’Jamussagheer Littibrani.
13. Kitaburrooh, an unprinted copy composed by Ummeed yamani.

Many books of Mohammad Bin Ismaeel Al Ameer are the scripts written by him in his own hand writing and no other copy of this script apparently exists any where. Also there is a big stock of books composed by the Islamic scholars of Yaman in this library. There are some unprinted books too which have the signature of Allama shaukani on them.

These are some and very important unprinted books which have been mentioned here mere on the basis of presenting a few models. The correct estimation of this valuable stock can be done only when its complete list is in the hand.

This library was earlier established in the old office of Nadwatululama at Golaganj Lucknow. Later on in the year 1908 on proposal of Maulana Syed Suleiman Nadwi, it was shifted to the glorious Abbasiya Hall of Nadwatululama. Although this hall was so large, yet it proved too short to fulfill its requirement. Feeling this, a foundation stone of five story building was laid for the library by sheikh Ahmad Bin Abdul Azeez Ale Mubarak (Chief Justice.UAE) in 1975 under the patronage of Hazrat Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi. The library has been working on its two floors since 21th Fabruary 1984.

The shifting of the books was carried out under the supervision and patronage of the then Nazir (Manager) of the Library Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammad Murtaza Naqvi Bastavi and the library was rearranged with the modern technique.

We can never forget the great personality of Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammad Murtaza Naqvi Bastavi who is considered a foundation brick for the library of Nadwatululama. He left no stone unturned to decorate and lead the library from nothing to everything. Every thing from the tiniest to the highest is testifying and denoting that he was a true gardener for the library who loved it not less than his life. He served the library for years and always adopted every possible attempt and tried his best to lead the library to its highest place. It was an unbelievable fact that Allah had bestowed him a very good interest and fondness of everything and he was also a symbol of successive hard work and struggle. This is why he was always in one passion only and that was how to furnish his library with valuable and rarely existed books. He was a man of extreme courage and determination if he determined to do anything, never left without completing it. He was very close to Hazrat Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi. He tried to utilize this closeness too. In short his administration was extremely very glorious period for the library of Nadwatululama. So the history of the library would be incomplete without mentioning him. The greatest quality of him was that he never considered himself an employee of the library. In fact he dedicated himself not only for the library but also for Nadwatululama completely. Thus he served the library round the clock. He tried every way possible to collect books for the library and made up the mind of other people to do so. In many occasions he used to get angry even with his friends but no harm for the library he could bear. He felt very sad if any book was carelessly treated and used to rebuke the one who did so. Piousness, honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and fear of Allah were the qualities that awarded him the title of “Al Sadiqul Ameen“for the library. Thus no pen can do without mentioning him while describing the library or the Nadwatululama.

Alhamdulillah the number of hand scripts and modern books is continuously increasing. Earlier an old method of cataloguing was prevalent in the library and it was completely outdated. It is being felt from a long time that the library is in need to be rearranged and that it should be equipped with the modern facilities. So the new and fresh set up of the library was prepared and demonstrating a good taste and deep interest of modernization, the library has been computerized covering all the inclusion of the library after a hard and laborious work of many years. It will help all the research works in every respect and any one can easily assess any desired information about the books or the inclusion of the library. The system has been computerized in such a way that complete information regarding all the books of Arabic, English, Persian, Hindi and Urdu etc (Author’s name, publication year, enrolling number, index etc.) can be displayed on the screen of the computer any time when required. This is really a big work which is not less than an adventure and has probably the first work of its kinds and status been attended in the library of any Islamic Institution considered as important as that of the Darululoom Nadwatululama.

In the same way a page wise micro film of the unprinted book has also been made to be screened. A CD copy of the desired book is being provided to those who are busy with the research works in order to facilitate them fulfill their task. The library is also available on the net. Those who are interested in books can directly have an easy contact on the same.


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