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On the Art of al-Aroodh
This manuscript book from 1554 is in two sections. The first section is a grammatical work by an unknown author that compares the conjugation of verbs in Arabic and in Farsi, indicating changes in the forms each time a different tense is used, and that also contains a list of the singular and plural forms of many Arabic nouns. The second section of the book is a brief article, in Ottoman Turkish, by an unknown author, on the metrics of Arabic poetry. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of ...
The Second Art: the Science of Expression
This work by Isma’il bin Mustafa bin Mas’ud al-Kalanbawi deals with proper usage in the Arabic language. The work takes the form of a list of 20 questions and answers about different aspects of the language. The book was transcribed in 1805 (1220 AH). The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who ...
Excerpts from al-Kulliyyat
Transcribed in 1805, this manuscript is comprised of excerpts from al-Kulliyyat, a dictionary of terminology and language differences compiled by Abu l’Baqa al-Husseini al-Kafawi al-Hanafi (died 1683 [1094 AH]). The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of ...
Comments on the Summary of al-Miftah
This early 19th-century work by Qara Hafiz Efendi on Arabic rhetoric (balaagha) is a commentary on Talkhis al-Miftah (The summary of al-Miftah) by al-Khateeb al-Qizweeni (died 1338 [739 AH]). Talkhis al-Miftah was itself a commentary on Miftah al-Uloom (The key to knowledge), by Abu Yaaqoob as-Sikaki (died 1228 [626 AH]). Al-Qizweeni was a student of as-Sikaki, and both men were important scholars of Arabic rhetoric. Efendi’s work also contains excerpts from another work, a dictionary of language usage, figurative speech, and simile by Abu l'Baqa al-Husseini al-Kufawi Al-Hanafi ...
On Substantiation Through Transitive Relations
This work by the prominent Shafi’i theologian Muhammad al-Amidi (died 1233 [631 AH]) consists of three parts. The first part, on pages 1 and 2, discusses the difference between metaphors and similes in figurative speech. The second part, on pages 3–10, deals with the use of analogies and transitive relations to prove a case. Al-qiyas, or the use of transitive relations to substantiate a case, is one of four pillars in Islamic jurisprudence. It is also widely used by grammarians. The last part, on page 11, is the ...
Comparisons in Arabic Grammar
A considerable portion of this untitled work by an unknown author is devoted to a discussion of al-qiyas, or comparison, in Arabic grammar. The work also contains excerpts from a work by Muftizade and disquisitions about logic, as well as other references to Muftizade. The manuscript was transcribed by Abdallah al-Hamshini. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet ...
This mid-18th century volume, entitled Repertorio Arabo–Italiano in Italian, forms a kind of lexical vade mecum (a book for ready reference) for Arabic and Italian. Its principal components are an Arabic–Italian dictionary (Arabic on the right, Italian on the left) and a classified word list. The dictionary is the largest portion of the book, arranged according to the Arabic alphabet. The word list in the second part consists of 55 classified sections on various topics, including animals, clothing, precious stones, months and days, logical terms, and Christian themes ...
This clearly written manuscript, dated 1857, is a work on grammatical questions by Gabriel Germanus, or Jirmānūs, Farḥāt (circa 1670–1732), metropolitan of Aleppo and founder of the Lebanese Maronite Order. Maronite synod documents of the 16th century reflect a poor standard of Arabic and are often interspersed with Syriac words. Metropolitan Farḥāt was a writer of correct and elegant Arabic and a forerunner of the Maronite initiative in the 19th century Arabic revival. The work was written in 1705 and then printed in 1836 at the American Protestant press ...
Commentary on Ibn Malik's “Tashīl al-fawā'id”
This Arabic manuscript contains the commentary by Muḥammad Ibn Abī Bakr al-Damāmīnī (circa 1362–1424) on the Tashīl al-fawā'id (Simplification of the facts), a grammatical work of the famous Abū ʻAbd Allāh Djamāl Al-Dīn Muhammad, known as Ibn Malik (circa 1204–74). The manuscript is written in a tight Naskh hand and the wide margins have numerous annotations. The codex appears to have been used by Eli Smith (1801–57), an American missionary and one of the Protestant translators of the Bible into Arabic, who worked in Beirut in ...
On Correctness in the Arabic Language
This 16th-century manuscript is a copy of a famous lexicographical work by Abū Naṣr Ismā'īl Ibn Ḥammād al-Jawharī (died 1002) called Kitāb Al-Ṣaḥāḥ fī Al-Lugha (On correctness in the Arabic language). The manuscript is written in a tight Naskh hand profuse with vowel signs and 37 lines per page. These features combine to give each page a crowded appearance. Each lemma (headword) is noted in red in the text and also indicated in the margins for easy reference. Like "Commentary on Ibn Malik's 'Tashīl al-fawā'id'", also ...
The Book of the Interpreter
This 16th-century manuscript is an old copy of the classified Syriac–Garshuni glossary by Elias of Nisibis (975–1046). Elias was an eastern Syriac scholar and monk, who was later a bishop and from 1008–46 metropolitan of Nisibis in northern Mesopotamia (present-day Nusaybin in southeastern Turkey). He was an important figure in Syriac and Christian Arabic literature and an early grammarian. In addition to this glossary, his literary output included a bilingual (Syriac–Arabic) chronicle, liturgical poetry, and letters. This work is prefaced by Eliya's address to the ...
Explanation of the Commentary of Ibn Zakur
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Sharḥ ‘ala Ḥāshiyat Ibn Zakūr (Explanation of the commentary of Ibn Zakur) is by Ibrahim al-Fulani and was ...