Grand Mosque Library offers pilgrims a rare peek into history

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA | ARAB NEWS

MAKKAH: The Grand Mosque library is considered one of the most important libraries in the world, its manager Muhammad Bajoudah said.

He did not know when exactly the library was established but he believed it to be before the year 160 AH, over 1,270 years ago.

“It is difficult to say when exactly the library was established but there are indications that the library existed during the era of Abbasid Caliph Al-Mahdi in the year 160 AH,” he said.

Bajoudah said Muslim caliphs, thinkers and rich men kept books that they had written in the library as well as copies of the Holy Qur’an that they had donated as wakf (endowment).

He recalled that there were two domes in the library during that historical era used for storing water and books, which were mostly copies of the Holy Qur’an and religious books.

Bajoudah said the library now has more than 100,000 books, 5,000 original manuscripts, 2,000 manuscripts in the form of photocopies and 3,000 manuscripts on microfilm. read more

A view of artifacts and manuscripts in the Grand Mosque Library in Makkah. (AN photo)

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