Nearly 800 Islamic Manuscripts From Collections In Ethiopia Are Now Available In Reading Room
Nearly 800 Islamic manuscripts from collections in Ethiopia are now available in Reading RoomPosted: 2022-07-11
Cataloging is now complete on HMML's collections of digitized Islamic manuscripts from Ethiopia. This includes the collection of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) at the University of Addis Ababa in the nation's capital as well as the Sherif Harar City Museum (EMIP, SHCM) in the eastern city of Hārar. As the historic center of Islamic scholarship and devotional practice in the Horn of Africa, Hārar is where most of these manuscripts were copied. They include devotional and literary works by local Ethiopian authors along with items testifying to the longstanding connections between Hārar and other parts of the Islamic world, primarily Yemen and Mecca.
Particularly common in these collections are Qurʼan manuscripts (often endowed for use at family tombs by wealthy women and men); prayer books by Ethiopian and other authors; and important texts of the Shāfiʻī legal school that became standard in the legal education of the region. On the other hand, the oldest dated manuscript in these collections is by a Ḥanafī legal scholar from Iraq and is dated 1346 CE (EMIP 01539). While most of the texts are in Arabic, there are also valuable testimonies to the Harari and Oromo languages, including works on inheritance law in Harari and devotional works in both languages. Many of these manuscript images were provided by the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project.
As a complement to these manuscript collections that remain in Ethiopia, HMML's Reading Room includes images of nine manuscripts from the region that were donated to HMML in 2021. View now