Islamic Stories

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What Are The Animals Trying To Tell Us?
July 4, 2024

What Are The Animals Trying To Tell Us?

“In historical Timbuktu—as in any part of the pre-modern world—animals were...”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
April 25, 2024

An Excerpt on the Properties of April’s Rain in a Curious Collection of Arabic Texts Found in One Manuscript

“The term “April showers” derives from the frequency of short and regular showers that are...”

Dr. Celeste Gianni

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Eclipses in Early Muslim History — Between Myth and Reality
April 8, 2024

Eclipses in Early Muslim History — Between Myth and Reality

“The best-known eclipse mentioned in Muslim sources was the solar eclipse that occurred on...”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
Remembering an Earthquake
March 28, 2024

Remembering an Earthquake

“Many of the regions where HMML has worked are no stranger to earthquakes...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
January 18, 2024

Nasheeds from West Africa: Uniting Texts and Sound

“All of Timbuktu’s family libraries that were digitized by HMML include numerous compositions that...”

Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor

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Where We’re Working: Lucknow
January 9, 2024

Where We’re Working: Lucknow

“HMML’s preservation work in India began in 2008 with the manuscript collections of...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
The Legacy of Mūrisṭus’ Hydraulic and Pneumatic Pipe Organs in the Early 20th-Century Arabic Literary Culture
January 4, 2024

The Legacy of Mūrisṭus’ Hydraulic and Pneumatic Pipe Organs in the Early 20th-Century Arabic Literary Culture

“The organ is not the first musical instrument that comes to mind when...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
Deadly snakes and remedies against their venomous bites in the handy charts of a copy of the “Kitāb al-diryāq” (Book on antidotes)
October 26, 2023

Deadly snakes and remedies against their venomous bites in the handy charts of a copy of the “Kitāb al-diryāq” (Book on antidotes)

“The Arabic manuscript tradition is rich in medical works discussing remedies and...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
Zaydī Manuscripts
September 7, 2023

Zaydī Manuscripts

“The story of the Zaydīs begins in approximately 740 CE, with a revolt along the...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
Treatises of Consolation: Muslim Scholars Comfort Themselves and Others Who Have Lost Children
August 17, 2023

Treatises of Consolation: Muslim Scholars Comfort Themselves and Others Who Have Lost Children

“The Black Death pandemic of the 14th century dramatically reshaped many cultures...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
A Scribble of Scribes: Men, Women, and Children Copyists Across Mali’s Manuscript Collections
June 8, 2023

A Scribble of Scribes: Men, Women, and Children Copyists Across Mali’s Manuscript Collections

“...each manuscript is an artistic production and requires physical labor performed by a single individual—the scribe...”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
Muḥammad Ṣādiq: A Scribe Between Manuscript and Print Cultures at the Beginning of the 20th Century
April 27, 2023

Muḥammad Ṣādiq: A Scribe Between Manuscript and Print Cultures at the Beginning of the 20th Century

“A great opportunity to look at the interaction between manuscript and print cultures can be found in the Middle East...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
March 16, 2023

Why so Many Fragments? Incomplete Manuscripts in the Timbuktu Collections.

“A large amount of the manuscripts digitized in Timbuktu, Mali, that we at HMML have cataloged are fragments...”

Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor

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Postscript — Luqmān the Sage
February 23, 2023

Postscript — Luqmān the Sage

“Luqmān the Sage (also known as Luqmān al-Ḥakīm, the wise) is a legendary character in Arabic and Islamic storytelling...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
December 22, 2022

Poetic fragments at the Great ʿUmarī Mosque in Gaza

“The Great ʿUmarī Mosque in Gaza is the largest and oldest mosque in the Gaza Strip...”

Dr. Celeste Gianni

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Censorship Without Censorship
October 13, 2022

Censorship Without Censorship

“Maḥmūd ibn ʻUmar al-Zamakhsharī did not have an easy childhood. He was born in 1075 CE into a...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
A Book You Would Love to Read...
September 29, 2022

A Book You Would Love to Read...

“A book you would love to read is lost, altered, destroyed, buried, hidden, left unpublished, unwritten, banned.”

  • Dr. Catherine Walsh and Margaret Bresnahan
September 1, 2022

ʻUmar al-Turūdī’s List of Unreliable Books

“ʻUmar ibn Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr al-Turūdī, was a scholar from Kebbi, present-day northern...”

Dr. Paul Naylor

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Where We’re Working: Mali
July 16, 2022

Where We’re Working: Mali

“In the spring of 2012, the desert city of Timbuktu in northern Mali was attacked and...”

  • Dr. Columba Stewart
July 7, 2022

Khwājahʹzādah’s Treatise on the Rainbow

“Rainbows are optical illusions caused by the reflection, refraction, and...”

Dr. Celeste Gianni

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Astronomical Technology and Religious Practice in Islam
May 26, 2022

Astronomical Technology and Religious Practice in Islam

“Astronomical observation is built into the most basic religious practices of the...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
Signs in the Heavens — Astrological Books of Daniel in Eastern Christianity
May 12, 2022

Signs in the Heavens — Astrological Books of Daniel in Eastern Christianity

“In Syriac Christian communities, astrological texts were sometimes appended to medical books and...”

  • Dr. David Calabro
Smoking in the Desert — Between Supporters and Opponents of Tobacco
March 31, 2022

Smoking in the Desert — Between Supporters and Opponents of Tobacco

“The use of tobacco in the Sahel, whether smoking, chewing, or taking as snuff, was widespread and...”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
The Hard Work of a Market Inspector in Preventing Food Frauds at the Market of Tinnīs, Egypt
March 3, 2022

The Hard Work of a Market Inspector in Preventing Food Frauds at the Market of Tinnīs, Egypt

“There are several manuals in the Arabic literary tradition describing the profession of the...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
The Story of the Talking Camel and the Exploits of Ali Genre in West Africa
November 25, 2021

The Story of the Talking Camel and the Exploits of Ali Genre in West Africa

“While some elements of the story are fiction, others are clearly inspired by real events in Khaybar.”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
Tracing Folktales in Magic Texts — The Story of Umm al-Ṣibyān
October 28, 2021

Tracing Folktales in Magic Texts — The Story of Umm al-Ṣibyān

“Despite having been contested in Islamic history by powerful groups rejecting them as illegitimate practices, magic and...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
Ottoman Soap Operas and Other Stories
September 30, 2021

Ottoman Soap Operas and Other Stories

“HMML’s digital collections include entertaining stories from a wide range of linguistic and...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
Four Family Libraries in Jerusalem
September 9, 2021

Four Family Libraries in Jerusalem

“At many points in its history, Jerusalem has been one of the world’s most important cultural crossroads...”

  • Dr. Josh Mugler
Travelers and Texts Crossing the Sahara
August 19, 2021

Travelers and Texts Crossing the Sahara

“Mobility was a central feature of individuals, societies, and texts within Muslim West Africa’s...”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
Medical Texts From Timbuktu — Local Pharmacological Remedies with Qur’anic Verses
April 15, 2021

Medical Texts From Timbuktu — Local Pharmacological Remedies with Qur’anic Verses

“In West Africa knowledge of the Qur’an was often combined with local pharmacological traditions to...”

  • Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor
Accounts on Plague and Infectious Diseases from Three Arabic Manuscripts
March 4, 2021

Accounts on Plague and Infectious Diseases from Three Arabic Manuscripts

“The disastrous impact of plague epidemics in the Middle East has been documented in numerous accounts...”

  • Dr. Celeste Gianni
February 25, 2021

Yeɗi Sanba Ɓooyi, a Fulani Scholar and Poet

“Yeɗi Sanba Ɓooyi was a scholar who belonged to the Fulani, a traditionally nomadic people who...”

Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor

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February 11, 2021

Creating Cataloging Standards for Regional Names

“Yeɗi belonged to the Fulani people, one of West Africa’s many ethnic groups, which...”

Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor

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January 3, 2021

Postscript — A Fāʼidah

“Along with the direct physical resistance to this unjust trade, the text shows...”

Dr. Ali Diakite and Dr. Paul Naylor

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Hill Museum & Manuscript Library completes digital cataloging of Khalidi Library’s manuscript collection
August 24, 2020

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library completes digital cataloging of Khalidi Library’s manuscript collection

“The Khalidi Library in East Jerusalem and The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library announce that the complete digitized manuscript collection...”

  • Joe Rogers

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