Friday, 11 August 2006

Rouzatul Hadith in Hyderabad to be revived

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 11: The State Wakf Board is finally reviving the century-old Rouzatul Hadith, one of the important Islamic libraries in the country, 26 years after it was shut down for wants of funds.
The Dubai-based Juma-al-Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage has provided financial and technical assistance to revive the library and restore its more than 900 rare books and manuscripts, most of them 500 years old. Dr Izzadin Bin Zeghiba of the Centre supervised the digitisation of the manuscripts. It is the only such library in the city after the world-famous Dairat-ul-Marif located on Osmania University campus.
"We have completed the restoration and digitisation work and the library is now ready for reopening. It was closed down 26 years ago. Since the doors of the library were locked with none to take care of the books, we have lost two cupboard loads of rare books and manuscripts to termites. It is for the Wakf Board to fix a formal date of reopening," says Syed Hashim, incharge of the library.
Wakf Board special officer SA Huda said the Rouzatul Hadith, located at Yakutpura, was one of the important sources of Islamic knowledge for research scholars from around the world. The library was closed down during its heydays.
"After I took over the charge of the State Wakf Board eight months ago, I have handed over the restoration work to the Dubai-based organisation. The entire project is funded by them. There are many books in Persian, Arabic and Urdu which are out of print and not available anywhere in the world," Huda told this correspondent.
Interestingly officials carried out the restoration work based on the tips provided in a 100-year-old book in English, gathering dust in one of the library cupboards. "It's a wonderful experience restoring an old library. We followed the tips mentioned in the book. While we lost several books to termites, the English book was intact. It helped us a lot," observes Wakf Board chief executive officer Ahmad Ali Khan.

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