The Budeiri Library 

<< Return to the list

Click on a photo to zoom

The Budeiri Library The Budeiri Library The Budeiri Library The Budeiri Library

Old City
Palestinian Territory, Occupied

Description of the establishmentThe Budeiri Library was founded by Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Budeir Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mahmud Ibn Hubeish, the Jerusalemite Shafii’. He was better known as Budeiri and Hubeish. Written sources belong to him indicate that he was born approximately in 1160 Hijri (1747 CE.). He was sent to Al Azhar institution in Egypt at age 7 and spent the next 30 years studying various subjects of science. He then returned to Jerusalem and lived in the Wafa’iyeh Zawiyeh close to the Al Aqsa Mosque until his death on 27 Sha’ban 1220 Hijri ( 20 November 1805). After his return to Jerusalem he assumed his activities in teaching, preaching and convening groups of theology discussions. He remained faithful to his Egyptian mentor/teacher Alkurdi’s way of meditation. The biography of Sheikh al Budeiri shows that his wealth was inherited from his father but that he also accumulated wealth that made it possible for him to spend most of his time praying and meditating. He also was able to purchase valuable manuscripts and to create some by himself. He started his collection of manuscripts as early as in his age of 15. His collection contain some manuscripts purchased from famous collectors such as the Ansari, A’sqalani, Zubeidi, Sharqawi and from Jerusalem families such as Jarallah, Khalili, Huseini and Khalidi, who at the time were very know families and respected. In addition to purchasing and acquiring manuscripts, Sheikh Budeiri himself wrote valuable papers and books on various scientific and religious subjects. Not all of his writings were kept in his collection but were mostly mentioned by other scholars. Before his death he specified the types and the way his wealth should be inherited and endowed. He also ordered that his collection of manuscripts and books should be kept in his living place, where the Budeiri library is still stands.
Description of collectionsIt was mentioned in the library first catalogue which was published in two volumes in 1987, that since the death of Sheikh Budeir, the collection that he acquired was hardly further enlarged and that some of the collection was taken out of the library by some inheritors. However, this catalogue indicates that the collection in 1987 included manuscripts from the 6th hijri century (11th CE) through the 14th century (19th CE). The oldest manuscript in the library is the “Qasheiri Message” which was copied in 21 Rajab 562 Hijri (1167 CE). Five manuscripts are from the 7th Hijri century; 11 from the 8th ; 25 from the 9th ; 75 from the 10th ; 168 from the 11th; 278 from the 12th; 64 from the 13th; and 9 manuscripts fro the 14th Hijri century. From this list one can learn that more than a third of the collection was copied during the Budeiri living century - the 12th. The collection contains 4 manuscripts which were copied in the 6th Hijri century. In addition to the “Qasheiri Message” mentioned above, there is the fifth part of the “The Shafii’ Comprehensive Parts” which was copied in 592 Hijri (1196 CE); the sixth part of the “Imam Ahmad Collection” which was copied by Abu Omar Al Lakhmi in the sixth century; and a forth one with unknown author in the title “A book contains types of rules and manners in writing and more” which was copied in part in the sixth century. The collection contains manuscripts in different dimensions; the largest is 36.3 cm. lengths on 27 cm. widths and the smallest copied in the 12th century, is 14 cm. lengths on 9.8 cm. width. The subject and content of this collection is broad and varied and could be listed as follow: 18 Qur’anic Sciences 14 Qur’an Interpretation 57 Islamic Laws 56 Hadith and its concepts 93 Sufism and ethics 125 Islamic Fiqh and Kalam 28 Prophet Biography and Praises 153 Arabic Languish and Literature 10 History 22 Logic 25 Astrology 9 Mathematics 4 Medicines 22 Miscellanies subjects