Recipient Dr Kumail Rajani
Date 01 September, 2021
Amount £10,000 (Post Doctoral Writing Fellowship)
Summary My project aims to reconstruct the Fatimid libraries of the 3rd/9th century Qayrawān. Soon after the Fatimids established their hegemony over North Africa, a new genre of literature was produced under the rubric of ʿulūm Āl al-Bayt (sciences of the progeny of the Prophet). Works on history, theology, law, polemics, esoteric sciences, allegorical interpretation of the Qurʾan, biographical literature among several other were produced. It is evident that Fatimid scholars had to have recourse to earlier collections of Medina, Egypt, Yemen, Baghdad and Qum as they cite them consistently in their writings and incorporates them into their works. These early collections, most of which no longer exist, equipped the scholars with the raw material from which they formulated and systematised various aspects of Ismaʿili beliefs and practices. It is detailing these lost sources and highlighting the contribution of North Africa to Arabic literature that my project is primarily concerned.

To see the latest Report about this project "Between Qum and Qayrawan: Reconstructing Fatimid Libraries of North Africa" [November 2023]" click on the link below ⏬
Click here to read a project research report