Departments of Middle Eastern Studies
Ben Gurion University
I would like to express my gratitude to the Friends of the Princeton University Library for enabling me to arrive and stay at the Princeton Library and to carry out my research of the manuscripts in the Yahuda section of the Garrett Collection. I am happy to be able to write to you that my month long visit was very productive. It enabled me to study several manuscripts to which I would not have had access otherwise. My expectations from this collection were high to begin with, since I examined its catalogue in the National Library in Hebrew University. It was evident that this collection holds valuable manuscripts about the legal tradition of the Islamic civilization, and particularly about the Hanbali school of law, which is the topic of my present project. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised. An additional catalogue that the staff has compiled revealed more manuscripts on a variety of pertinent topics. In the course of my stay I could not go over all of the documents, but it is clear that the
Garrett Collection holds a truly unique and fascinating range of sources about the Islamic civilization.
In the course of my work I concentrated on several manuscripts such as the correspondence of Ibn Taymiyya and the writings of Ibn Qudama, two outstanding Hanbali jurists and popular leaders. The documents contain a mine of historical information that I will incorporate into a project that I am currently working on. I would also like to point out that these sources have not been published, and as a consequence will help me, and other scholars that are working on Islamic legal culture, to fill in gaps in our knowledge.