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  • 1/19/2011

Grand Ayatollah Mar`ashi Najafi Public Library

ayatollah mar`ashi najafi

Ayatollah Sayyid Shihab al-Din Husseini al-Marashi al-Najafi was born on 20the Safar 1315 A.H. / July 21, 1897 in the holy city of Najaf in a famous religious family. In the beginning he was taught by his learned father Ayatollah Shams al-Din Mahmood Husseini Marashi Najafi who was one of the greatest Islamic jurisprudent of that era. To be more familiar with this Grand Ayatollah’s library, read the Article.

He also learned Qur’anic sciences and its exegesis, fundamentals of jurisprudence, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, Rijal and theology from a large group of well-known professors in the Hawzah in the holy city of Najaf. The historical foundation of this Library goes back to the time when Grand Ayatollah Mar`ashi Najafi was studying in the Islamic Seminary of Najaf. That was a time when the importance and value of old manuscripts - Islamic educational and cultural heritage - were not realized. Through great efforts of warding off hunger (after cutting back on food), and working hard in a rice-cleaning factory in Najaf, Ayatollah Mar`ashi saved money to buy old manuscripts and rare books. After coming to Iran, he continued this effort to gather up the precious books, till he had collected an abundant amount of manuscripts and rare books. Thereupon, he founded a small library in a seminary school that he established - The Mar`ashiyyah Seminary School. Later he bought the present building of the library and transferred the books to the newly established library. His great efforts led to the formation of the well-known and precious library of Mar`ashi Najafi.

At the moment, recent renovations on the library have been completed. The substructure of the library is 21000 square meters stretching across two separate buildings. One of the buildings is a five floor complex, and the other is a seven floor building. The library has the capacity to hold more than 3,000,000 books and 120,000 manuscripts; currently is has over 500,000 published books and about 30,000 manuscripts under more than 60,000 various titles.

ayatollah mar`ashi najafi

The books in the library are written in different languages such as Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Sanskrit, Ethiopic, French, German, English, Russian, Italian, and more.

The number of published books in - thirty different - European languages is over 30,000 volumes. The number of published books in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, and Persian exceeds 450,000 volumes. The library is currently holding more than 30,000 rare books, some of them being published 400 years ago and others dating back to Islam’s appearance. At present, the library also has more than 3000 books on microfiche.

Today, the Najafi Mar`ashi Library is in direct contact with more than 400 scientific research centers, cultural institutions, universities, and great libraries around the world. The newly installed computer equipment in the library has made considerable improvement its’ organizing and transferring of information. New technology has also made it possible to connect the library to the Internet.

Aside from gathering books, films, microfiches, and photos of old and rare books, the library is a study center for many university and theology students, both Iranian and foreigner. The number of both male and female students taking advantage of the library’s facilities is increasing every day.

The library is made up of different departments:

1. Department for obtaining important books & manuscripts, and distribution.

2. Department for book indexing.

3 Department of book restoration and preservation.

4. Department for bookbinding.

5. Department for compiling an encyclopedia of outstanding Libraries around the world (especially those having Islamic manuscripts).

grand ayatollah mar`ashi najafi public library

In addition, the Library’s publication department is one of the most active and dynamic branches of the library. The department is responsible for publishing more than 130 books (310 volumes).

 The publication department was chosen as the publisher of the year in the 1991 International Book Fair in Tehran. One of the library’s publications is The Shahab Quarterly, which has reached its’ 13th issue.

The elder son of Ayatollah Najafi Mar`ashi, Hujjatul Islam Dr. Seyyed Mahmoud Najafi Mar`ashi, began his management of the Library 30 years ago and is still the present manager. He is one of the most outstanding bibliographers in Iran.

Source: coiradio.com

Other links:

Ayatollah Seyyed Muhammed Baqir al- Hakim

Ayatullah Seyyed Ali Husseini Sistani

Biography of Imam Khomeini

Short Life History of Allama Majlisi

Imam Khomeini Saying: The Qu’ran

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