Organized & Sponsored by KICT, IIUM, JAKIM & National Library

Mosque library played a very significant role in the development of Islamic civilization, especially during the era of Bani Umayyah and Abbassiyah dynasties (7th-12th AD). During the period, mosque institution not only played the role as a place for worship, but equally important as a place to meet the thirst for knowledge among the believers. Most of the Jami’ mosques have a reasonably good library. In fact, almost all universities developed from mosque library, including Azhar University,  Cairo.

The community supports the mosque library readily with financial and book donations.  The contribution to the development of mosque library was not a burden, but rather a contribution to get the blessing of Allah. They consciously practice the teachings of Muhammad S.A.W. about the importance of knowledge, and that when a person dies, he leaves everything behind except 3  things:  amal jariah, children who prays for him and beneficial ilm.   

Malaysia should be a model for Muslim countries relating to mosque library development and infrastructure. According to the latest statistics, there are more than 5000 Jami’ mosques in the country. Unfortunately, only 64 of them has library, and the majority of them in the form of reading room only, rather than a proper library (Balqis Suja’, Islamic Librarianship and Malaysian Islamic Libraries, 2012). Such a sorry state of mosque library should not happen in a country like Malaysia which aspires to play an exemplary role for the Muslim World.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has the Department of Library and Information Science (DLIS) since 1992. As a leading Islamic university at international level, IIUM with the support of DLIS should take a leading role in promoting education and knowledge to the ummah by reviving the development of mosque library in the Muslim world  in general and in Malaysia in particular.

Mosque library has never been the focus of development in Malaysia.  Whatever mosque libraries available were mainly the results of initiatives by the mosque committees, perhaps with general encouragement of state Islamic authorities. There were no specific guidelines as to the types of books and other reading materials to be purchased, the equipment and facilities that should be available, the computerized library system that should be used, the types of services that should be offered, staffing requirement, etc.

Above all, there is no authority that could provide leadership and guidance to them. The National Library of Malaysia is too much stretched with varied responsibilities that it is not willing to take additional responsibilities any more. In fact, so far, there has never been any seminar or conference particularly relating to mosque library planning and development in Malaysia. Such a state of affairs should not continue any longer in an advanced Muslim country like Malaysia. 








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