Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dar Al-Hikmah

Following the Fatimid interest in the sciences, al-Hakim founded House of Wisdom (Dar al-Hikmah) in 1005, which during this period almost equaled the fame of the Bayt al-Hikmah (The House of Wisdom) founded by ‘Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mum in Baghdad.

Dar al-Hikmah additionally competed with the al-Azhar school, which was founded by the Fatimid conqueror of Egypt, Jawhar al-Siqili.

The House of Wisdom had a large library and served as a school where a wide variety of subjects, including theology, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, and even Sunni law were taught. Al-Hakim took great care over it organization and furnished a special building for it. A superb library was installed with collection transferred from the caliph’s own library.

It was also the training academy for Isma’ili missionary. The lectures were aimed at both Isma’ilis and non-Isma’ilis.

The library was open to the public and work there was facilitated by the provision of materials needed for transcription such as paper ink and pens.

Al-Hakim encouraged scholars by setting a system of stipends. He also created a waqf (endowment or foundation) to secure adequate funds.
Dar Al-Hikmah
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