Dr. Fuat Sezgin and His Library:

Dr. Fuat Sezgin and His Library:

I was very fortunate to have been given a private tour of Dr. Fuat Sezgin's (b. 1924- d. 2018) personal library, and a collection of all of his edited works.

Prof. Sezgin is without a doubt one of the most recognized names in Islamic academia. I heard about his works and efforts both from my teachers at the University of Madinah and at Yale, and have had the opportunity to consult many of his publications.

He was born in Turkey during the secular era of 'Ata Turk', and his interest in Islamic sciences and manuscripts was not only unwelcome, it was almost a criminal activity! He was fired from his job at Istanbul University, and eventually was forced to flee to Germany in 1961, where he was welcomed and respected for his vast knowledge of early manuscripts and his fluency in over 20 languages.

For the next almost seventy years, Prof Sezgin produced a staggering 1600 edited works of early Islam, primarily concentrating on the Muslim contributions to all fields of science, but also encompassing many important works in hadith and tafsir and theology.

When the prestigious King Faisal Prize for Islamic Studies first started awarding recipients, Prof Sezgin was the very first person (in 1979) to receive this award.

As if this wasn't enough, his most erudite contribution is the 17 volume work entitled Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums (abbreviated to GAS) in which he summarized the biographical dictionaries of almost all intellectual thinkers of early Islam, along with an exhaustive list of books and articles about them, and the location of their known manuscripts around the world.

Anyone who is associated with Islamic academics benefits from this work and it is impossible to not be in awe of the level of scholarship and effort every single page of this work displays.

May Allah have mercy on Prof Fuat Sezgin for a legacy that is truly unmatched by anyone in our era.

- Dr. Yasir Qadhi

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