Ben Achour library shelters rare manuscripts nowhere to be found

I have had the good opportunity to pay a visit to Ben Achour’s library located in a beautiful family mansion in the suburb of “La Marsa”. It is a real beacon of light and science under the sky of Tunisia.

This library considered as one of the rich libraries in the Arab and Islamic world, is related to a great story of a famous family whose members are known by their deep culture and their commitments for literature, science and research.

When you stand still for a while at the center of the room and have a look around, you feel the beauty and the magic of this place. Wave of huge history reminds you that there is a senior scholar of science and knowledge born in this family who paved the way for different generations and taught them his humanity legacy.

It is fair for all family members to say that during all the period that Tunisia is going through, Ben Achour generations are eager to preserve this great heritage with the same care and passion and with the same way as left by Mohamed Tahar Ben Achour, the founding father of this wonderful legacy.

Dr. Mohamed El Aziz Ben Achour, grandson of Sheikh Mohamed Tahar Ben Achour known by his culture and his modesty, who is entrusted by his family with taking care of this library, is proud and cheered up of this noble task and remains faithful to it.

In this place surrounded by hundreds of important and rare manuscripts (scripts) including those not existing in the world, unique prints and books, he feels comfortable and confident with such a place, where he greets his guests among researchers, scholars, intellectuals, professors and men of letters…

In other respect, the real value for these scripts is magnified by more comments, critics and review and in depth studies of successive scientists and men of culture who enhanced its value.

History reminds that Tahar Ben Achour has over 40 writing works and masterpieces in Chariaa and fekh science, the most famous is a book in  interpretation ”al-Tahrir wa’l-tanwir (The Verification and Enlightenment).

These books made of him one of the most prominent figures of the twentieth century with the first precious works that were printed in the Arab World.

Ben Achour’s library remains a monument of Tunisia’s landmark that conveys the pride of a family entrenched in this land through knowledge.

Mohamed Tahar Ben Achour (1879-1973) was one of the most renowned modern-era graduates of the University of Ez-Zitouna and one of the great Islamic scholars of the 20th century.  He studied with reform-minded ‘ulamā’ and mastered classical Islamic scholarship. He became a judge then Shaikh al-Islām in 1932. He was a prolific writer and author on the subject of reforming Islamic education and jurisprudence. He is best remembered for his Qur’anic exegesis, al-Tahrir wa’l-tanwir (The Verification and Enlightenment)

Ben Rhouma Chedli



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