The National Library of Tunisia hosted on Thursday, October 19, 2017, a ceremony during which scholar and Doctor Mohamed Habib El Hila was honoured after his recent donation of his personal library including some rare manuscripts of the previous centuries.
Director of the National Library Raja Ben Slama said that the noble gesture of Doctor Habib El Hila by donating his wealthy library is an act of self-denial for the future generations so that they make the most of these old works and manuscripts of old scholars during the Islamic era.
Besides, Doctor Habib Hila suggested that all the rest of his library along with the remaining manuscripts will be donated to the Tunisian National Library later, Raja Ben Slama said.
In turn, Dr.Mohamed Habib El Hila said that his true love to the homeland dictated him to do this gesture which is a moral commitment for the future generations to make use of the researches and know-how of former scholars for many centuries since the coming of Islam.
As another act of nobleness, Mohamed Habib Hila also donated copies of his works, books and critics he had written since his early days on the path of pursuing his higher studies and his researches in Islamic sciences and historical facts.
He had studied in the famous Tunisian Sadiki school then joined the Zeituna Mosque academy where he had studied and taught there for period of time to join afterwards the Sorbonne university where he received his PH.D on social history in the Near Maghreb (Ifriqiya) in 1976.
As a “Sadiki, Zeituna student and with PH.D from Sorbonne”, he had spent a remarkable period of his life in academic Researches in theology and history. He focused his works in the history stages and components of the Arab Maghreb and Andalusia.
From the mid eighties to the mid nineties of the 20th century, Dr. Habib El Hila made researches in the history of the holy city of Mecca which he had taught during that time.
Besides, he made some archieves namely his book entitled “History and Historians in Mecca from the third to the thirteenth hegira century”.
Doctor Mohamed Habib El Hila grew up in the darkest years of the French occupation for Tunisia, during which most Tunisians where forbidden education and few of them enjoyed its grace, including the prominent professor who carved his scientific path with determination and passion.
Doctor Mohamed Habib El Hila is part of a great generation that had endeavoured to build the university edifice with love and honesty during the establishment of the Tunisian state with colleagues eager to conduct success with patience and sacrifices. He had taken part in a trend that managed to push university academic studies towards progress and reached the target of being respectable among the universities worldwide.
It is very hard to follow his biography path through decades of teaching and exhausting researches, during which he remained loyal to his noble profession in Tunisia and abroad that earned him respect for his devotion and commitment and even self-denial.
During his long career he taught his students the values of tolerance as well as the love of science as he remained committed and loyal to the university values fed by his effort to consecrate the principles of modesty and distinction at the same time, like a few of his generation, who persevered to enhance the Tunisian university.
He was aware that ignorance is a scourge of nations and looking at history carries many lessons and secrets. Throughout his life, he devoted himself in writing on social and Islamic history with scientific values.
We appreciate again his great gift to the Tunisian National Library of precious books, publications and manuscripts, his wonderful treasure produced and gathered during his life.