The 17th Muscat International Book Fair (MIBF) (February 29-March 9), which has seen a record visitor turnout, is clearly different from its previous editions because of its unprecedented variety of books on Islamic thought and culture. The visitors as well as exhibitors say the renewed interest in such titles is due to the geopolitical changes in the Middle East in recent times. “There is a huge demand for titles on Islamic thought following the continued wave of Arab Spring or Islamic awakening,” said Ahmad, Manager at one of the Egyptian stalls.
Two publishers, namely Goodword and Darussalam Int’l Islamic Bookshop in Ibn Durid Hall have a huge collection of titles on Islamic thought and worldview. In addition, the stalls from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, India, and Oman have titles on topics of interest to both Muslims and non-Muslims. The Goodword, an Important Indian publishing house, offers some books such as the Life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), The Story of Islamic Spain, Islam at the crossroads, Islamic medicine, Decisive Moments in the History of Islam, and Greatest Stories from the Holy Quran.
Established in 1970 by Wahiduddin Khan, a leading Islamic scholar, the Goodword tries to create special rapport with the children by bringing out for them picture and storybooks with exquisite illustrations based on the guidance and ideas taken from the Quran. Some of the useful titles from Darussalam Int’l Islamic Bookshop include 100 Ahadith about Islamic Manners, A Brief Guide to Understand Islam, A Day in the Life of a Muslim child, A Treatise on Hijab, Basic Principles of Islam, Beautiful Names of Allah, and the Encyclopaedia of Islamic Jurisprudence.
Also available at Darussalam Int’l Islamic Bookshop is a range of computers for children with Holy Quran and duas (supplications) for children, which serve as great educational toys. One of the visitors said a book entitled Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism by Shaikh Yusuf al Qaradawi shows that after geopolitical changes in Tunisia and Egypt people have opted for moderate Islam. The Muslim youth are demanding dignity, pride, honour and a system of governance based on Islamic principles.
In this important book, Al Qaradawi examines the worldwide revival of Islamic interest and attempts to explain why this has led to the rise of moderate Islam. Dr Yusuf says Allah (SWT) has entrusted the Muslim Ummah with a great mission to lead humanity to the right path of truth, justice, and progress. The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, an important organisation from Iran, is also participating in the book fair with titles such as Unity of the Islamic World: Vision of the future, Islam the Misunderstood Religion, The Messenger, Muhammad (PBUH) in the Mirror of Islam, Glimpses of the Prophet’s Life, Doctrine of Islam, G B Shaw on Islam, and Women’s rights and Responsibilities in an Islamic System. In addition, there are many titles on the topic of world unity in Arabic.
Similarly, there is a huge collection of books on the Saudi and Egyptian stalls on Islamic culture, Holy Quran and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).