Exploring the concept of a digital Waqf library

Alshanqiti, Ahmed Mohammed S. (2021) Exploring the concept of a digital Waqf library. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis aims to explore the concept of a digital Waqf library. Waqf is an Islamic concept; it has existed since the days of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). A Waqf can be defined as a kind of pious endowment with special requirements and conditions. It aims to continuously benefit the targeted beneficiaries as well as seek a reward and forgiveness from God. The word Waqf in the Arabic language means stop. Therefore, the concept of Waqf aims to stop an asset from being sold, given away, disposed of or even inherited, and extracts the benefit from it to certain individuals, groups or organisations. A Waqf can be real estate, a library, and so on. Waqf has always been about physical properties, and its digital existence in general can be considered as a new emerging field with limited literature. Given the ancient origins of Waqf, there are always discussions about the application of its rules and guidelines for new types of cultural objects; this study will mainly investigate the implications of applying existing frameworks for digital libraries to traditional Waqf libraries to ultimately understand how and whether a digital library can be registered as a Waqf. Existing studies regarding Waqf libraries, albeit limited, have focused on the traditional physical version of a Waqf library. A mixed-methods approach was used, combining desk research, field research, and interviews to investigate the emerging phenomena of a digital Waqf library. Two sets of semi-structured interviews were used to understand this phenomenon: one aimed at the caretakers of the current existing Waqf libraries in Mecca and Medina, and the other aimed at Islamic scholars to understand their perspective regarding registering a digital library as a Waqf. This study shows that digital practices have already been employed within some Waqf libraries in Mecca and Medina, albeit without the existence of a formal regulations regarding the operation and management of a digital Waqf library. As a result, libraries are faced with significant new challenges as they apply digital practices within their Waqf-protected collections. This thesis considerably contributes to the knowledge by being the first to intensively explore in depth the emerging concept of a digital Waqf library, including presenting different methods by which digital Waqf libraries can be established. Moreover, the thesis identifies, addresses and draws attention to important issues and obstacles that can affect the creation of a digital Waqf library, such as the absence of Waqf-specific regulations that dictate how a Waqf’s protection of libraries’ intellectual property should be applied.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals > CD921 Archives
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Supervisor's Name: Gooding, Dr. Paul and Duguid, Dr. Tim and Hughes, Professsor Lorna
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82929
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 15:11
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2022 11:01
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82929
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82929

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