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Digital "Kitab Kuning"

Once, an internet searching has brought me to find a fantastically free Arabic Islamic software called “al-Mawsu'a al-Shamila” which literally means a comprehensive encyclopedia.

This software, which is developed and published by the Shabaka Mishkat al-Islamiyya (Network of Islamic Lantern), contains and provides 1800 Arabic Islamic books, or what well-known in Indonesia as Kitab Kuning, categorized in 29 fields, such as Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Ushul al-Fiqh, Kutub al-Sirah, Tarajim wa Tabaqat, Kutub al-Tarikh, ‘Ulum Lugah wa Ma’ajim, Faharis al-Kutub, etc..

It seems that this software has circulated around Muslim societies in the globe, including Indonesia since years ago. The traditional Islamic education institutions such as pesantren have used and distributed this software for their learning activities.

Thanks to this awfully useful software, now we need no longer a large and wide room to place hundreds or even thousands of Arabic Kitabs. What we need is only a PC with at least 4,2 GB hard disk space and 128 MB or higher.

However, to run this program well, the first step you have to do is to enable the Arabic feature of your Windows. The Indonesian readers should thank to the NU Nihon Administrator who has splited the original file into the two separated one to make it portable as CD files, and thoroughly explained how to install this Software step by step.

As far as I utilize, this software will greatly help not only Islamic preachers, kyais or ustadhs, but also researchers in any Islamic fields, to easily find explanations and fatwas of any Islamic issues based on the traditional Islamic literatures, and according to various Islamic Schools (madhhabs).

Among those Kitabs, which, in the printed versions, comprise several volumes are Lisan al-Arab (15 volumes), al-Umm (11 volumes), Tafsir ibn Kathir (8 volumes), Tafsir al-Tabari (24 volumes), Abjad al-'Ulum (3 volumes), Fihris al-Faharis (2 volumes), and many others.

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