How Do We Define Publishing?
The Silk Road trade routes provided Muslims the first encounter with papermaking from the Far East. As is the way of Islam, such technologies and inventions were used advantageously to protect and preserve generations of scholarship. With the advent of modern publishing, many books still require print. Till today, libraries throughout the Muslim world hold shelves lined with manuscripts of books that have not yet seen the light of day, despite being authored several centuries before.
Print and publishing has remained vital to the preserving of traditional Muslim scholarship. With the advent of modern printing, many Muslims turned their attention towards modernising old, out-dated manuscripts and utilising the new technologies available. Under the reign of Sultan Abd al-Hamid II, the Ottoman Empire granted official Court Patronage to Muhammad Ali Pasha when he inaugurated his Amiri Press in Bulaq, Cairo. It was in this very publishing house that Sultan Abd al-Hamid commissioned his royal print of Imam al-Bukhari’s magnum opus, ‘al-Jami al-Sahih’.
Despite the achievements of the Muslim world till today, many books authored by leading scholars of the past still remain in the darkness of libraries and sitting on dusty shelves. We must work towards serving this scholarly heritage.
Publishing involves the various aspects required to prepare a book for print. This involves typesetting, design, proof-reading, print and distribution. Alternative forms of publishing may also be utilised, such as digital publications and audio publications.