Introduction

The AIU Library is a repository centre for knowledge and a hub of information sharing and exchange. It houses a collection of printed and non-printed materials to accommodate the learning, teaching and research needs and activities of the university. It also provides all the necessary services, facilities and infrastructure as well as a conducive environment that promotes learning.

The library four-storey building is constructed in the Safavid architectural design. The most interesting and attractive feature of the library is a replica of the Dome of the Rock which is also known as Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah. The Dome of the rock or Qubbat As-Sakhrah is the crowning glory of the Haram Als-Sharif in Jerusalem and it is the oldest Islamic monument that stands today and certainly one of the most beautiful. It also boasts the oldest surviving Mihrab.

This rock was completed in 691 CE and rebuilt by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan from 688 to 691 AD.

The Dome has undergone several restoration works and the most recent was in 1998, when the gold-plated dome was refurbished following donation of USD8.2 Million by King Hussein of Jordan who funded 80 kilograms of gold required for the project.

The AIU Library dome was painted by a team of Palestinian painters with the assistance of the University of Technology MARA's Fine Arts students.

Another attractive feature is the library entrance which is inspired by the Mir-i-Arab Medressa which is a historic centre of Bukhara, Uzbekistan. It has two domes from both sides as the two blue domes of the Medressa. They are beautifully tiled and stand out against the mostly brown architecture around it.

The construction of Mir-i-Arab Madrasah (Miri Arab Madrasah) is credited to Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen. He was considered the spiritual mentor of Ubaidullah-khan and his son Abdul-Aziz-khan. Ubaidullah-khan waged a successful war against Iran. At least three times his troops seized Herat. Each plundering raid on Iran resulted in the capture of a great many captives. The money Ubaidullah-khan earned from selling three thousand Persian captives funded the construction of Mir-i-Arab Madrasah . Ubaidullah-khan was very religious. He had been nurtured in high respect for Islam in the spirit of Sufism.

Until today, this madrasah is considered one of the most interesting monuments of Bukhara, and is still an acting institution, where future Imams and religious mentors receive their education.

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