The Sayyid Bahrululoom Centre for Heritage
The Sayyid Bahrululoom Centre for Heritage was formed in 2005, due to the loss of the works of Ayatullah Sayyid Mohammed Mehdi Bahrululoom. The centre aims to search for the manuscripts and writings of Ayatullah Sayyid Mohammed Mehdi Bahrululoom and his family, represented by his ancestors, sons and those who are related to them through marriage. Furthermore the centre is tasked with the revival of the work of his teachers and his students, because the purpose of the centre in the long run is not only the revival of the Bahrululoom family’s heritage, but to try to revive the lost heritage of the holy city of Najaf, which suffered many calamities during the Ba’athist era, pre-2003. The holy city of Najaf is the centre for Islamic Shia learning, it is the burial place of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib and many great scholars.
The centre’s aims, as mentioned, does not only include the printing of old handwritten manuscripts but also include reprinting and renewing publications that have been printed during the 1950s and 1960s. Writings of the family and other scholars of that period represented the golden age of the School of Najaf, an era of prosperity in the study of Islamic sciences.
This was demonstrated by the magnitude of the loss of losing such a vast amount of books and manuscripts, during the time of Saddam and after in the ongoing conflict. A small example is that of the Bahrululoom family who lost the great library of Sayyid Hashim Bahrululoom after his death, it was then evident that his whole library was stolen by the evil regime of Saddam. The manuscripts of Sayyid Hashim Bahrululooms library have now been recovered and number up to 600 manuscripts. Books that have never been printed before have been uncovered and are in the process of printing and publishing.
As a result of the destruction that the Holy city of Najaf faced it has lost many manuscripts and books from all the important libraries. Furthermore, Najaf is not the only city to suffer from this cultural genocide but all libraries in Iraq as a whole. Due to this The Sayyid Bahrululoom Centre for Heritage was formed to reprint and revise the rest of those books that have been salvaged, or at least document them by collecting and binding them as they are found and save them from being lost forever. The project is huge and resources are limited so we chose to start on saving the heritage of Ayatullah Sayyid Bahrululoom and his family to then proceed in the future on our project of helping those unable to save and protect their own heritage.