Afis Ayinde Oladosu occupies is a Professor in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, at the University of Ibadan. He has competence in Arabic and Islamic Studies, broadly defined. Before his promotion to the rank of Professor at University of Ibadan in 2011, Afis had won many international fellowships and scholarships. He is Alumni, Fulbright Scholar Program, a Bill Gates Scholar and Fellow, African Scholar Program, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, United States and a Visiting Professor to the International Islamic University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Only recently, he completed his sabbatical at the University of Ghana. Afis has participated/presented papers in many international conferences/seminars on Arabic and Islamic studies in the United States, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Hong Kong among others. He has served as external examiner and as assessor for professorial promotions for University of Ghana, University of Ilorin, Kwara State and International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, among others. He is a member of many learned societies including Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) and Association of Professional Translators of English-Arabic in Universities (APETAU) among others.
Paper Abstract: These Pearls Should Not Perish” –Arabic Manuscript Collections in Ibadan and the Necessity for Preservation of African (Islamic) History
In the year 2001, Baba Yunus Muhammad, ably supported by the late renowned African historian, John Hunwick, produced a catalogue of Arabic manuscript collections that were available at the University of Ibadan Library, Nigeria. According to him, the production of the catalogue had become necessary because, among other reasons, most of the collections had not enjoyed the appropriate attention of researchers they deserved. But close to two decades since the publication of Fihris Makhtūţāt Maktabat Jāmiaʻh Ibādan, the collections, unarguably one of the largest and richest in the West African sub-region continues to suffer lack of adequate attention. This paper, therefore, highlights and discusses current threats to this and other rare manuscripts, written in Arabic or Ajami scripts, in sub-Sahara Africa as a whole. It provides insight into the rich collections in the University of Ibadan library by exploring the historical and Islamic themes in Manuscript number 62/83 with the title Sirāj al-Ikhwān by Uthmān b. Muhammad b. Fūdī. The paper concludes by calling for urgent collaborations among stakeholders on the preservation and digitization of these manuscripts as a strategy for the preservation of original sources of African and Islamic histories of the medieval and early modern periods.