King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS)

“We want this Kingdom to be a beacon of light for humanity, now and fifty years from now.”

King Faisal bin Abd Al-Aziz

Chairman, Board of Directors
King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies

King Faisal’s devotion to Islam and its traditions were hallmarks of his life.
King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) was born out of respect for our father’s strong beliefs and because of the significance we attach to Islamic culture and learning.
Early Muslims were acclaimed for their advanced scholarship and sophisticated artistic abilities. They mastered techniques and innovated methods in an outstanding range of disciplines, including literature, philosophy, architecture, art, music, and the sciences.
Islam inspired a sense of unity and purpose, unleashing collective and individual creativity and a thirst for knowledge. Today we are blessed with the rich fruits of these talents and intellectual journeys.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) extolled his followers to read and learn. "The seeking of knowledge is incumbent upon all Muslims." Through our libraries, rare manuscripts, exhibitions, and lectures we seek to provide paths along which succeeding generations can claim the legacy of learning.
King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies takes pride in preserving and promoting Islamic heritage and in encouraging research so these traditions can continue. The Center is a forum for the eloquent statement of Arab-Islamic culture. If, as a result, scholars are influenced and inspired, and if valuable knowledge comes to light and is imparted to a wide audience, our objectives will have been achieved.


Established in 1983, the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) serves several functions that go in line with the King Faisal Foundation’s vision. The Center aims at supporting and developing research and studies that spread King Faisal’s vision and expand knowledge on topics such as Islamic studies, politics, sociology and heritage. Inside the KFCRIS, research units with researchers in various fields of study come together to contribute to knowledge creation and expansion. Visiting fellows and students are also encouraged to partake in research through easy access to the center’s library and resources such as its multiple titles and databases as well as its special collections. Knowledge dissemination is also one of the center’s core aims and this can be seen through the varied lectures, workshops and exhibitions that are being held each year. Its main purpose is thus to constitute a focal point for cultural and intellectual enlightenment.

The Center works in three different fields
Libraries & Resources


Research units

6 Major Research Units from the Research Department

Unit 1

Unit for the study of Contemporary Political Thought

This unit studies contemporary political thought and its development into political movements that currently shape the Middle East and the Islamic world.

Unit 2

Unit for the study of Modernity

This unit analyzes and dissects the phenomenon of modernity from an Arab and Islamic perspective.

Unit 3

Unit for Maghreb Studies

This regional research unit is concerned with North Africa in general and the Maghreb in particular. Its research areas span geopolitical, political, cultural, and social studies, as well as developments in the area, the changes, phenomena, and future of Maghrebi regimes and societies.

Unit 4

Unit for Iranian Studies

This unit focuses on the academic study of, and research on, modern Iranian politics, international relations, energy security, intellectual history and culture, and their broader significance for the history of the region.

Unit 5

Unit for Saudi Studies

This unit specializes in the study of the traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia as well as of inscriptions found in the Arabian Peninsula.

Unit 6

Unit for Arabic Language Studies

This unit is concerned with research, teaching, training, and innovation in the field of the Arabic language. It also addresses the learning of Arabic in the East and the West, and seeks to enrich the language references for Arabic and Asian languages.

Over 240 visiting fellows from 52 different countries since 1999

The visiting fellow program aims at expanding cooperation and knowledge exchange between local researchers and their fellows in foreign universities and centers.

Libraries & Resources

Library Facilities

Public, non-governmental library in Saudi Arabia

Initiative of King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies

As one of the largest bibliographic databases in the Arab world with over 1,200,000 subject headings, the KFCRIS library ingrains the Arab and Islamic cultural values that call for learning and enlightenment. It spreads the Arabic language, achieves cultural exchange, and gives researchers access to a wealth of knowledge on the Arab cultural legacy. The library is not a mere collection of books, but rather, it aims to supply researchers with easy to use tools and references to find the material they need across a wide variety of disciplines.

As part of its mission to disseminate knowledge the KFCRIS has donated books to libraries all over the world, under the Alfaisal Libraries initiative.

> click on the points on the map to learn more


Alkhatnia Library

  • number of Books by Title: 1267
  • number of Books by Folder: 3521
  • value (Saudi Riyal): 129,201

Tashkent State Islamic University

  • number of Books by Title: 1267
  • number of Books by Folder: 3521
  • value (Saudi Riyal): 129,201

Bombay Mosque Waqf Management

  • number of Books by Title: 485
  • number of Books by Folder: 1281
  • value (Saudi Riyal): 50,000

University of International Studies in Shanghai

  • number of Books by Title: 3959
  • number of Books by Folder: 7264
  • value (Saudi Riyal): 255,585

National Chung Cheng University

  • number of Books by Title: 735
  • number of Books by Folder: 1527
  • value (Saudi Riyal): 31,550

Indonesian Language School in Jakarta

  • number of Books by Title: 425
  • number of Books by Folder: 1216
  • value (Saudi Riyal): 50,000

Libraries & Resources

Special collections

16000+ original manuscripts kept at KFCRIS

Among which 1100+ considered rare pieces

10% donated
to the KFCRIS

90% purchased
by the KFCRIS

41398 copies of original manuscripts on paper or microfilm

Entire collections copied and indexed by KFCRIS

12000 of Arabic/Persian and Ottoman manuscripts from the British National Library

8000 of Arabic manuscripts from the Paris National Library

Three committees were formed in the Department of Manuscripts




Khozanat Al Turath

One of the largest databases of Persian, Arab and Ottoman manuscripts, it contains Arabic and Islamic manuscripts from all over the world as well as indexes of manuscripts written in foreign languages and translated into Arabic to become part of Khozanat Al Turath. Launched in 1992, this database is unique and distinguished, since, contrary to other databases, it is not limited to manuscripts available at the center, but encompasses copies that are accessible to researchers for all sorts of manuscripts stored in some of the world’s most prominent libraries.

Anas Al Muhaj

Kalila Wa Dimna

Mushaf Al Sharif

Libraries & Resources

Restoration and conservation of manuscripts

  • is the oldest and most established restoration center for manuscripts in Saudi Arabia
  • has modified and developed its own manuscript sterilization machine called Wei’ To
  • has prepared many manuscript restoration specialists through the center’s training program

~17 manuscripts fully restored per year

940+ manuscripts restored and conserved until today

488 of these manuscripts are part of the center's collection

9 steps constitute the restoration process, with the center’s most notable restorations noted below:

Tafsir al-Tabari 522 sheets

Fath al-Qadeer 595 sheets

Kalila wa Dimna 156 sheets

Akhbar Al Nisa 159 sheets

Cultural Affairs

KFCRIS established this department to serve as a link between the center and the community. It also represents an active channel for organizing all types of activities as well as events, i.e. lectures, forums, workshops, and exhibitions.

The team strives to ensure that a good communication is maintained between the center and other institutions, organizations, and individuals.


lectures, workshops, and symposiums have been delivered and held by KFCRIS since 1986, with some of its distinguished lecturers/ topics noted below:

  • March 10, 1986 Mohamed Bin Othaimeen, The Role of Scientists in Guiding the Nation
  • February 25, 1987 Abdulaziz Bin Baz The Ethics of Scientists and their Impact on the Nation
  • June 14, 1993 Ahmad Hussein Didat The Examples of Interpolation in Christianity
  • May 15, 1996 Prince Khalid Alfaisal Bin Abdulaziz Alfaisal The Human King
  • April 2011 Mohammad Assad A Life of Dialogue
  • January 9-10, 2012 Carnegie Endowment For International Peace The New Changes in the Arab World
  • February 6, 2012 Dr. Geir Lundestad The Nobel Peace Prize Historical Record and Political Accomplishments
  • March 5, 2012 Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko Truth, Errors and Lies – Politics and Economics in a Volatile World
  • April 9, 2012 Dr. Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Namla Orientalism is a Channel of Communication or a Means of Conflict
  • February 18, 2013 Dr Joseph A. Kechichian The Second Obama Term in the Middle East
  • March 4, 2013 Edouard Tetreau The Relationship between France and Arab Countries and the possibility of a new beginning for Europe
  • March 11, 2013 Hubert Vedrine A Multipolar World and its Impact on the Arab and Islamic Countries
  • April 8, 2013 Dr Salahuddin Malik Islam and America
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