Personal Alavi Library housed in the Residence of Saiyedna saheb (tus) is the centre of Isma'ili Studies with the special reference to Taiyebi Branch of Literature. There are various Academic and Research Institutions which carry out studies on Isma'ili Taiyebi Literature basically starting from 225 AH till date based on Ahaadees, Akaaleem, Riwaayaat and historic events with the assistance of renowned and experienced scholars in their respective fields. Specifically the study of Isma'ili Literature is a part and parcel of the studies of Near-Eastern Languages and Culture. Generally every University that carries out these studies also includes the study of Arabic Language which is harboured by Isma'ili scholars. These specific, selective and special studies are centered in a very few Institutions which houses Isma'ili Taiyebi Manuscripts (MSS) found in Arabic.
During the second half of 20th century AD and in the recent years the scholarly, critical and significant research work is being carried out in European, American and Middle-Eastern Universities. But it always requires a second thought and important inputs based in Isma’ili dogmas from the authoritative seat of Da’wat. Scholars who are not at all in the system of Isma’ili Faith lacks that special touch while dealing or summarizing or translating texts of Core Beliefs. It is because these Isma’ili literary gems had been written by Du’aat in presence of an Imam or by his commands. It contains an Oath for the Imam on which its reader must have to follow and without one is not supposed to even open a book.
As these books which were guarded into the private possessions made its way to Scholars and Researchers, the central point of Oath was mindlessly neglected and anyone who had an access to these books started their work. No doubt great efforts and hard work have been carried out by the researchers but still there remains always a dot of doubt. The Institutions which possess rich and periodically diversified Isma’ili manuscripts has now become epicenter of scholarly activities and academic journalism. The centre of ad-Da’wat ul-Haadiyat ul-‘Alaviyah houses several hundred manuscripts which is managed, preserved, conserved and enriched by the 45th Da’i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna saheb (tus). This personal library contains some of the rare Islamic and Isma’ili titles and with every passing day newer titles are added.
This collection is in direct access, supervision and control of Da’i al-Mutlaq and therefore the nature and process of addition to the collection is also noteworthy and the fact that Da’i being the sole authority of Isma’ili-Taiyebi learning is cognizant of the contents of each and every MSS, old as well as recent ones. It has been observed that due to the maintenance of secrecy of Isma’ili Literature, the private family collections in Yemen, Sindh and Hind are never in direct access to the public domain nor the MSS were lent or shared to any aspirant of the study. But the ad-Da’wat ul-Haadiyat ul-‘Alaviyah collection despite its original and unique source, the Da’i is lenient in sharing the MSS after thoroughly assessing the just and critical way of translating, editing and publishing. Though the centre of ‘Alavi Da’wat do not directly invite scholars or researchers from foreign universities, but time and again many interested foreign scholars have come straightforwardly and studied Isma’ili titles with the Da’i himself from Iran, UK, US and Europe.
At times, when the scholars who worked for the critical study and edition of any Isma’ili title they might be having only 2-3 MSS from different origins, i.e. where writer, place and period differ, there arose the demand for the consultation of more MSS. For this purpose, the MSS of ‘Alavi Da’wat collection because of its Indian origin, proved more fruitful for better text reading and editing. The other salient feature of ‘Alavi Library is that it is housed at the Da’is residence and most of the MSS are copied by the Du’aat from those which were brought to Vadodara when the Da’wat headquarters were shifted from Ahmedabad.
It has been well-preserved and well-maintained by the Da’i's great efforts. Like many other places where such MSS and bundled for centuries and remain in lock-and-key and are never referred or studies, the case is entirely different here. Here at ‘Alavi Library, Da’i consults and refers these MSS and accordingly copies its texts in individual papers for lecture purpose and hand over certain old MSS to his close aides to make its fresh copy by penning the entire text. With age-old methods the preservation of the MSS is carried out. As Da’i personally handles all the library affairs, the question of precaution, curing or fumigation never arises. But the Du’aat felt it compulsory to make a copy of every MSS as there was a constant fear of a single copy might get damaged by any unexpected accident or worm attack. Every year more and more MSS are added to the collection and also they are copied as and when required.
The MSS copied by 45th Da'i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Haatim Zakiyuddin saheb (tus) since 1405 AH/1985 AD: