THE ISLAMIC COMPUTING CENTRE DATABASES


Content:

  1. Introduction
  2. Quick Tutorial
  3. Viewing
  4. Searching
  5. Printing or Saving
  6. Exiting


Introduction.

The Islamic Computing Centre (ICC) databases are one of LETRS's two major Islamic resources; the other one is The Alim. The Islamic Computing Centre databases include the texts of al-Qur'an, al-Hadith, and Fiqh us-Sunnah in English translation only (accessed through the Idealist database program for Windows). In comparison, The Alim provides a DOS interface for al-Qur'an (in Arabic, in transliteration, Yusuf Ali translation and commentary, Pickthall translation); al-Hadith and Fiqh us-Sunnah, or Islamic Law texts (in English translation); Islamic Terms Dictionary; al-Qur'an concordances; and other texts. Both databases allow parallel display, searching, saving and printing of the texts.

The main differences between the databases are as follows: 1) The Alim contains more text collections, including al-Qur'an in Arabic; 2) the ICC's collection of hadith (the Prophet's sayings) is much larger than The Alim's; 3) the ICC interface (Idealist) completes searches faster than The Alim; 4) the advanced search options are quite different, with Idealist having a better capacity for proximity and word group searches, and The Alim offering more regular expressions for word form and word variant searches; 5) Idealist allows more flexibility in saving and printing.

The interface of the ICC databases seems equally suitable for both basic and advanced searching, whereas The Alim appears useful mainly for advanced research, especially involving multiple databases or the Arabic version of al-Qur'an.

For more information on the databases, see manuals available at LETRS.

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Quick Tutorial.

Suppose you wish to find every mention of the abdomen in the hadith. Start WinHadith (by clicking on its icon in the Electronic Texts directory), and select FIND from the SEARCH menu. To see if the word abdomen occurs in the text at all, click on the TERM button in the search window. Scroll through the word list, and you will see both abdomen and abdominal. Double click on the word abdomen, and it will appear in the search window. Click OK.

When the result window appears, look through the results using the right arrow button on the button bar at the top of the screen.

To search for related words, use the WIDEN option from the SEARCH menu, or the SYNONYMS option from the SEARCH menu. Select SEARCH, SYNONYMS, click on ADD, and type in abdomen. Now click in the empty field on the right, and type in abdom* stomach* (* stands for "any letter", so abdom* stands for abdomen, abdominal, etc.). Click OK. Now repeat the steps 1 and 2. This time the program understood abdomen as the name of your synonym list, and found all the words beginning with abdom or stomach.

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Viewing.

To open a database, select FILE, and pick the database you need (winquran. tex contains the Qur'an, winhadis.tex the Hadith, and lawbase.tex the Law database). You can keep open any number of databases.Use the WINDOW menu to arrange windows on the screen.

To read the text, use arrow buttons on top of the screen, or the NEXT and PREVIOUS options from the VIEW menu.

To display particular sections, select VIEW, OVERVIEW. Then, select one of the fields in the FIELD window. In the Qur'an database, select PICKTHAL to see the first line of each surah in the Pickthall translation; S_V_NUMBER for surah numbers; SURANAME for surah names; YUSUFALI for the Yusuf Ali translation. (N.B.: There is a numbering problem in the OVERVIEW section: a surah number can have no more than three places; thus, e.g., parts 101 through 109 of Surah 2 are all numbered as 2.10. The only way to discover the exact position of the fragment you need is to see how close it is to part 2.11.) In the Hadith database, select FULL_TEXT to see the first line of each hadith; HADITH_No for hadith numbers; NARRATOR for hadith authors; REFERENCE for names of the hadith collections. In the Law database, all hadith fields are available as well (although HADITH_No and NARRATOR only work for the hadith-type sections); in addition, you can select SERIAL_No to see section numbers, or SUBJECT to see section subjects. (You can use other fields as well, e.g. TRANSCRIPT, but they are empty for most sections of the databases.) After you have selected a field, scroll through the OVERVIEW HIT LIST to find the section you need, and double click on it. To select several sections, highlight them in the list and click MARK, then click OK. Next, choose DROP MARKED or DROP UNMARKED from the Record menu. To display all of the database again, select SEARCH, FIND, and click on the ALL button.

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Searching.

To search a database, select SEARCH, FIND, and type a word or phrase into the dialog box (or click on the TERM button and select your word from the list). Press <Enter>. N.B.: You can only search one database at a time.

To search for words starting with certain letters, use the asterisk wildcard (e.g., cherish* will find cherish, cherisher, etc.) N.B.: do not use asterisks in phrase searches! To see exactly which words have been found, select SEARCH, LIST ALL HITS.

To search for word combinations, use [or], [and], and [not]. E.g., a search for God [and] praise in the Qur'an will find every surah where both of these words appear; a search for God [or] praise will find the surahs where at least one of these words occurs; and a search for God [not] praise will find the surahs where the first, but not the second word appears. The WIDEN, NARROW, and EXCLUDE options from the SEARCH menu are equivalent to [or], [and], and [not], respectively. In addition, a search for God [near] praise will yield all the places where these two words happen to be in the same paragraph, God [.] praise will find them within the same sentence, and God [5] praise will find them within 5 words from each other (you can replace 5 with any number you wish).

To search for word groups, use the SYNONYMS option from the SEARCH menu. See an example in the Quick Tutorial above.

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Printing and Saving.

To print your results, select FILE, PRINT.

To save your results, select FILE, EXPORT, and choose one of the options on the left to determine what is to be saved. Next, set METHOD to FORMATTED (to use your own format), COMMA or TAB SEPARATED (the record fields will be comma or tab separated), or IDEALIST NATURAL (for an ASCII file with contents same as the screen view). Then click on the TO FILE... button to give your file a name, and click OK. If you selected FORMATTED as your METHOD, click on the FILE button in the EXPORT box to create your format file, then click on the EDIT button. In the editor, set RECORD TYPE to DEFAULT for al-Qur'an, to HADITH for al-Hadith, or to FIQH_SUNNAH for the Law. Then choose INSERT, FIELD, and select the fields you want one by one. Select FILE, EXIT, and click OK in the EXPORT box.

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Exiting.

To exit the program, click on FILE in the menu bar and choose EXIT from the list of options.

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Last Updated: 30 March 2001
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~letrs/help-services/QuickGuides/islam.html
Comments: Library Electronic Text Resource Service / LETRS@indiana.edu.
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