Top of page

Book/Printed Material Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning.

About this Item


  • Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning.


  • This mid-19th century publication is a basic textbook of Arabic grammar and syntax. Originally written by Jirmānūs Farḥāt (circa 1670--1732), it was edited by the famous Lebanese teacher and scholar Buṭrus al-Bustānī. Jirmānūs, Maronite bishop of Aleppo, composed his work at a critical time in the history of the Maronite rite of the Catholic Church as it sought to develop a national identity. With the help of scholars and writers such as Jirmānūs, a solution was found in the Garshuni script, that is, the native Arabic of the Maronites rendered in Syriac script for works of liturgy and philosophy. Books in the Syriac language were translated into Arabic, but written in Syriac script, the resultant Syro-Arabic being called Garshuni or Karshuni. A century or so after Jirmānūs composed his grammar, al-Bustānī edited and published the text as a comprehensive Arabic textbook with only his own name appearing on the title page, although he is explicit in describing his work as a commentary on Jirmānūs's original. As if to emphasize the 19th-century transition from Garshuni to Arabic script, the work introduces the Arabic alphabet and basic rules for vocalizing short vowels. Butrus al-Bustānī was one of the leading figures of the Arab renaissance of the 19th century. Like his contemporary Ahmad Fāris al-Shidyāq he searched for personal and cultural identity within Ottoman-Islamic society. Unlike al-Shidyāq, however, he converted to Protestantism rather than Islam, influenced no doubt by his contact with American missionaries in Beirut. This copy of Misbah al-Talib fi Bahth al-Matalib (Lanterns burning for students discerning) provides no publication information.


  • Bustānī, Buṭrus ibn Būlus, 1818 or 1819-1882 or 1883 Editor.
  • Farḥāt, Jirmānūs, 1670 or 1671-1732 or 1733 Author.

Created / Published

  • Beirut : [publisher not identified], 1854.


  • -  Lebanon
  • -  1670 to 1854
  • -  Arabic language
  • -  Grammar
  • -  Rhetoric
  • -  Textbooks


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 425 pages ; 24 centimeters.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: Kristen Brustad, "Jirmanus Jibril Farhat," in Lowry and Stewart, editors, Essays in Arabic Literary Biography II: 1350-1850 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009).|Francisco Del Rio Sanchez, "Arabic-Karshuni: An Attempt to Preserve Maronite Identity; the Case of Aleppo," The Levantine Review 2, number 1, Spring 2013.|Phillip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs (London: Macmillan, 1962).
  • -  Original resource at: Qatar National Library.
  • -  Content in Arabic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666229

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Bustānī, Buṭrus Ibn Būlus, 1818 Or Or 1883 Editor, and Jirmānūs Farḥāt. Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning. [Beirut: Publisher Not Identified, 1854] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Bustānī, B. I. B. & Farḥāt, J. (1854) Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning. [Beirut: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Bustānī, Buṭrus Ibn Būlus, 1818 Or Or 1883 Editor, and Jirmānūs Farḥāt. Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning. [Beirut: Publisher Not Identified, 1854] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.