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 Abdulaziz

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 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, as well as 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 that 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, which 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.
And the essence of the Center’s vision is: (to be a humanitarian wellspring of scholarly, intellectual, and cultural knowledge). King Faisal Center’s message is based on: (enriching scholarly and cultural scenes, both locally and globally, in researching unique resources and expertise). The noble values are: (dissemination of knowledge, enabling scholarly research, and preservation of human heritage). It also seeks to achieve a number of objectives: (increased awareness and knowledge of the legacy of the late His Majesty King Faisal; to save his memory and document his contributions to the service of humanity. As well as to stimulate dialogue and closer cognitive cooperation to achieve the scholarly objectives of the Center, focusing on the production of scholarly research in the humanities, and preserving Islamic heritage and achievements. In addition to the upgrading of infrastructure, e-mail applications, and attendance level to facilitate the achievement of those goals).

The Center works in five different fields
Libraries & Resources
Museums &
Training & Human Development


Research units

7 Major Research Units from the Research Department

Unit 1

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

Asian Studies

For the studying of Asia and Asian communities in the following fields: cultural, social, political, and religious. The Unit aims to promote awareness in the Arab world, with a particular focus on improving the quality of academic and journalistic debates, and in the creation of surrounding policies.

Unit 3

The 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

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

Energy Studies

This unit contributes to the global dialogue on energy geopolitics by studying prevailing global events that impact the world’s political situation. It aims to provide a platform for discussion to enhance the resilience and adaptability of the Kingdom’s energy sector by addressing internal challenges, such as energy security, and external challenges such as price volatility in the oil market, climate change and pollution.

Unit 6

Saudi Studies

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

Unit 7

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 300 visiting fellows from 55 different countries since 2000

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

The researchers participate in scholarly efforts to promote positive discussions with other researchers, as well as in scholarly and cultural activities organized by the center.

You can apply for this
program through this link
by sending an email to:

Research Interests of Visiting Fellows:

Political science in GCC and Saudi Arabia as well as Shari’a studies and jurisprudence top the list of research areas of visiting fellows to date. These are followed by sociology and political economy, as illustrated below:

  • Political Science 22%
  • Shari'a and Jurisprudence 22%
  • Sociology 19%
  • Political Economy 16%
  • Anthropology 6%
  • Language 6%
  • Terrorism 6%
  • History 3%

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 volumes: 3521
  • Value (Saudi Riyal): 129,201

Tashkent State Islamic University

  • Number of books by title: 1267
  • Number of books by volumes: 3521
  • Value (Saudi Riyal): 129,201

Bombay Mosque Waqf Management

  • Number of books by title: 485
  • Number of books by volumes:1281
  • Value (Saudi Riyal): 50,000

University of International Studies in Shanghai

  • Number of books by title: 3959
  • Number of books by volumes: 7264
  • Value (Saudi Riyal): 255,585

National Chung Cheng University

  • Number of books by title:735
  • Number of books by volumes: 1527
  • Value (Saudi Riyal): 31,550

Indonesian Language School in Jakarta

  • Number of books by title: 425
  • Number of books by volumes: 1216
  • Value (Saudi Riyal): 50,000

Africa International University

  • Number of books by title: 2325
  • Number of books by volumes: 4015

Maldives National University

  • Number of books by title: 120
  • Number of books by volumes: 512

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:

Museums & Manuscripts

Witness and Martyr

This traveling exhibit was created and showcased as part of a series of exhibits to highlight the lives of the kings of Saudi Arabia. It began on the 1st of Jumada I 1429 (May 6, 2008), and was designed to show the life and contributions of the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz.

Islamic Art Museum

The mission of the museum is to increase the public’s awareness of the inspirational aspects of Islamic Civilization and Art and to encourage Muslim youths’ engagement with their history. The collection contains over 200 objects, representing various Muslim communities over the previous centuries. Chronologically, the collection begins from the 2nd century AH and extends until the 14th century AH.

King Faisal Memorial Hall

The Center established the King Faisal Memorial Hall to commemorate the life of the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz 28th of Jumadah II 1406 (March 9, 1986 A.D.) to highlight his leadership, achievements, and lifestyle during the celebrations 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the King Faisal Foundation.

Special collections

27,000 titles of original manuscripts in 17,000 volumes are kept in the archives of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies

Among which 1100+ are considered rare pieces

10% are donated
to the KFCRIS

90% are 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

Anas Al Muhaj

Kalila Wa Dimna

Mushaf Al Sharif

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 Alfaisal 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

15 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

Training & Human Development

The center views knowledge for all as a right in the venue of training and human development. This right goes in line with late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz’s vision, for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a “beacon of humanity”. The center provides high quality training services to meet demand, and commits to continuous development with creativity in training methods, in addition to the employment of technology to reach the widest range of potential users.

The center also offers its services through:

  • AlFaisal Arabic Language Program
  • Training based Employment
  • Applied Workshops and Courses
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