Maktabah Shamilah for Handhelds – المكتبة الشاملة للجوال

I wanted to utilize this post to explain how to read the books of the Shaamila and any other Arabic text file on your mobile phone. Of the handheld book reader applications out there, there are two that I personally use and prefer: Mobipocket for English texts, and QReader for Arabic texts.

The reason why I I use Mobipocket is because it offers an excellent desktop software to convert most of the popular document formats (including PDFs and images) into one (super-)compressed file which you can then read on both your mobile phone and your computer and also synchronize between them. The downside (for me) is that there is still no search functionality in the Symbian version of the application and all the Arabic text is reversed (like ذهب becomes بهذ!)





QReader is a simple text reader. It doesn’t support images but it has an excellent set of features to offer. The most important features (for me) are the great support of languages (including Arabic, and not reversed), the ability to search, autoscroll (also found in Mobipocket) and different background and foreground color options as well as some other features.





The main purpose of the post is Arabic books in general, and books of the Shaamila in particular so we will be focusing on QReader. In order to be able to read the Arabic text properly, the language setting that actually worked to show the text properly (as in the two images above) is like this:


QReader Language Settings

That is to say, go to Settings -> Language. And choose these properties: Region -> Middle Eastern, Charset -> Arabic, Codepage -> Mac, and Text Direction -> Right-to-Left.


You yourself can export any books from the Shaamila yourself by using the export function. Alternatively you can directly download the books of any category prepared into text file format ready to use on the phone.

In order to download QReader (currently for Symbian only) visit the following link:

Go to (






And you can download the books of any of the categories of the Shaamila from the following website:

Go to (



  1. Jazakallah for posting this, brother.

    I had tried this application before and didn’t like it because it wasn’t offering much on a text reader. There was no stability, no good way to download, manage, and navigate the books, and a number of other problems I had with it, so I was waiting for the official release by the Shamela team.
    Is this a new version? I hope it has been made better, and insha’Allah I will try it.

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