I haven't found any mention of the possibility of inserting a bibliography entry with biblatex in Arabic script (Arabic in this case).

Is there any way I can do it?

  • Me too I couldn't make an arabic bibliography in a completely arabic text (or with a latin-language) using polyglossia and biblatex because there's no arabic localization in biblatex. I've asked the package maintainers about such a localization but it does not seem to be easy to do : sourceforge.net/p/biblatex/features/101 – user21776 Apr 4 '13 at 20:35

I was not entirely sure what your question was. Do you want a pdf, entirely in Arabic, or a pdf in, e.g., English with the option to reference Arabic literature without transliterating the bibliographical information?

Anyway: here comes an example showing that it is possible to typeset an Arabic reference using biblatexand biber.

This answer is far from being perfect. Many thing would need to be tweaked or it to be perfect, e.g.:

  1. the commas used are the wrong commas fro Arabic text
  2. generally, the syntax would need ot be adjusted
  3. maybe you'd like the Arabic footnotes to be right-aligned (this is possible, but I don't know how
  4. an arabic number for the footnotemark would be nice (easy to achieve!)
  5. you'd need arabic expressions for "edited by" etc.
  6. ...

But all that should be possible.

Follow up question: is it possible to have only the Arabic footnotes right-aligned and keep the english footnotes left-aligned?

working example:

% !TEX TS-program = lualatexmk
\documentclass[12pt, a4paper, DIV=calc]{scrartcl}

    \setmainfont[Ligatures=TeX]{Times New Roman}
    \newfontfamily\arabicfont[Script=Arabic,Scale=1.3]{Arabic Typesetting}

    \DeclareFieldFormat{postnote}{#1}% postnotes without p. and pp.

\newcommand{\arabtext}[1]   % Arabic inside LTR
    {\bgroup\luatextextdir TRT\arabicfont #1\egroup}
\newcommand{\arabnr}[1]     % for digits inside Arabic text
    {\bgroup\luatextextdir TLT #1\egroup}
\newcommand{\afootnote}[1]  % Arabic footnotes


    author = {\arabtext{ابن سينا}},
    year = {\arabnr{١٤١٧}},
    title = {\arabtext{السماع الطبيعى من كتاب الشفاء}},
    publisher = {\arabtext{دار المناهل}},
    location = {\arabtext{بيروت}},
    author = {Avicenna},
    year = {1996},
    title = {Al-Samāʿ al-ṭabīʿī min Kitāb al-Šifāʾ},
    publisher = {Dār al-Manāhil},
    location = {Beirut}}



\noindent Text with an English reference in the footnote.\footnote{\cite[12]{ibnsina:shifa:physics:en}.}

\noindent Text with an Arabic reference in the footnote.\afootnote{\cite[\arabnr{١٢}]{ibnsina:shifa:physics:ar}.}


  • Yes, that's exactly what I wanted -- to insert bibliographies in Arabic without transliterating them. I didn't know it was as easy as using \arabtext{} in the bibliography! Does it work just like \textarabic{} in polyglossia? Still not sure how it will look in the text, though. By the way, can I compile with xelatex (I see you used lualatex)? – Joseph Apr 4 '13 at 20:06
  • can you pls care to answer Joseph whether xelatex can be used instead of lualatex? How to show المراجع instead of the usual Bibliography? – doctorate Apr 20 '14 at 18:56
  • @Joseph : I am sorry but I don't know anything about xelatex. I guess that it works with xelatex, too -- somehow similarly. – ClintEastwood Apr 27 '14 at 17:33
  • @doctorate : The title of the bibliography can be customised by \renewcommand{\bibname}{whatever you like} – ClintEastwood Apr 27 '14 at 17:35
  • @ClintEastwood, it didn't work, the only worked for me is posted as update2 here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/172541/… – doctorate Apr 28 '14 at 6:56

The way I solve this exact problem, and which works with polyglossia and biblatex under XeLaTeX, is to use \textarabic. I'm convinced this is the best solution possible at the moment. If it doesn't work for you, please let me know why and I'll try to adapt my answer.

Since you complained about me having used the example from another answer, here's an example of my own, put into a MWS to show how to make use of it:

\newfontfamily\arabicfont[Script=Arabic,Scale=1.2]{Arabic Typesetting}
% redefine \textarabic{} to never be italic

  location = {\textarabic{بيروت}},
  title = {\textarabic{قاموس الفصاحة العمانية - ما حفظته الدارجة العمانية لللغة العربية}},
  volumes = {2},
  publisher = {\textarabic{‏‏دار أحياء التراث العربي}},
  author = {\textarabic{الجامعي}, \textarabic{أبو قاسم محمود بن حميد}},
  date = {2005},
  langid = {arabic}


  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet \parencite[p. 123]{Jamii2005} consectetur.

Compiled document

@Werner: thank you for the formatting help!

  • 3
    I deleted my earlier comment. This is not a viable answer. In addition to being incomplete (my earlier complaint), you have simply copied part(!!) of an existing answer. Without adding something to distinguish this from @ClintEastwood's answer, I think that this answer should be deleted. – jon Jul 25 '15 at 2:31

You can solve this issue by using Persian-bib, please go to CTAN and download Persian-bib, put it in your working directory then follow these few steps:

  • copy and past these code lines into your preamble:

    \settextfont[Scale=1]{XB Zar}%{XB Niloofar}
    \setlatintextfont[Scale=1]{Linux Libertine}
    \defpersianfont\Sayeh[Scale=1]{XB Kayhan Sayeh}
  • go to the appropriate part of your document and insert this:


{asa-fa}= the adapted file for RTL languages, {MyReferences}= is your .bib file

*please do not forget to add necessary fonts

  • 1
    This answer does not use biblatex. – David Purton Nov 28 '17 at 1:20
  • I forgot to mention that this solution woorks with natbib package – Abdelhak Elfengour Nov 28 '17 at 11:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.