Saturday, 5 September 2009

Koran on display including one in Gurmukhi


Koran on display including one in Gurmukhi
SMA Kazmi, Tribune News Service, Dehradun, September 5

In the holy month of Ramzan, the Muslim population of Dehradun could not have asked for more.

A two-day exhibition to mark Ramzan is under way at the Tasmia Quran Library. On display are hundreds of copies of the holy Quran along with ‘Surahs’ and ‘Aayats’ written on various artefacts.

The exhibition opens the doors of immense information regarding the holy book both to a visitor from the other faiths as well as to the followers of Islam.

Besides, it is a delight for those who understand and appreciate the ancient art of calligraphy.

Organised by the Tasmia Quran Library, the copies on display take one through the journey of time with the oldest one on display being a re-print of the copy that was written more than 700 years ago.

An interesting copy is the 337-year-old one that was written by hand by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Just next to it lies another copy that is marked by the art of Khat-e-Gulzar which means that there are flowers and creepers that have been skillfully made inside every alphabet of the holy book.

The first coloured Quran to have been printed in India in 1908 finds a prominent place in the exhibition. This copy was printed with the assent of the then King of Afghanistan Ameer Saheb Bahadur in Ludhiana. A scheme of seven colours was used for its printing.

Then there are the different translations of the Quran. One can browse through the holy book in Russian, Turkish, Chinese, German and a whole lot of other languages besides Indian languages including Gurmukhi. A copy written in Braille is also on display along with these translations.

There is a separate section of ‘locket and pocket’ Qurans. These are basically the miniature forms of the holy book written artistically.

“We have copies of the Quran weighing from 2 gm to 1,200 kg. Most of the things on display have been gifted by family members, relatives and friends over the past few years,” said Dr S Farooq, trustee of the Tasmia Quran Library. The copies on display range from the ancient manuscripts to the digital format.

There is a copy which has one chapter each of the holy book written on one page. The book thus has only 30 pages.

There is another one that has every line of the book starting with the Arabic alphabet called ‘Vow’.

Similarly there is another one that has every line of the book starting with the alphabet ‘Alif’ and is named ‘Alifi Quran’.

There is yet another that is 63 years old and yet exudes fragrance when one leafs through its pages.

Qurans of historical importance are also on display. There is a copy that was written by none other than Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb on a roll of paper that was not more than three inches in width. It boldly carries the stamp of its writer on the last page.

There is another one that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had got printed.

In addition to the copies of the Quran, there are a whole lot of artefacts with ‘Aayats’ inscribed or written on them. There is Allah written on iron nails, there are ‘Aayats’ written on material that range from paper to gold.

One can see ‘Aayats’ written on the skins of various animals like the camel, goat, fish and deer.

There are ‘Aayats’ inscribed with pearls on the shells of the oysters and on necklaces of ‘Rudraksha’. There is a big globe with ‘Aayats’ written all over it.

The material used for calligraphy has also been put on display for those curious to know the details of the art.

The exhibition is drawing a good crowd. Students from various institutions, including girls, are keen visitors to the venue.

Visitors can be seen clicking photographs of the exhibits. “It feels really good to see so many different copies of the holy book at one place,” said Abdul Majid, a student from Doiwala.

Dr Farooq said that preserving a rare collection like this is a tedious task. “We are doing our best to ensure that the treasure remains preserved,” he said.

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