Lucknow: A 300-year-old
ancestral 'Golden Quran', with its pages in the shape of gold
leaves, the most prized possession of a Muslim family, may soon
become the centrepiece of a national museum. But the family is not
complaining about 'losing' the valuable document.
happiness, Sajid Hamid, 55, the eldest in the family living in
Jaunpur district, some 250 km from here, told IANS on telephone: ''I
take pride and feel privileged as our ancestral Quran has been
identified as a valuable manuscript and may get a place in a
officials of the National Mission for Manuscripts set up by the
union tourism and culture ministry and district authorities, visited
my home and told me that my 'Sunheri (golden) Quran' has a unique
heritage value and that it could be acquired to enrich the
manuscript wealth of the country,'' he added.
attraction of the Quran is its pages that are in the form of gold
leaves. The holy scripture's cover and back cover are also made of
gold and the intricate designs embossed on them are one of the major
attractions of the book.
According to the
family, the 'Sunheri Quran' has been with them for the last five
"My father used to
tell me that the Quran was prepared by a group of artists, who
worked mostly for rich people or those belonging to royal families
as they used to charge a hefty amount for their work,'' said Hamid,
a resident of the Ruhatta colony in Jaunpur who teaches at a school
"My ancestors got
this Quran prepared after one of their wishes came true. Though they
did not have enough money, they decided to get it prepared by
mortgaging several valuables, which I believe were later permanently
acquired by the moneylenders when the ancestors could not pay back
the loans,'' he added.
The 'Sunheri Quran'
has become a centre of attraction for the people in not only the
Ruhatta colony but across Jaunpur and its adjoining districts.
Though Hamid permits everyone to see the Quran, he doesn't allow
anyone, including the family members, to touch it.
"It's not that I
don't want people to touch the holy scripture...The Quran is an
ancient one and even a slight carelessness can damage it. As I don't
want to take any chances, I don't allow anyone to read or touch
it,'' he said.
don't feel bad about it. "We know the significance and importance
the 300-year-old Quran holds for Hamid. We want that the Quran
should get a place in a museum and become a national pride,'' Abdul
Ateeq, owner of a mobile phone shop in Ruhatta, told IANS.
another local, said, "Specially during religious festivals, Muslims
of the locality line up outside Hamid's residence to get a view of
the holy Quran.''
India has a Muslim
population of about 155 million, the third largest Muslim population
in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.
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