Press Trust of india

Handwritten Quranic manuscripts on display at Srinagar’s SPS Museum

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Srinagar: The SPS Museum in Srinagar on Thursday opened a week-long exhibition of rare Quranic manuscripts, some which date back to the 18th century, to coincide with the first day of Muslim fasting month of Ramzan.

While Muslims in Kashmir and Kerala are observing Ramzan from Thursday, those in other parts of the country will be observing it from Friday.

“This is the first time we are holding the exhibition of the manuscripts as the manuscript section is still closed. Since it is the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, we wanted to make people aware about these manuscripts so that it increases their knowledge,” the museum’s curator Rabia Qureshi said.

Qureshi said while the museum has manuscripts on diverse subjects, this exhibition was limited to Quranic manuscripts.

“One of the manuscripts is more than 230 years old and written on Kashmiri paper using pure gold and black ink. No chemicals were used,” she said.

The other manuscripts on display include Tafseer Kabeer, famous by the name of Tafseer Razi, which was written in 1209 Hijri (1795 AD), Qaseed-e-Burde Shareef 1316 Hijri (written in 1905 AD), and Imam Al Basri’s manuscript.

The curator said ‘Dalailo Khairaat’, a manuscript in praise of Prophet Muhammad, has also been displayed in addition to the Quranic manuscripts.

“This is a very good step that the Department of Archeology and Archives has taken to organise a week-long Quranic manuscript exhibition. This department is doing these kinds of exhibitions on different occasions, which is encouraging. Calligraphy art has declined during the last 30 years but now a new generation is taking up this art again,” Athar Samoon, a Calligraphy student, said.

Shahid Ahmad, a young visitor, said, “We are seeing old manuscripts here which were written by hand.”

“At present, computer prints may have errors but these manuscripts don’t have any. Through these exhibitions, we come to know about our history,” Ahmad said.

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