17 rare Qurans added to Holy Quran Academy in Sharjah.
The Holy Quran Academy in Sharjah has added 17 unique Quran copies to its collection, which originate from a number of countries, including India and China. Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: The Holy Quran Academy has added a rare collection of 17 antique Quran manuscripts dating as far back to 719-1785 CE (2-13 century AH of the Islamic calendar), officials revealed.

The new addition is part of the continuous efforts of the Academy to acquire rare Quran copies and valuable Islamic archaeological treasures.

A copy of rare Quran in Sharjah Quran Academy
The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) over a period of nearly 23 years and concluded until 632 AD, the year of his death. Image Credit: WAM

In a statement, Sheikh Sherzad Abdul Rahman Taher, Secretary General of the Holy Quran Academy, explained that the new set of Quran copies represent a great addition to the treasures of the Academy. He confirmed that the Sharjah-based Academy is home to unique Quran copies and Islamic collectibles, and has become the largest and most luxurious museum in the Islamic world.

“Our new collection includes 17 rare artefacts, some of which are manuscripts and some of them are complete Quran copies, dating from the 2-13 century AH,” said Sheikh Sherzad.

“Each piece deserves to be in an independent museum due to its valuable religious value. The collection dates back to the Umayyad, Mamluk, Timurid, Safavid and Ottoman states, and [originate from] India, Turkey, China, Iran, North Africa, Morocco and Andalusia, and come in different shapes and sizes.”

A unique and rare Quran manuscript was added to Holy Quran Academy in Sharjah
Al Andalus, or Andalusia, was the kingdom in Muslim Spain that occupied the Iberian Peninsula from 711 AD until the collapse of the Spanish Umayyad dynasty in the early 11th century. Image Credit: WAM

The recently acquired Quran copies were written on parchment, glossy paper and brown paper in different fonts, which were mostly written in black and brown ink.

“The calligraphy on the copies indicate that some of them were written by the most famous calligraphers who used ornaments and decoration using gold and precious stones, such as blue lapis lazuli,” he added.

Lapis lazuli has been used since ancient times and continues to be just as popular today, according to the International Gem Society. This gemstone was prized for its bright, blue colour and used for inlay and intarsia, as well as for pigments for cosmetics and paintings. Its contrast and eye appeal is irresistible, and is commonly used nowadays for jewellery.

A copy of a rare Quran at the Holy Quran Academy in Sharjah.
The earliest Qurans were written in a script known as Hijazi. Image Credit: WAM

Sheikh Sherzad also extended appreciation to His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman Mohamed Al Owais, and Sharjah Islamic Bank senior management for their efforts in obtaining the precious Quran copies.