Tasmia Library houses rare Qur’an manuscripts

Dehradoon: Uttrakhand, called Devbhoomi i.e. land of gods and is famous for its pilgrimage centres, its Dehradun also has the honour of being the centre of a large rare collection where different manuscripts, calligraphic and artistic samples of the Qur’an and other related things and memorials are preserved in Tasmia Holy Qur’an Library. This Library also contains the first, seven-coloured manuscript which was published in Ludhiana in 1907 which the king of Afghanistan Ameer Abdullah Khan Bahadur got published. In addition to these, there is also the large metallic globe in this Library on which verses of the Qur’an are inscribed. It is believed that this globe proved very auspicious for this king because his kingdom had spread far and wide and had become larger than the kingdom of Moghul emperors and rulers.

This Library contains manuscripts of Qur’ans of all sizes, shapes and weights. If one is pocket size, the other is as large as a big board; if the weight of one leaf of a Qur’an is 2 grams, there is another Qur’an one leaf of which weighs 4 kilos, it is of copper and the Qur’anic verses are written on it. Total weight of this Qur’an is about 2 ½ quintals. One surprising thing is that there is a Qur’an in this Library which is sweet-smelling. Every leaf of this Qur’an emits a sweet smell. What is even more surprising and marvellous is that it has been lying in this Library for 64 years but its sweet smell has not at all diminished. The Holy verses of the Qur’an are written and inscribed on different kinds of mediums such as leaves of coconut, wood, metals, cloth and even on animal skins like those of goats, camel, deer, horse, sheep and fish. Qur’ans with translations and exigesis of different ulama and scholars are also kept in this Library. These translations are in different Indian and foreign languages. There is even a Qur’an in a script which even blind people can read, being in Braille print.

This Library also contains large number of janamazs (prayer carpets or mats) of different kinds and materials as well as caps of different types and materials. Different kinds of perfumes are also stored in this Library. A big box prepared out of a peepal tree is also here on which names are inscribed in carved wood. In this wooden box different herbs, spices, fruits, wood, roots and other things are safely kept which are mentioned in the Qur’an. In this library, every year an exhibition sponsored by Tasmia All India Educational & Social Welfare Society is held since 2005 under the title ‘Qur’an Majeed in the light of the art of calligraphy’. This exhibition is held in the month of Ramadan. This year this exhibition was inaugurated by Uttrakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi. In his speech on this occasion, he appreciated the initiative taken by S. Farooq, President of Tasmia All India Educational & Social Welfare Society to popularise the message of peace and harmony through calligraphy and arts.

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This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2012 on page no. 14

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