Oldest Qurans republished in print and digital formats
AA PhotosThe Research Center for Islamic History, Arts and Culture (IRCICA) has published facsimiles of a number of the oldest Qurans from the 1st century, which have been kept in the world’s most important libraries and museums.
According to a statement made by the IRCICA, it is the first time the Qurans have been published in both a printed and digital format.
Providing information about the details of the project and the process of gathering the holy books from around the world, IRCICA General Director Halit Eren said the process of getting the Qurans, their preparation and publication started in 2005.
“From the search to publication, a team including former chief of Religious Affairs Dr. Tayyar Altıkulaç and I have followed the process. These Qurans, which were written in kufic and hijazi scripts and did not have vowel point, should have been read line by line from cover to cover, rewritten and compared to the other Qurans we had. All this work was painstakingly carried out by Altıkulaç. This is the most tiresome part of the whole process and has never been done before. The number of these artifacts from the first-century hijra can be counted on the fingers of one hand.”
Eren said they had started working with the closest Quran geographically, in the Topkapı Palace Museum. “We published the facsimile of this Quran, which is dedicated to the prophet Osman with the permission of the Culture Ministry,” he said.
Eren said obtaining the Qurans from abroad was a very grueling process since they were so precious. He said, “It was not easy to obtain the big-size Quran, called Meşhedü’l-Hüseyni, which is being kept in Cairo, in the General Directorate of Foundation Manuscripts Library.”
After many talks with the Egyptian minister of foundations, Eren said, they finally received a copy.
“We have worked on a 2200-page Quran. Then we initiated works to get this Quran, which is in the Yemeni city of Sanaa and dedicated to the prophet Ali. I had individual talks with former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salih and got the copy of the Quran. There are also various Qurans we obtained from various countries. We found Qurans from Paris, London and Tubingen. We are still working on these Qurans,” Eren said.