A collection of rare manuscripts of the Holy Quran dating back to the 8th CE to the 19th CE were open to the public by India’s National Museum in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Over 13 rare and unseen copies of the holy scripture, scripted in different calligraphic styles from different time periods were part of the exhibition. Of these, 12 copies have been opened to the public for the first time.
While inaugurating the exhibition, Dr Nasim Akhtar, former curator of the manuscripts division of the National Museum and world famous scholar and manuscriptologist, said the illuminated copies of the Holy Quran were produced under the patronage of Muslim Imperial courts.
"The royal seals on these holy manuscripts reveal that they were endorsed by the emperors themselves and these copies travelled from one hand to the other over time. These manuscripts reflect the eloquence of the calligrapher and the refined tastes of the patrons who commissioned them," he said.
Speaking at the event, BR Mani, Director General of National Museum, said the exhibition explains the emergence and proliferation of various styles of calligraphies and scripts.
"The exhibition is unique as it showcases thirteen unique and unseen copies of Holy Quran. It has on display Holy Quran inscribed in major calligraphies like Kufic, Naskh, Raihan, Thulth and Bihari. The Bihari script is an Indian contribution to the world. Due to its stylistic appearance, this Quran occupies a rare position in the history," said Mani.
The exhibition ‘The Holy Quran’, 10th in the series of exhibitions titled 'From The Reserves' in which objects from various reserve collections are opened to the public, will be on show from February 27 to March 31.