JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Friday 15 March 2013
The holy city of Madinah will soon have a state-of-the-art Qur’an museum with impressive facilities, said Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
“It will be first of its kind in the world,” the prince added. He said the project dubbed the “Oasis of the Holy Qur’an” would be established in cooperation with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Madinah governorate and other related departments.
“It will be one of the major cultural and religious achievements of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” the SCTA chief said, adding that the museum would epitomize the king’s endeavors in the service of the Qur’an, Islam and the two holy mosques. He noted SCTA’s efforts to develop the Islamic heritage sites in Madinah. Meanwhile, the SCTA recently received a valuable gift from Abdul Maqsood Khoja, a Jeddah-based Saudi businessman, representing nine priceless manuscripts dating back to more than five centuries. They are precisely 511 years old.
The manuscripts were received by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Amri, executive director of SCTA in the Makkah region, to be displayed at a public museum under the commission.
On behalf of Prince Sultan, Al-Amri convoyed the prince’s deep appreciation for Khoja’s initiative, which reflects his high sense of responsibility and keenness toward the preservation of history and the Kingdom’s heritage.
“Keeping such valuable manuscripts inside the staircases would not have been useful; rather these should be kept in a public museum, , where such important relics will be well preserved,” he said.
Prince Sultan has issued instructions that such ancient books and manuscripts should be displayed in a museum attached with the name of the donor of the objects in recognition of his/her role and efforts in the preservation of the national heritage.
For his part, Khoja said he presented the rare manuscripts to SCTA inspired by his national duty, adding that many citizens have such precious relics with them, which are of great cultural significance.
“I hope people will transfer these relics from their personal belongings to be placed under the supervision of SCTA for the public interest and to ensure they are preserved properly,” Khoja said.