A 700-year-old handwritten copy of the Qur’an has gone on display in northwest China. This holy book of Islam was falling apart when first discovered. But thanks to careful restoration work and generous locals, it has returned to its former glory.
The Qur’an is kept at the Jiezi mosque in Xunhua County. Experts believe it was brought here from present day Uzbekistan, and written, by hand, between the eighth and 13th century.
The 867-page, two-volume set is the oldest known in China. The book had to be carefully repaired as years of wear and tear had taken their toll.
The restoration began with a scientific analysis of the paper and ink. It was subsequently cleaned, and damaged pages repaired.
Local Muslims raised 4 million yuan to build a special area dedicated to its safe-keeping in the mosque. It is now kept in a glass case that maintains an ideal temperature and humidity.
The Qur’an is said to have been produced under the direct order of the third Caliph of the Arabian empire Uthman ibn Affan and is now considered a national treasure.