Ramzan exhibition: SPS museum showcases ancient Quranic manuscripts

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Amid ongoing holy month of Ramadan, the Sri Pratap Singh (SPS) Museum has organized a week-long special exhibition featuring Quranic manuscripts. The exhibition offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history and heritage of Islamic art and calligraphy.

The exhibition showcases a collection of rare and ancient Quranic manuscripts, including those from the 17th century – which is a testament to the deep reverence and importance that the Holy Quran holds in the Muslim faith.

SPS Museum manager Rabiya Qureshi said, “Our manuscript section was not displayed yet, but then we thought that this being the holy month of Ramadan, people should know that Kashmir had hand-written manuscripts of ancient times so that they will learn about the influence of art and artifacts from Central Asia and Persia, among others.”

“I’m feeling proud that we have a collection of maximum manuscripts from the 17th century and in which Kashmiri paper is used. This is a local [Kashmir-made] paper manufactured in the downtown area of Srinagar and although the processing and pounding were done in Ganderbal, after finishing it was written by,” she said.

“These manuscripts are mostly made of black ink, gold, and saffron color. This manuscript paper had two to three types and one of them was for royalty and another for common people,” she said, adding that people from outside take paper from here and use it. The first unit of paper was made in Kashmir, and India has also received paper from Kashmir.

Local students who visited the exhibition also shared their views. “It’s fascinating to see these ancient manuscripts, which have been so well-preserved. We’ve learned a lot about our local history and the art of manuscript-making,” said Farhan Ahmad.

Another student, Aisha Mir, said, “I never realized that Kashmir had such a rich tradition of manuscript-making. It is wonderful to see these beautiful pieces up close and to learn about their history and significance.”

Notably, most of the manuscripts in the museum are illuminated and mostly made of gold. It is also seen that saffron has been used in these manuscripts. These manuscripts have been made of natural and mineral colors and they took a long time to get ready. (GNS)

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