LAHORE: A new gallery featuring some rare handwritten copies of Holy Quran as well as rare collection of Ahadith and books on Fiqh has been opened to general public at Bahria Town’s Grand Jamia Masjid.
The display is unique as it showcases more than 50 handwritten copies of Holy Quran, with some estimated to be 300 to 700 years ago. In the gallery, dozens of original images of Holy Kaaba, Masjid-e-Nabvi and other holy places captured in early 1900s have also been put on display.
A copy of handwritten Holy Quran on canvas by calligrapher Muhammad Ayub of Agra, India, is another hallmark of Grand Jamia Masjid’s Quran Gallery. Started in the year 1161 (Hijri year), it took four years to write the beautiful copy.
The one of its kind in Pakistan, the gallery also features handwritten translated copies of Holy Quran in Persian language. The unique copies of Holy Quran show various styles of Arabic calligraphy and scripts.
Zubair Ahmad, general manager of Grand Jamia Masjid administration, said many of the rare copies of Holy Quran came from personal collection of Air Commodore (r) Ahsan Javed (late) who was Deputy CEO of Bahria Town and father of Bahria Town’s incumbent head of Security & HR, Col (r) Ali Ahsan.
He said Bahria Town’s founder Malik Riaz had keen interest in the rare collection of Holy Quran and decided to set up the gallery as late Ahsan Javed and Malik Riaz had affiliation of over 18 years. He said apart from this, many of the rare copies of Holy Quran and books on Ahadith and Fiqh were arranged by Bahria Town CEO Ali Riaz Malik such as the rare copy of handwritten Holy Quran on canvas by the Indian calligrapher.
About the Grand Jamia Masjid, Zubair said the total capacity of the mosque covering 10.5 acres of land was 70,000 making it the world’s 7th largest mosque. He said the mosque could accommodate some 25,000 people inside while in the outer portion some 45,000 people could fit in.
He said the management had now planned for an Islamic University and Research Centre in the basement of the Grand Jamia Masjid. Col (r) Ali Ahsan said the gallery was a humble effort to preserve Islamic art and history. He said his late father Air Commodore (r) Ahsan Javed had passion to collect rare copies of Holy Quran.
He added the new gallery was the result of efforts of his father and Malik Riaz. It is pertinent to mention that the gallery is open to general public daily from 10am to 10pm.