Thailand’s museum houses Indonesia’s oldest Quran manuscript

One of the oldest Indonesian Holy Quran manuscripts preserved at the Ahmadiyah Islamiyah Museum in Narathiwat Province, Thailand. (Antara)

One of the oldest Indonesian Holy Quran manuscripts preserved at the Ahmadiyah Islamiyah Museum in Narathiwat Province, Thailand. (Antara)

Narathiwat: Indonesia is the largest Muslim country and has a massively rich and impressive religious heritage. However, the oldest manuscript crafted in Indonesia of the Holy Quran, the Muslims’ sacred book, is preserved at the Ahmadiyah Islamiyah Museum in Narathiwat Province, Thailand. And it is in pristine condition.

“The manuscript of the Quran was written in 1634 by Shaikh Nuruddin Mohammad Hamid Roniri. He was from the west of Indonesia’s archipelago, Samudera Pasai (Muslim kingdom of northern Sumatera),” Head of the Ahmadiyah Islamiyah Foundation Lutfee H. Samea said in Thailand, quoted by the Indonesian news agency ANTARA.

The museum displays 34 Quran manuscripts that were brought to Narathiwat by Indonesian Java Muslim scholars. They had migrated across to Pattani Province, also known as “Serambi Mekah,” or “The Veranda of Makkah”, southern Thailand, over several centuries, he added.

As several Quran manuscripts were there, the Ahmadiyah Islamiyah Museum forged a partnership with Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), the archipelago’s cultural heritage site and foundation in Jakarta, to conduct collaborative research, ANTARA reported.

“We have three to four TMII personnel involved in the research,” Samea said.

As a form of preventive management against any damage to the manuscripts, Turkish, Malaysian, and Thai workers employ traditional ingredients to treat them for optimal preservation.

With the centuries-old holy manuscripts well managed, Samea has pinned high hopes on Muslim youth in Thailand, particularly to continue to preserve and conduct further research on the Quran.

“I harbor the expectation that this museum would become one of the ‘learning rooms’ of the young generation to find the idea of how great Indonesians are in transcribing the Holy Quran,” Samea said.

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