Rajab 1424 H
Volume 16-09 No : 201
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Lahore: Two pages of Quranic manuscript written by Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him) on the deer skin which were stolen from the Lahore Museum have been recovered by the Punjab Police from an Iranian military doctor who stole them from the museum two years ago. Among the stolen items were the manuscripts of Shirin Khusro’s Masnavi and some other rare items.
The manuscript in Kufic script disappeared from the Museum in 2001 in a mysterious manner. Now the police has arrested Dr. Darwesh, an artist and doctor who used to lecture at Iran Culture House in Lahore on calligraphy and Iranian art. Dr. Darwesh is said to have served in the Iranian army’s Art Department and completed his MBBS from King Edward Medical College in Lahore. Since Darwesh did not get a good price for the deer skin manuscripts, it is said the antique piece returned to the Museum for sale and thus led the police to the criminal.
Khusro’s Masnavi with gilded words was however sold by him for Rs. 20,000 and has also been recovered by the police.
Dubai: The Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage has signed an agreement with the Library of Alexandria to provide special equipment for the restoration of ancient manuscripts and books.
The agreement inclu-des providing a specially built machine, restoring paper and technical assistance and training.
Juma Al Majid, Chairman of the centre, said the Library of Alexandria is a source of pride for all Arabs and Muslims for the wealth it contains. The Egyptian government, in co-operation with Unesco leaders, governments and private cultural establishments, wants to recreate the library.
“The library has become a landmark of human culture in the world. With the experience it has in restoring books and manuscripts, the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage has decided to take part in preserving culture at the library by signing a contract with the library to restore ancient books,” he said.
The international community has taken the first step towards overcoming the disaster caused by a fire that destroyed the old library more than 1,600 years ago, by supporting the revival of the library. The revival has resulted in building a modern public library that acts as a centre of culture, science and academic research.
Al Majid said the centre has been very active in the field of restoring of books. “We are the only non-commercial cultural establishment in the Arab world to restore and bind more than 2000 books a month,” he said.
Al Majid said the centre restores books and manuscripts to help researchers and students from all over the world.
“The centre is the only establishment in the world to send microfilms and copies of books and manu-scripts free-of-charge. We only charge researchers with mailing expense at a fixed rate of $15. We tend to help researchers, writers and students to get them acquainted with the heritage of the world and will do anything to achieve this aim including utilising our resources and cultural wealth to help them,” he said.
Florida: Traditionally, imams have had only one duty - to lead prayer - and usually the person in the room who knows the most Qur’an stepped up to the plate. But in the US, imams are finding themselves called upon to be everything from a counselor to media spokesperson. To that end, Muslim institutions are trying to organise training sessions to make sure that today’s imams can meet the unique needs of American Muslims. ‘’You are at a crossroads,’’ said Muslim political scientist Muqtedar Khan to an audience of US imams at one such gathering. Imams need to decide ‘’whether you’re going to end up becoming office managers at the masjid or becoming leaders of your community.’’ Without standar-dised training for imams in the US (rather than importing them as has been done in the past), some Muslim leaders fear that the community will splinter into small groups. ‘’We don’t want the Muslims to end up with 700 denominations of Islam,’’ said Florida imam (and trainer) Muhammad Musri.
Sarajevo (Bosnia & Hercegovina): The famous old bridge on the Naritva river which was an Islamic architectural landmark in Bosnia & Hercegovina is being reconstructed. Known locally as ‘Satari Most’ the bridge had stood for nearly four centuries connecting the West with the Islamic east and had served as a vital link for commerce and culture both.
The bridge on the Naritva river stood near the city of Mostar and was destroyed by the Croatian forces of Bosnia on November 9, 1993 at the height of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. With this vanished a symbol of Islamic civilization in Bosnia and Hercegovina. The bridge is now being constructed by Turkish construction company Urbo which has been entrusted with the task by the World Bank which has undertaken this project in order to bring closer the Bosnian and Croatian people through reconstruction of the link. Though Turkey and Croatia both had sought to carry out its reconstruction, the historic project was taken up the World Bank. However, both Turkey and Croatia are jointly supervising the project. Turkish site engineer Oner says the bridge would be an exact replica of the original arched bridge which was constructed by Khyruddin, a distinguished disciple of legednary 16th century Turkish architect Mimar Sinan. It took nine years for Khyruddin to construct the bridge between 1566 to 1575. Oner takes pride in his company grabbing the contract for its establishing the historic link. According to Oner, the bridge is being rebuilt with the help of archival maps of the old Bridge preserved with the Unesco and will be every inch a copy of the old bridge. “The day I find three millimetre difference between the original and the new bridge, I lose my sleep”, Oner told this correspondent.
Croatian site engineer Svetlana informed that the stone slabs for the bridge have been carved from the mountains a few miles from Mostar from where they originally came for the old bridge too. This was confirmed by the chemical analysis of the old slabs. The project has emerged as the symbol of rebuilding the badly bruised Croatian-Bosnian ties in the wake of the civil war after the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. The bridge is likely to be completed by this year end.
Sayeed Saikich, Mufti of Bosnia and Hercegovina said the rebuilding of ties would require long time and those who wanted to erase the Muslim presence from the Balkans would have to prove that they are willing for coexistence.
“Satari Most”, literally meaning ‘old bridge’, was destroyed by Croatian tanks at 10-20 am on November 9, 1993 at the order of Bosnian-Croatian occupation forces commander General Peeli. The stone bridge was demolished under the constant barrage from the tank and was washed away by the waves in the Naritva river. Thus was lost a historic landmark and the crucial link which had nurtured the growth of the City of Mostar as a commercial centre in the heart of Europe.
Monica Borkovich, a Croatian journalist and the president of the Croatian women journalist who saw the TV images of the destruction of the famous bridge while sitting at her home in Zagreb, says: I could not prevent my tears when I saw the bridge falling into pieces into the Naritva river. She said it was perhaps the destruction of Mostar bridge that brought her to Mostar in 1994 and again here last month while it is being reconstructed.
The Satari Most had brought good fortune to Mostar. Cobbled stone pathways came up on the two banks and Mostar came up alive after the Turks constructed the bridge 400 years ago on the orders of Ottoman emperor Suleiman Qanooni. Mostar later developed as a major commercial and cultural centre of Muslim Europe.
(This piece has been translated by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj from the Arjumand Bano’s report titled ‘Nusli Munafarat aur Tarikhi pull’ on BBC.Urdu.com. It is quite possible that a few names of people and places have been misspelt given the Slavic names transcribed in Urdu on the website. Errors will be ours.)
Riyadh: Doctors here have warned against the use of Kohl in the eye, because of the harm it does to the eye and to eyesight. This is due to the substantial content of lead in the substance, and this presence is more pronounced in the Indian variety of Kohl, they said, adding that the lead content could be as much as 85 to even 100 percent.
They said this is harmful to the eyes, particularly those of children, because the lead poisons them, and could even lead to brain damage.
The doctors said there is no truth in the assertion that Kohl strengthens eyesight, and advised that if one wants to use the Kohl then he or she should use the pencil type that is sold in pharmacies. They said these pencils are made of carbon and iron, both of which do not harm the eye or the brain.
Male:The President of the Maldives, Dr. Maamoon Abdul Qayyum, recently officially opened the new premises of the Institute of Islamic Studies here. The construction of the new premises was made possible by a donation of US$1.1 million from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. The seven-story building of the institute has all the amenities and facilities including a language laboratory for teaching the Arabic language.