Bathinda: At a time when India is struggling to maintain communal harmony and religious tolerance is deteriorating, here is a story which shows that people in the beautiful past were more tolerant towards other religions.
In Punjab, a historian found a copy of Holy Quran that was printed way back in 1911.
For 105 years, the Holy book travelled and crossed many boundaries of religions to reach in the hands of a Hindu academician.
Subash Parihar, a retired professor of the museology department of Central University of Punjab, currently teaching at a private college in Kotkapura got the rare copy of Holy Quran and is planning to have details of the the most important scripture of Islam into the encyclopedia of Sufism that he is preparing.
Parihar told Times of India, “This Quran was translated into Gurmukhi from Arabic by Sant Vaidya Gurdit Singh Alomhari, a Nirmala Sikh (sect of Sikhism devoted to literary pursuits). The printing expenses were borne by two Hindus, Bhagat Budhamal Adatli Mevjat and Vaidya Bhagat Guraditta Mal, with another Sikh man, Mela Singh Attar Wazirabad.”
Almost 1,000 copies of the Holy Scripture were printed by the Budh Singh of Gurmat Press in Amritsar.
Sant Alomhari wanted to spread message of the Quran to people of other faiths and so intentionally made two Hindus and a Sikh to bear cost of printing the translated version, Parihar furthered.
“I do not think that there can be a better example of Muslim-Hindu-Sikh goodwill in the beginning of the 20th century,” he says. “These people rightly deserve to be called ‘religious’ in the true sense of the word.”
This rare Holy Quran originally belonged to Sardar Jhanda Singh ‘Aarif’, a poet from Kotkapura.
After his death, his elder son Natha Singh handed it to Noor Muhammad, believing he will be familiar with its real worth.