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Modi gifts Kufic script Quran to Iranian Supreme Leader


Tehran: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gifted Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei a rare 7th Century manuscript of the Holy Quran written in Kufic script and attributed to Prophet’s son-in-law Hazrat Ali.

Modi, who called on Khamenei at his office, gifted the Supreme Leader the specially commissioned reproduction of rare 7th Century manuscript of the Holy Quran attributed to Hazrat Ali, the fourth Islamic caliph and first Shia Imam. Khamenei, a 76-year-old Shia Grand Ayatollah and two-time former president, has the final say over matters related to Iran’s foreign policy and key issues.

Written in Kufic script, the manuscript is a prized possession of the Ministry of Culture’s at Rampur Raza Library in Uttar Pradesh.

Kufic – developed around the end of the 7th century in Kufa, Iraq – is the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts. Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Islamic Republic after 15 years on a bilateral visit after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also gifted President Hassan Rouhani specially commissioned reproductions of Mirza Ghalib’s collection of poetry in Persian.

First published in 1863, Kulliyat-e-Farsi-e-Ghalib is a collection of over 11,000 verses by Ghalib. The reproduction is from a rare copy of the book’s 1867 edition to which some missing pages have been added from a copy of the 1872 edition from Maulana Azad’s personal collection preserved in the library of Indian Council for Cultural Relations in New Delhi.

Modi also gifted him Sumair Chand’s Persian translation of Ramayana. Translated into Persian in 1715 and copied in 1826, the Ramayana is a rare manuscript and contains over 260 illustrations possibly the largest number in any hand-written Ramayana manuscript. Modi’s visit comes months after lifting of international sanctions on Iran following Tehran’s historic nuclear deal with the Western powers over its contentious atomic programme.

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