In Lancaster, 187 years have passed since a copy of the Qur’an was printed.
But now, after an international trip, he is back again.
A copy of the Koran, small enough to be tucked into a pocket, and in good condition, was printed in Lancaster in 1835 by Boswell & McCleery. The printing house was located in Central Square, 9, now Penn Square in Lancaster.
Through the joint efforts of LancasterHistory and the Lancaster Center for the Islamic Community, LancasterHistory purchased a copy of the Koran at a January auction. The text is now part of the LancasterHistory collection.
Representatives of the two organizations noted the acquisition at Wednesday’s event at LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Ave.
“It is very interesting to have a genuine copy of the Qur’an that was published in Lancaster as part of LancasterHistory,” said Shaquille Amanullah, founder of the Lancaster Islamic Community Center and chairman of the group’s board of trustees.
Amanula handed a copy of 1835 to Thomas Ryan, president and CEO of LancasterHistory, and J. Richard “Rick” Gray, chairman of LancasterHistory and former mayor of Lancaster. Amanula also presented the LancasterHistory Arabic version of the sacred text in hardcover and the modern English version.
“The Koran is an important part of historical memorabilia and shows that the Muslim faith was part of Lancaster County,” Ryan said.
The timing of the event also matters, as Muslims now celebrate Ramadan, the month of fasting, prayer and meditation. Ramadan lasts until the evening of May 2.
After a LancasterHistory supporter warned the organization that a Lancaster-printed Koran could be obtained at London’s Chiswick Auctions, the two organizations joined forces to acquire it.
LancasterHistory purchased a copy on Jan. 27 for $ 1,000. Ryan and Gray took him to the Lancaster Islamic Community Center on March 24.
“We are written in English and we have been asked to check the translation for accuracy,” said Mukaram Saeed, trustee of the board of the Islamic Community Center in Lancaster, which was founded in 2013 to meet the growing needs of the local Muslim community.
A rare copy of the Qur’an is in good condition. It is surprisingly small in size, with very thin paper and some wear on the spine.
Saeed gave brief information about the significance of the Qur’an for Muslims. The text is the Word of God for Muslims with revelations given to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. It includes religious philosophy for social and moral behavior, as well as historical narratives about certain prophets and peoples, arguments for recognizing Muhammad as a true prophet.
Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the unchanging last Revelation, and God has promised to protect and preserve His Book. All Muslims memorize and seek to study it in the original language of the discoveries – Arabic – to understand it directly. Although there are many different spellings for the Holy Book – the Qur’an, the Qur’an, the Qur’an, for Muslims, said Saeed, the Qur’an or the Qur’an is correct. The Qur’an is wrong and gradually stops.
The first translation of the Qur’an into English was made in 1649 by Alexander Ross, a Scottish Christian cleric and chaplain to King Charles I. It was translated from a French translation published in 1647 by Andre du Raer, not from the original Arabic.
The English copy provided by LancasterHistory is the third translated edition. It has 18 sections with 288 pages; the original Qur’an has 144 sections of 80,000 pages.
At Wednesday’s event, Sayyid recited the first chapter of the Qur’an, which is a short prayer memorized and repeated by Muslims 20 times daily.
“The Lancaster Islamic Community Center is very proud of LancasterHistory’s work in informing the public about the history of Lancaster County and its place in the history of Pennsylvania and the United States,” Sayed said.
What that means for Lancaster
Susan Woodard, a member of LancasterHistory’s board of directors, said LancasterHistory’s first collaboration with the Islamic Community Center in Lancaster was an “exciting partnership”. LancasterHistory board member Leroy Hopkins agreed and found it “fantastic” to print a copy of the Koran in Lancaster as part of the organization’s collection.
Gray said William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a colony for people fleeing religious persecution.
“In Lancaster County, religious tolerance is inherent in our genes,” Gray said.
The Koran will be on display at Ware Commons until May 2, the end of Ramadan. It will continue to be exhibited at various exhibitions for public review.
“I sincerely hope this will lead to a closer relationship between our two organizations and people will visit you to learn more about both,” Ryan said.