Bhatinda, May 5: At a time when is struggling to maintain religious tolerance, here’s a story that glorifies the beautiful past of our country when people were more tolerant towards other religions. A historian in Punjab has found a copy of Holy Quran, the most important scripture of Islam, that was printed in 1911. The Holy book travelled for 105 years and crossed boundries of religions to reach in the hands of a Hindu academician. The uniqueness of this copy of Quran is that it was translated by a Sikh and funded by two Hindus.
Subash Parihar, a retired professor of the museology department of Central University of Punjab, who is currently teaching at a private college in Kotkapura, got a rare copy of Holy Quran. He is set to include the details of this copy of Quran into the encyclopedia of Sufism that he is preparing. (ALSO READ: Intolerance rose, religious freedom violated in India under Narendra Modi-government, says USCIRF)
“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,” Subhash Parrihar told Times of India.
According to Subhash Parihar, Budh Singh of Gurmat Press in Amritsar printed as many as 1000 copies of Quran to spread its message to people of other faiths. He also said that Budh Singh intentionally made two Hindus and a Sikh to bear cost of printing the translated version. “I do not think that there can be a better example of Muslim-Hindu-Sikh goodwill in the beginning of the 20th century. These people rightly deserve to be called ‘religious’ in the true sense of the word,” said Parihar.
The rare copy of the Quran belonged to Sardar Jhanda Singh ‘Aarif’, a poet from Kotkapura. After his death, his elder son Natha Singh presented it to a Muslim Noor Muhammad, believing he will understand its real worth. Natha Singh, before giving the Quran to Noor Mohammad, protected the holy book with utmost respect.