Published On: Mon, Jan 21st, 2019

Bait Al Quran: a journey to Bahrain’s Islamic museum

Being at a location that overlooked what remains to be one of the most vital trade routes in the world till today, the island that is now known as the Kingdom of Bahrain has witnessed the rise and fall of many civilizations and empires over the history, including dilmun, the Portuguese, and the Islamic civilization.

cover of a Quran photo by crystalina via wikimedia commons

As a result of that, a lot of monuments have been unearthed over the centuries, and many of them had been congregated to be displayed in museums that tell the island’s history to the eager visitors., and Bait Al Quran comes as one of those major museums.

Located in Manama, the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Bait Al Quran (literally translated to “House of Quran” in English) complex was opened in March 1990 to reserve the Islamic monuments, artifacts and art pieces. With a breathtaking design that was inspired by a 12th century mosque, the complex spans more than 70,000 square meters of land and consists of 5 main parts:

  1. The mosque.
  2. The library,  which reserves more than 50,000 books and manuscripts on Islam and the Islamic art written in Arabic, English, and French.
  3. The Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Lecture Hall, an auditorium which can accommodate up to 150 individuals. school.
  4. The Youssef Bin Ahmed Kanoo Quranic Studies’ school, which offers education in seven Islamic study areas.
  5. Al Hayat Museum, which is the most famous component of the entire complex. The museum consists of two floors that comprise 10 exhibition halls where more than 10,000 Quranic manuscripts which have been collected from different parts of the Arabian Peninsula and the world including Mekkah, Baghdad, Spain, India, and China. Some of the manuscripts date back to the very first Hijra century are displayed.

The museum reserves rare copies of the Quran, including a copy that has been translated to Latin and found in Switzerland which dates back to 955 AD, making it the oldest known translated copy of Quran, the first copy of the Quran ever which has been ordered to be written during the reign of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan, and the first printed copy of the holy book, which was printed back in 1694 AD in Germany.  Bait Al Quran also has the world’s largest Quran, which originates from India and dates back to the 18th century.

In addition to the ancient Quranic manuscripts, the museum also houses artifacts, monuments, jewelries, ancient pottery pieces, as well as food grains (peas and rice) that date back to the 14th century which had phrases of Quran engraved into them. Last but not least, the museum reserves some of the rare works and manuscripts of early renowned Islamic scholars.

For all of this, it was only natural that Bait Al Quran has been branded as one of the most famous Islamic museums in the entire world. If you’re going to spend your vacation in a trip to Bahrain, make sure you stop by Bait Al Quran for a unique experience you won’t regret.

Author: Jonas Fiedler

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