First Qur’an Exhibition Planned in US

BOSTON – The Qur’an Muslims’ holy book will become the centerpiece of a first-of-its-kind exhibition in the United States as the Smithsonian announced plans to display exquisitely decorated manuscripts from one of the top Qur’an collections.

Visitors will be able to compare different Qurans and “see the sweep of history in front of us,” said Sheila Blair, an art history professor who specializes in Islamic art at Boston College and Virginia Commonwealth University, ABC News reported.

“It shows how diverse the Muslim world is.”

The exhibition, planned next October 15, will be hosted by the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

The gallery announced Tuesday that “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts” will bring 48 manuscripts and folios from the museum in Istanbul.

Moreover, it will bring manuscripts from the collection of the Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art, which are together the Smithsonian’s museum of Asian art.

Planned just weeks before the presidential election, through Feb. 20, 2017, Massumeh Farhad, chief curator at the Sackler and Freer and curator of Islamic art, said this exhibition is a chance to present a different story about Islam and Qur’an.

Farhad added that it could offer an opportunity to “focus on the importance of this as a work of art and importance in art history.

The show is an opportunity for people to see these Qurans up close in the United States and “reflect on their own assumptions,” said Julian Raby, director of the Sackler and Freer.

He called the exhibition a “fitting complement” to a 2006 exhibition of Bibles before the year 1000.

The Qur’an is a revelation from God, the creator of the worlds, so He is the original author.

There is only one Qur’an which is in Arabic, with many of its translations in several languages.

There could be multiple translations by different authors in the same language such as English.

The Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) through the archangel Gabriel who helped the Prophet memorize the Qur’an, as reported in several authentic Hadith narrations.