The Olug Kitap (The Book of Books) exhibition has opened at the National Library of Tatarstan as one of the events to mark the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria.
The presentation of handwritten and printed editions of the Quran is part of the permanent exhibition of the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan ‘The Global World of Tatar Booklore’, which has been open to visitors since 2021.
For a nominal fee of 100 rubles anyone can see unique editions of the Quran and tafsirs, learn about the history of their creation, and admire the works of modern calligraphers: Alexey Gorin, Ayrat Khusmatulin and Nazim Ismagilov.
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition on May 27, Irek Khadiev, Deputy Director for Research of the National Library, said that the library housed more than 300 handwritten and printed copies of the Quran and its tafsirs from different countries around the world.
Member of the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’, Rector of the Russian Islamic Institute and Kazan Islamic University, Doctor of Political Science, Professor Rafik Mukhametshin noted during the opening ceremony that modern Arabic calligraphy can attract young people to Islam and classical calligraphy.
The speakers highlighted the role of Tatar publishers in different languages. The first printed Quran in Kazan was published in the early XIX century. This edition spread throughout the Muslim world.
By the early XX century, Tatar book printing in Arabic script had developed into a world-class business and a notable industry. The Tatars had achieved great success in what is now called book design. The Arabic script actually became synonymous with Tatar book culture, and the Quran edition became its symbol.