Friday, September 17, 2010

Bali Preserves The Indonesia’s Oldest Koran

When people around the world now are raging due to the different in beliefs, Bali seems stronger to uphold the harmony between the people whose beliefs are different. Even there are so many ancient artifacts preserved as the mark that the harmony has existed from long time ago. Surprisingly, the oldest Koran is held by a person live in Buleleng-Bali, in which the main religion is Hindu.


The oldest Koran in Indonesia has been claimed to be in Aceh. However the presence of the old Koran in Kampung Bugis in Serangan village and Singaraja start undermining that claim. Further the fact reveals that Indonesia’s oldest Koran is preserved by a tinker in Singaraja village, North Bali, because a page on that Koran show that this Islamic Holy Book was completed on Thursday, 21st of Muharram 1035 Hijriah or Oct.25 1629 anno domini.

Before his father died in 1998, Mohammas Zen Usman is called on to preserve the Koran. Zen has no idea how his father, Usman, who was a tinker and working for Public Works Agency, got and maintained that fragile Koran. Although he admitted he was very close to his father, Usman never told him anything about the Koran. Further, when he received that holy book from his father he thought this was an ordinary Koran. Apart from that, he never opens this Koran also to get to know something special on it for he is extremely afraid it would be fall apart.

By the coming of a friend named Dr.Soegianto and archeological team who checked this ancient book, a fact reveals that this seems to be older than one preserved in Aceh. For that reason in 2005 government declared this Koran which was written by Abdushhaufiddin on a brown paper made from pressed bamboo as a cultural heritage. Consisting of 769 pages, every page on this oldest Koran is embellished with pictures of leaves, flowers, and geometrical shapes in red, green, and brown color. All content in this oldest Koran is written with Arabic alphabet and with Chinese ink.

As the cultural heritage that needs to be preserved and maintained well, government asked him to put it at museum. Instead of releasing a big responsibility and handing over it to government, he prefers to take care of the Indonesia’s oldest Koran by himself as his father asked him to do so.

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