New Donation to the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

June 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

Quran Strassman Dontaion

Quran donated by the Family of W. Paul Strassmann, Ph.D.

The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library recently received a beautiful hand written copy of the Quran from the family of W. Paul Strassmann, Ph.D. of Lansing, Michigan.  The colophon in this Quran states it was written by Ahmad Bin Syed Mahmood Baghdadi, son of Syed Mahmood, who was likely from Baghdad, Iraq.  It was completed on a Thursday, being the first day of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar) 952 Hijri.  This date corresponds to the 8th, 9th, or 10th day of September in the year 1545, making this Quran over 400 years old.

Qurans are written from memory and each writer is part of “the Chain” which is traced back to the Prophet Mohammad who memorized the Quran from the Angel Gabriel, who was instructed by Allah.  Each person who has memorized the Quran through a teacher in the chain receives a certificate giving the name of the teacher.

Even though Ahmad is the writer, it is not clear if he copied this Quran from another copy or wrote it based on memory.  Experts who have memorized the Quran, and are part of the Chain, have pointed to some errors in the pages they have reviewed.  It appears these are minor and unintentional.  On some pages the error or omission has been corrected by the writer and can be seen in the margins.  This was the common way corrections were done.

The last page of this Quran (Arabic text is read from right to left) has a disclosure from the writer.  This disclosure is not part of the Holy Text that ends on the page prior and can be translated into English as follows:

However, the release of these praiseworthy words was completed; which are the words of the lord of masters and slaves.  The lord who is the originator and repeater (brings everything back in the day of judgement), the effector of what he intends, one who does not have anyone to oppose, to equal, or to resemble.  He is the one who supports everything good.  This was completed in the first day of the great month of Rajab (lunar month), year 952 (lunar year) of the prophet’s migration (because the year starts when the prophet migrated) peace and blessings be upon him.  On Thursday in the morning (sometime between sunrise but way before noon).  Was written by the needy (he means the need for the mercy of lord not the need for money) and worthless slave (also means that he is worth nothing and feels that this humble work is worth nothing when compared to the wealth of the lord) who is in need of the mercy of Allah, the affectionate.  Ahmad bin (son of) Syed Mahmood Baghdadi (likely from Baghdad, Iraq).  May Allah forgive both of them, Ameen. completed.

Several more photos of this beautiful book follow:

3621455_0012 (Electronic Presentation)3621455_0021 (Electronic Presentation)3621455_0034 (Electronic Presentation)

Hundreds of other unique and rare titles are also housed in the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library. Visitors are welcome on Plummer 14, Monday- Friday from 9 am to 1 pm.

Special thanks to Mr. Rashid A. Fehmi, CPA, Business Development, Mayo Clinic, Mohamad A. Mouchli, M.D., Gastroenterology, Mayo 9E and Ms. Wanda Elkharwily, Mayo Clinic Libraries, Plummer 12 for their kind assistance in gathering this information.

Submitted by Hilary J. Lane
Instructor in History of Medicine
Coordinator of the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

Entry filed under: History of Medicine.

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