ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has offered financial assistance for the construction of Pakistan’s first state-owned Qur’an complex in Islamabad, officials confirmed to Arab News on Sunday.
Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri announced on Friday that the government wanted to build the complex in the federal capital to preserve historical manuscripts of the Muslim scripture.
“This would be the first government-owned Qur’an complex. We have got offers of financial assistance for the building of the complex from Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-based World Muslim League and some other Gulf countries,” Religious Affairs Ministry spokesman Imran Siddiqui said, adding that the ministry has already initiated the process of land acquisition near the Golra area of in the Islamabad Capital Territory.
The center will also oversee and set standards for the publication of the Qur’an in the country and would recycle worn pages of the holy book.
“This would be a huge complex on approximately 10 kanal land in Islamabad. The complex will have different sections like error-free publication of new Qur’an and a plant for the recycling of worn pages of the book gathered from all over the country,” Siddiqui said.
He reiterated the minister’s earlier statement that the center is going to initiate a new translation of the holy book that would be acceptable to all Islamic schools of thought.
Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, rector of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), hailed the plan as one that can be unifying for Muslims.
“In this Qur’an complex they should also work on research to unite all the Muslim from different schools of thought in Pakistan. The government should take guidance from the Qur’an complex in Medina. It should have a proper board, editing, evaluation and monitoring system for the error-free printing of the Qur’an,” he told Arab News.
According to Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masud, former chairman of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology, it is a constitutional obligation of the government to oversee the publication of the Qur’an.
“Under the Constitution of Pakistan, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure error-free publication of the Qur’an. It would be a good step if the government can implement standards like Saudi Arabia for the publication of the holy book in Pakistan,” he said.
With regard to the planned universal translation of the scripture, Masud said: “It would be a very hard task for the government to bring out one translation of the holy book which is acceptable to all sects.”