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Friday June 16, 2006

Tiny Quran on show at carnival


A thumb-sized Quran believed to about 300 to 400 years old is a definite must-see for Muslim visitors to the Asia Lantern Carnival 2006 at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil. 

Said to be the world’s smallest Quran, it belongs to Musa Bai Shi Jie, a Chinese Muslim from Shianxi, China.  

The Quran weighs only 4.318g, is 25.708mm long, 19.517mm wide and 9.620mm thick. 

The miniature Quran owned by Musa Bai of Shianxi, China, is only the size of half a thumb.
It was certified as a Guinness World Record in terms of “lightest book” in Shanghai six years ago.  

Bai said the miniature Quran was a family heirloom that had been in his family for generations. 

This is the first time that it is being displayed outside China.  

Visitors to the Asia Lantern Carnival can easily find their way to Bai’s booth as it is located next to the huge illuminated lantern in the shape of Shah Alam’s Sultan Sallahudin mosque. 

A Chinese Muslim woman from Shianxi preparing ‘pulled’ noodles at the Chinese Muslim food stalls.
The tiny Quran, about the size of half a thumb, is believed to be from the old Turkish Ottoman Empire. 

This belief is strengthened by the words printed on the last few pages of the miniscule book, which are of ancient Turkish text. 

Insured for RM1mil, the Quran is assumed to be printed by traditional printing methods and is surprisingly sturdy considering its suspected age of between 300 and 400 years old.  

Well bound, it is placed for safekeeping in a strong metal casing embedded with a small magnifying glass in front to enable people to read the text. 

Despite its minute size, the Quran is a complete text with 30 volumes including 114 chapters written in a total 400 pages.  

It is fairly legible provided the reader squints through the magnifying glass and is familiar with Arabic characters. 

Apart from the miniature Quran, visitors to the Chinese Muslim section of the carnival could also sample delicious Chinese Muslim food prepared the traditional way by women from Shianxi. 

All the dishes on offer are made from ingredients specially imported from China, including handmade noodles, rice cakes and plum juice. 

There are also stalls offering a smorgasbord of China-made bracelets, bangles and trinkets made of jade, tiger-eyes, crystals, beads, pearls and a multitude of other semi-precious stones at bargain prices.  

Women will especially love the shopping here as the items on sale include embroidered slippers, jade pillowcases and handmade silk table runners and place mats.  

The Asia Lantern Carnival 2006 is open from 3pm to midnight every day until June 30.  

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