TASHKENT, May 18 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today visited the Hazrati Imam Complex here, where the original manuscript of Caliph Usman Quran (Mashaf Uthmani) — the oldest in the world — is kept and displayed.

Hazrati Imam Complex is the religious heart of Tashkent with several well restored mosques, madrasas museums and other pilgrimage sites.

It is an architectural monument dating from the 16th to 20th centuries. The complex has a very rich library of oriental manuscripts as well as the world-famous Quran of Caliph Uthman Affan.

The Prime Minister in a post on his Facebook said the arrival of the Malaysian delegation was received by the Deputy Mufti 1 of Uzbekistan, Hamid Bahrom who took them to a library under the supervision of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan in the complex.

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“Alhamdulillah, I had the opportunity to see for myself the copy of the Al-Quran that was produced on the orders of Caliph Saidina Uthman bin Affan between the years 644 to 646. Imam Hamid said this is the only one of the six Al-Qurans that still remains.

“Imam Hamid also said that this is also the Al-Quran that Saidina Uthman was reading when he was killed. In fact, there are still traces of Saidina Uthman’s blood on the pages of surah Al-Baqarah in this Al-Quran,” he said.

Anwar said he was informed by Imam Hamid that the Uzbek government is currently developing an Islamic Civilization Centre and when it is ready, this Al-Quran and other contents in the library will be transferred there.

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“I am impressed by the seriousness of the Government of Uzbekistan and its people in preserving historical artifacts that are so important to the Islamic world,” he said.

After visiting the Hazrati Imam Complex, he continued to Tashkent International Airport to go to Samarkand accompanied by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov.

In Samarkand, the Prime Minister and the Malaysian delegation visited the tomb of Imam Bukhari (Imam Bukahri Mausoleum), a famous hadith expert.

He is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the high-level Uzbekistan-Malaysia Business Forum at the Silk Road Samarkand Complex.

Anwar arrived here on Friday for a three-day official visit to Uzbekistan.

Among the members of the Malaysian delegation in the visit to Uzbekistan were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan; Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz; Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar. — Bernama