China publishes reproduction of its oldest hand-written Koran

Updated 2017-05-06 10:31:26 Xinhua
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A hand-written copy of the Koran discovered in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

A hand-written copy of the Koran discovered in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

China on Thursday published a reproduced edition of its oldest hand-written copy of the Koran.

The book, produced from copies of the original, comes in at 870 pages, weighs 12.515 kilograms and was published by the Ethnic Publishing House.

It is for research only and consumers cannot purchase it.

The original was transcribed during a period after the 11th century, according to a Peking University research paper.

Legend has it that ancestors of the Salar people, one of China's ethnic minority groups, left central Asia hundreds of years ago, carrying the hand-written Koran, and finally settled by the Yellow River.

The original is housed at a museum in Xunhua Salar Autonomous County in northwest Qinghai Province, home to more than 100,000 Salar people.

It is tangible evidence of the Salar ethnic minority group's 800-year-old history and for their belief in Islam.

"The photocopied edition can set a good example for preservation of valuable ancient books in China," said Ma Wenbiao, deputy director with Qinghai's ethnic and religious affairs committee.

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