Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran: A Sanctified Place
Located on the outskirts of Quetta stand the Mountains of Chiltan, which hold a secret! Inside it, is Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran which is a hill encompassing a network of tunnels that are a mile long. However it is no ordinary hill, for it contains thousands and thousands of old and damaged copies of the Holy Quran from all over Pakistan. They are stored here so that they are protected from further desecration. It has been named after the mountain Jabal al Nour in Saudi Arabia, which holds Ghaar e Hira, where Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) received the first revelation and would often meditate there as well.
There are 5 blocks; each block contains 10 to 15 main caves and many sub-caves. Each cave is 7 feet high and 8 feet wide. Blocks B to E are now sealed because they have been filled to their full capacity. Block A is open for visitors. There is a library and separate prayer rooms for men and women. The passageway is carpeted, and on both sides one will find the colorful sacks filled with the Holy Quran.
Hundreds and thousands of visitors come to see this unique and sacred place, for it is indeed awe inspiring. The highest number on a given day specifically Friday can be up to 200.
Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran: How it Came into Being
In Pakistan the two ways of dealing with Holy Quran’s that can no longer be used is either to bury them or release them into a river or sea, as flowing water will wash away the ink. Haji Mir Abdul Samad Lehri was involved in the first method, supported by his brother Haji Abdul Rasheed Lehri. Later on they were joined by two other people i.e. Allah Noor Davi and Haji Muzaffar Ali, and consequently it was Allah Noor Davi’s idea that it would be much better to store them.
And so in March 1992, the process of digging the tunnels began. This has been entirely done by hand. Since the earth inside is very dry and stony, it takes 4 to 5 months to dig a 200 feet tunnel.
Within Quetta two vans are used to collect the manuscripts. Also tin boxes have been placed all over the city, where people can deposit them as well.
Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran: How the Holy Qurans are Classified
At first every single copy was being stored, but soon it was clear that it would not be possible to do that, now all the manuscripts are brought to the sorting section and then they are classified into the following categories
a) Usable: The usable ones are kept in the library, while those which are rare and valuable are kept on display in glass cases. Some of these can be dated back to 300 to 500 years, many of which are hand written.
b) Usable after Restoration: The copies that are restored are distributed FE-SABEEL-LILAH (free of charge for the sake of Allah) to the poor or in mosques and educational institutes. Until now 300,000 such Holy Quran’s have been given away. Furthermore a 100,000 extracts such as different surahs, single saparahs etc have also been distributed.
c) Cannot be used: These of course are those that are stored in the sacks.
Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran: A Selfless Service
In August 2000, Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran was registered with the Government of Baluchistan with the hope of receiving assistance; unfortunately it received none from them, the Government of Pakistan or any other organization. Thereby it is completely run by the personal funds of the governing body and donations by people. The body comprises of:
President – Haji Mir Abdul Samad Lehri
Vice President – Mr. Zahoor Ahmed
General Secretary – Haji Abdul Rasheed Lehri
Joint Secretary – Mr. Walid Ahmed
Finance Secretary & Site In charge – Haji Muzaffar Ali
Every month they receive around 10 trucks filled with copies of the Holy Quran and other material such as Islamic books and newspapers which contain Quranic verses. Therefore they are now running out of space to store all that they are collecting. It is very important that the citizens of Pakistan help them in this noble cause. Following are their contact details:
Jabal-e-Noor-ul-Quran Account No. 0115-2015153-001
Faysal Bank, Shahrah e Adalat Road, Quetta.
Cell no: 0300 3833125, 0300 8380160