Visit of Uzbekistan's Ambassador to Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation
H.E. Dr Alisher Shaykhov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan in England, accompanied by his Counsellor, Dr Jamsheed Safarov, visited Al-Furqan Heritage Foundation on 9 July 2018. He was very warmly welcomed by Mr Sali Shahsivari, Managing Director of Al-Furqān, and Mr Mohamed Drioueche, Head of Projects & Publications at Al-Furqān.
H.E. the Ambassador of Uzbekistan lucidly described the most prominent efforts of the State of Uzbekistan in preserving the works of its forefathers, with the aim of celebrating its historic Islamic heritage. He emphasised that Uzbekistan is considered one of the most important birthplaces of Islamic civilisation, especially since it was the homeland of al-Imām al-Bukhārī, al-Tirmidhī, al-Zamakhsharī, Abū al-Mu‘īn al-Nasafī, Najm al-Dīn Kabrī, al-Māturīdī, al-Naqshabandī, Ibn Sīnā, al-Fārābī, al-Farqānī, Abū al-Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī, al-Khawārazmī, and others.
Among the huge efforts exerted by the State of Uzbekistan in this regard, is the project of establishing the Centre of Islamic Civilization in the capital Tashkent. This centre is designed to host a rich collection of material on the prominent Muslim scholars and thinkers of Uzbekistan. It will also include a museum, and a library stocked with rare exhibitions, as well as allowing a wide range of research studies to be conducted there.
The government is also exerting a mammoth effort to recover rare manuscripts and artefacts, which had been smuggled out of Uzbekistan and are currently displayed in world museums. In this regard, the government commenced a project to establish a special centre officially linked to the Ministerial Cabinet, with highly qualified personnel experienced in this domain to recover these lost treasures. Furthermore, international organisations with significant influence in the Muslim world, and prominent political figures, had all expressed their commitment to cooperate in this matter, especially as the government has begun organising conferences and seminars to raise awareness about this issue.
H.E the Ambassador deliberated with the Managing Director on all the issues of common interest, on an understanding of the importance of cementing ties of cooperation, and exchanging scholarly expertise between heritage organisations in Uzbekistan and Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation. Particular areas of focus were the revival and preservation of heritage, gathering manuscripts, professional formation of personnel, and organising training workshops, as well as the exchange of diverse scientific publications related to areas of shared interest in the form of books, periodicals, and scientific publications.
In this context, H.E. the Ambassador gifted Al-Furqān Foundation with the 10 volume encyclopaedic work, “Architectural Epigraphy of Uzbekistan”. Al-Furqān Foundation reciprocated with a gift of a large set of its publications, and a copy of the Qur’ān belonging to al-Sharīf al-Sayyid Muḥammad Fāḍil al-Mawlawī, also known as Faḍil Pasha Šerifović (d. 1300Ah/1882CE); this contained the seven canonical readings (qirā’āt), where the original manuscript is held at Gazi-Husrev-bey Library in Sarajevo, capital of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.