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Beit Al Quran

An early Kufic manuscript of the Qur'an developed in the late 7th century, present at the museum Surah al-Ma'idah]], present at the museum. Beit Al Qur'an (, meaning: the House of Qur'an) is an Islamic museum at Hoora, Bahrain.[1] The museum was founded in March 1990 (though construction started in 1984) by Dr Abdul Latif Jassim Kanoo and was built to accommodate a comprehensive and valuable collection of the Qur'an and rare manuscripts, a concept which is unique in the Persian Gulf.[2] It has been acknowledged as being one of the most renowned Islamic museums in the world.[3]



The core of the museum's holdings is Dr Kanoo's own collection of Qur'anic manuscripts and other Islamic art, as he had been an avid collector. As his collection grew, he came to feel a strong sense of responsibility toward the rare manuscripts he had acquired. Moving beyond ownership to the concept of custodianship, he donated his collection to a foundation he established in 1990 to operate a first-of-its-kind institution dedicated to the service of the Qur'an and the preservation of historic manuscripts.[4]

The establishment of the institute was completely funded and wholly supported by public donations, with added help from a variety of people from all walks of life in Bahrain, ranging from heads of state to school children. The facilities at Beit Al Qur an are free to the general public.[5]

This institution and its museum house an internationally celebrated collection of historic Quranic manuscripts from various parts of the Islamic world, from China in the East to Spain in the West, representing a progression of calligraphic traditions from the first century of the Islamic era to the present day.


The complex comprises a mosque, a library, an auditorium, a school, and museum consisting of ten exhibition halls.

A large stained glass dome covers the grand hall and mosque. The Mihrab, the sign indicating the direction to Mecca, is covered in blue ceramic tiles with engraved Al Qursi Qur anic verse.

The library consists of over 20,000 books and manuscripts in three languages Arabic, English and French that are mostly on Islam. The institute does specialise in Islamic art, and many of the reference books have international importance. The library and its reading rooms are open to the public during working hours with internet access available, as well as providing individual rooms for researchers and specialists.[6]

There is also the auditorium the Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Lecture Hall which can seat 150 people, and is used for lectures and conferences. Guest speakers are brought to Bahrain from many countries, including the US, UK, France and Europe, and the topic varies depending on the forum.

The conference hall is often made available for general use for public lectures in cooperation with different societies and institutions in Bahrain.

The Yousuf Bin Ahmad Kanoo School for Qur anic Studies, is located within the site. This offers seven study areas fully equipped with computers and modern aids, with separate classes for women and children learning the Qur an.


The Al Hayat Museum comprises 10 halls over two floors exhibiting rare Qur anic manuscripts from different periods, starting from the first century Hijra (700AD). Manuscripts on parchments that originate from Saudi Arabia (Mecca and Medina), Damascus and Baghdad, are present in the museum. The manuscripts undergo special procedures for the preservation of these artifacts, in order to protect them from damages.[7]

See also

  • Khamis Mosque
  • List of tourist attractions in Bahrain
  • Islam in Bahrain


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