[QURAN / CRIMEA / LITHOGRAPHY] Kelâm-i kadîm [Qalam qadîm]. Prep. by Ismail Gasprinsky

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Matbaat al-Tercüman, Bahçesaray (Bakhchysarai) - St. Petersburg (Crimea-Russia), AH 1316 = [1898].

Original full leather with a fore-edge flap. 24mo. (11 x 7,5 cm). In Arabic. 522, [1] p. Framed text block. A manuscript note on the last blank page reads [It was given as a gift to my wife Behire Hanim while we were in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq]. Rebacked spine and fore-edge. Otherwise, a fine copy.

Lithographed edition. Scarce early holy Quran printed in Crimea, Bakhchysarai in the period of Russian rule, printed at the initiative of Ismail Gaspirali (Gasprinsky), (1851-1914). It was printed with special permission from the Russian government (St. Petersburg) on October 20, 1898, at the same printing house as the first Tatar newspaper in Bakhchysarai titled “Tercüman” founded by Gasprinsky in 1883 and existed till 1918.

Gasprinskiy was a leading Crimean Tatar intellectual, educator, publisher, and politician. He arranged the printing of the Quran in Bakhchisaray. He was one of the first Muslim intellectuals in the Russian Empire, who realized the need for education and cultural reform, and modernization of the Turkic and Islamic communities. His last name comes from the town of Gaspra in Crimea. He communicated his ideas mainly through the newspaper Tercüman he founded in 1883 and existed till 1918.

In his publications, he called for unity and solidarity among the Turkic peoples and advocated their modernization through Europeanization. Ismail believed that the only way to modernization was through education. He widely criticized the traditional education system in Muslim schools focusing much on religion and devised a new method of teaching children how to read effectively in their mother tongue and introduced curricular reforms. He developed a "pan-Turkic" language, which was a simplified form of Turkish omitting words imported from Arabic and Persian. He also initiated a new journal for women, Alem-i Nisvan (World of Women), edited by his daughter Şefiqa, as well as a publication for children, Alem-i Subyan (World of Children). Ismail was one of the founders of the Union of Muslims (Ittifaq-i Müslimin), created in 1907 and uniting members of the intelligentsia from various Muslim Turkic peoples of the Russian Empire. He was also one of the main organizers of the first All-Russian Muslim congresses, aimed at introducing social and religious reforms among the Muslim peoples of Russia. He also inspired the movement known as Jadidism. In 1912, Gasprinski visited British India.

We can trace five copies in OCLC: 236011386 (Fondation du Roi Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud pour les Etudes Islamiques et les Sciences Humaines Casablanca, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), National Library of Israel, Jewish National Library, Middlebury College Library, University of Utah).