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Amazing subterranean shrine reveals beautiful Pakistani tradition

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How many of us treat old Bibles with as much respect?

When we thumb through our Bibles, sometimes we realize we've taken too many notes in the margins, highlighted too many amazing passages and have opened the Bible so many times, the spines are permanently damaged.

Workers reveal hundreds of unused Korans, carefully wrapped in cloth (EPA).

Workers reveal hundreds of unused Korans, carefully wrapped in cloth (EPA).

Highlights

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
1/23/2017 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Koran, tunnels, Pakistan


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of us will put the old Bible away on a shelf, where it lies forgotten until we throw it away, or throw it away and purchase a new one.

In Pakistan, the Muslim population honors their holy book, the Koran, and are not allowed to simply throw their old, worn, torn copies in the garbage.


Samad Lehri, a businessman living in the Chilthern Mountains in Quetta, Baluchistan, created the Jabel-e-Noor foundation (meaning "Mountain of Light) in 1992.

The foundation honors the Koran by wrapping them in beautiful cloth then burying them in the hill.

Thousands of Koran were discovered in a network of tunnels.

Thousands of Koran were discovered in a network of tunnels (EPA).


What began as a nice way to honor the disused books quickly caught on and people from all over the country began sending their worn holy books to Lehri.

People from across Pakistan send their unused Koran to these tunnels.

People from across Pakistan send their unused Koran to these tunnels (EPA).


The small cave he made quickly expanded to a series of tunnels spanning 2.2 miles.

Many visit the shrine to see preserved historical copies of the Koran.

Many visit the shrine to see preserved historical copies of the Koran (EPA).


The tunnels are believed to house about 2.5 million copies of the Koran but there are still several piles of the Koran waiting for new tunnels to be paved before they can be put away.


Some copies are over 600-years-old and the more historical copies are kept on display beneath glass cases.

Thousands visit the shrine each day to see the collection and they are not charged a single cent - though they are welcome to donate, which helps fund the digging and paving of more tunnels.

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