Mid Norfolk vicar reunites century old Qur’an
Pat Gordon, daughter of Colonel Gordon, who donated a 100-year-old Qur’an found by her father to the Muslim community will be remembered at an event this month in Norwich.
Miss Gordon’s father was a Lieutenant in the Sikh Pioneers fighting in Mesopotamia in WW1 and his Regiment was comprised of Sikh’s and Muslims with British Officers.
The Qur’an came into Colonel Gordon’s possession when a shell hit a hut where soldiers were sheltering. Colonel Gordon ran to help but soon realised that it was too late, however among the wreckage and debris he found the copy of the Qur’an and a prayer book.
Colonel Gordon died in 1960 and the books passed to the care of his only daughter Pat Gordon. Pat felt the books should be returned to the Muslim community; but was unsure of how best to deliver them. She contacted her local church, St Andrew’s Hingham and asked the vicar, the Reverend Colin Reed, how she could make contact.
Reverend Reed, former Chaplain at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital quickly made contact with local Muslims who were delighted to hear the story.
In November 2012 Mr Masoud Gadir President of the Norfolk and Norwich Muslim Association and Mr Shan Barclay (pictured above with Miss Gordon) came to Hingham to visit Miss Gordon and receive the two books which are now more than 100 years old.
On examining them Mr Gadir noticed that one was in Arabic and the other in Urdu and was also of the opinion that they were handwritten.
Conflict between religious communities easily makes news, but this story highlights the care, concern and mutual respect of ordinary people, no matter their faith.
Miss Gordon who passed away in 2013 did not wish for any publicity at the time. However two years on her representatives and the Norwich and Norfolk Muslim Association felt it fitting to have an event where the books could be formally presented and the good relationships between different faiths celebrated.
The event on November 7 at the Norfolk and Norwich Muslim Association Centre on Dereham Road, commences at 11am and will be attended by both members of the Christian and Muslim community and will commemorate the deceased soldiers who owned the books. The presentation aims to be respectful to their memory and celebrate shared history.
Present at the event will be friends of Miss Gordon, clergy and council representatives from Hingham, the Bishop’s Advisor on Multi-Faith issues and local and wider representatives of the Muslim community.
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