The Museum of the Quran on tourist maps is called: "A memorial sign in honor of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgarians in 922." The huge golden dome of the Museum of the Quran is visible from afar, and the building itself looks like a large mosque. However, this is not a mosque, but a monument in honor of a significant event.
Volga Bulgarians are the ancestors of the modern Tatar people who live in the Republic of Tatarstan. They profess Islam, and for them the adoption of Islam in Bulgaria in 922 is as important an event as for Russians - the Baptism of Rus by Prince Vladimir in 988.
The Museum of the Quran was built in 2011 during the reconstruction of Bolgar, initiated by the first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev. The Bulgarian Khan Alush at the beginning of the 10th century united the Turkic tribe of Bulgarians into a single state. He invited the embassy from Baghdad to accept Islam as the state religion. The Baghdad Caliph al-Muqtadir sent a mission led by Ahmed ibn Fadlan, a famous Arab writer and missionary. Ibn Fadlan wrote his impressions about this trip in the book "Ibn Fadlan`s Journey to the Itil River".
For the Bulgarian Khan Alush, the adoption of Islam was the only opportunity to free his state from the power of the Khazar Khaganate, where Judaism was professed. The embassy of Ibn Fadlan consisted of 5 thousand people. They went to Volga Bulgaria for several years around Khazaria through the lands of Slavic tribes, Iran and Central Asia. Ibn Fadlan left many records about the customs of the peoples of these lands.
The main exhibition is located in the basement of the Museum of Quran. Here you can see various manuscripts of the Quran. Some of them were made hundreds of years ago. Many exhibits are dedicated to written testimonies of Ahmed Ibn Fadlan`s mission to Bulgaria.
The largest printed Quran in the world, measuring 2 x 1.5 meters and weighing 500 kilograms, is stored on the top floor of the Museum of the Quran. The cover of the Quran is decorated with gold coinage with precious stones.