x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Time Frame: Sheikh Zayed in a quiet moment during Ramadan

Taken sometime during Ramadan in the 1970s, this image shows Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then President of the United Arab Emirates, reading the Quran during Ramadan.

Sheikh Zayed reading the Quran during Ramadan. Courtesy of Al Ittihad
Sheikh Zayed reading the Quran during Ramadan. Courtesy of Al Ittihad

Taken sometime during Ramadan in the 1970s, this image shows Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, reading the Quran during Ramadan.

The Quran shown here looks very similar to one preserved at the Sheikh Zayed Centre in Abu Dhabi. Interviewed last year for the 40th birthday celebrations of the UAE, Juma Salim Al Darmki, the head of the museums and collections unit at the centre, said that this copy was "acquired by Sheikh Zayed in 1973. He used to read from it on a continuous basis. It stayed with the late Sheikh Zayed until he passed away on November 2, 2004."

In the same interview, Al Darmki recalled that Sheikh Zayed had been given the Quran as a young man by a traditional educator known as a mutawaa (pious man). "This was reflected in many aspects of the life of the late Sheikh Zayed," he said. "He grew up to be a man who had learnt the Quran by heart at a young age, a man who applied Quranic teachings and the Quran became the reference Sheikh Zayed followed in his life and behaviour."

Appointments can be made to visit the Sheikh Zayed Centre, which exhibits a large collection of artefacts from the former President's life. To book a tour and for directions, call 02 665 9555.

Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation's past. Readers are invited to make contributions to yourpics@thenational.ae