The Blood Quran

In 1997, Sadam Hussein commissioned a Quran to be made with his own blood. In his own words, “My life has been full of dangers in which I should have lost a lot of blood … but since I have bled only a little, I asked somebody to write God’s words with my blood in gratitude.” The book has become a hotbed of debate, from what should be done with it, to whether the book is made of Hussein’s blood at all.

Hussein with the blood Quran (AP Photo/INA)
Hussein with the blood Quran (AP Photo/INA)

The Quran itself has 6,000 verses (about 336,000 words), which in this case required an estimated 24-27 liters of Saddam’s blood. If he donated at the rate most blood donors are allowed to donate in the US, it would have taken around nine years to complete. Astoundingly, he reportedly donated the blood within a two year time frame.

While the Blood Quran was placed on display in 2000, after the fall of Saddam in 2003 it was placed into storage. The question on everyone’s mind being: what to do with it? The Quran is the most holy of texts in Islamic faith. It is considered haraam (sinful) to destroy or even deface a copy of the Quran. This means the Blood Quran cannot be destroyed. However, it is also haraam to use human blood for such a purpose. This is the biggest point of contention and the source of the debate.

When addressing all Saddam era relics and monuments, Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi (and major opponent of Hussein) claimed that all of them needed to be destroyed:

This is a clear reminder of the consequences of totalitarianism and idealising a person that embodies evil. They have brought nothing to Iraq. They are not worth celebrating. They have nothing aesthetic to offer. I am for removing them.

Others, however, disagree and claim that the Blood Quran should remain as a reminder of the past. Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Prime Minister, claimed that while the statues of Saddam should be removed, the Blood Quran is in a different situation.

We should keep this as a document for the brutality of Saddam, because he should not have done this. It says a lot about him. It should never be put in a museum though, because no Iraqi wants to see it. Maybe in the future it could be sent to a private museum, like memorabilia from the Hitler and Stalin regimes.

Whatever does happen to this Quran, it certainly remains a debate for the history books.

One thought on “The Blood Quran

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