( A Set of Three Excerpts on Extraordinary Efforts to Save Belief in Recent History: Part One)
Till the Russians conquered Samarkand in the last century (now the century before the last). After the conquest the MS (manuscript of the Holy Qur'an, supposedly one of the five or seven MSS prepared by Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA)), that was very famous, the Russian Commander-in-Chief took it from there (Samarkand) and transferred it to Saint Petersberg). Russian historian say that the MS was sold by the Chief of Samarkand to the Russian Commander for twenty or twenty five bucks - we have not stolen it but we bought it. In any case till the end of first world war that MS was in Leningrad. After that, as you know, the rule of Czar was over and Communists occupied the government. At that time many Russian citizens who did not want to live under the communist rule scattered here and there leaving Russia. One of them come to Paris - he was famous as Ali Akbar Topchibashi. I have met him and he told me the corresponding story. He said that at the time when Czar was murdered I was posted in Saint Petersberg itself as a high officer. I sent a Commando team to occupy the Royal Palace and find the MS of Holy Quran from the time of Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA) in the Royal Library and bring that to me. The Commandos went and brought the MS. As a military commander he, then, went to the railway station and asked the station master to make a railway engine available. He put the MS in the engine, under supervision of his men, and told the driver to take the engine to Turkestan with fastest speed. Thus the MS reached Turkestan. Within few hours the Communist Commanders got the news and as a consequence another engine was sent to chase the first one with military officers but the first engine was out of their reach. This is how the MS made its way to Tashkent.
Dr. Mohammad Hamidullah (of Paris) , Bahawalpur Lectures, p. 40-41, Islamic Book Foundation, New Delhi - 110 002, 1997AC (Original in Urdu)