By Meriem Saidi
Herbarium Specialist at the Quranic Botanic Garden
Since its foundation, the Quranic Botanic Garden (QBG), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, has dedicated a great deal of attention to promoting Islamic heritage and Arab legacies, inspiring the establishment of the Botanical Museum, home to a variety of plant samples and traditional tools that have been traditionally used across the Arab world.
Through the Botanical Museum, QBG is seeking to bridge the gap between the generations who witnessed and embraced Arabic traditions, and those that lacked this opportunity. The museum offers visitors glimpses of Arab and Islamic heritage, and is home to a wealth of information, photographs, wall paintings, collectibles, plant samples and traditional farming tools.
Traditional agricultural tools that are still being used to this day, including irrigation, plowing and harvesting equipment among other gear are today on display at the museum, which sheds light on the role of former and current Muslim botanists and scientists in advancing human knowledge in the fields of agriculture, gardening and plant cultivation.
The museum’s exhibition hall is also home to many of the tools and utensils that have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet when referring to food or beverages, both in the context of urging or forbidding their consumption. The traditional tools that have been used by inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula have been reserved a special corner in the exhibition hall along with plants that have been mentioned in the noble Hadith for their cosmetic and medicinal characteristics.
Over the years, the museum has hosted a myriad of exhibitions to advance its mission, including the 2019 Al Baraka exhibition which brought together postgraduate students at University College London – Qatar to encourage youth to care for the environment
A year earlier, the museum had organized the Andalusian Garden exhibition in a bid to revive Islamic cultural heritage and highlight the importance that Islam awards to gardens, and the extent of interest that Muslims have shown in the field as demonstrated by the wide set of tools that have been used in Andalusia for agricultural purposes.
The museum is also home to an exhibit of palm tools, showcasing how tree leaves are recycled. Cooking utensils and bowls that were used during the era of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) are also on display at the museum to shed light on social life at the time.
The museum has also hosted an exhibition on biodiversity in Qatar about the different types of animals, soil, seeds and wild plants that the Qatari ecosystem hosts.
On the occasion of the FIFA World Cup, the museum will employ hologram technology to depict Quranic verses in 3D, showcasing verses in a distinctive and unconventional way.
QBG’s Botanical Museum at Education City is open to visitors daily from eight in the morning until nine in the evening.