The largest copy of the Quran in the world in production

In a sprawling but comfortable wing of the Karachi Arts Council, Shahid Rassam meticulously supervised a group of artists busy placing aluminum and gold-plated Qur’anic writing on a huge canvas.

Renowned Pakistani artist Rassam and his more than 200 associates have been working since 2017 to prepare what he says is the world’s largest copy of the Holy Quran, the holy book of Islam.

The rare project is expected to be completed in 2026.

The rare work of art, measuring 8.5 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, is set to break the record currently held by a copy of the Quran in size 6.5 and 4.5 feet which has was prepared in Afghanistan in 2017 and is now kept at the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Russian city of Kazan.

According to Rassam, this is the first time in the more than 1,400 year history of Islam that the Quran has been cast in aluminum. Calligraphers have already produced classical art by creating copies of the holy book using conventional materials like wood, paper, animal skin, and fabric.

“This is the project of my life,” Rassam told Anadolu agency as his associates continued to focus on their work.

In recent months, 49-year-old Rassam, who spent two years preparing the first two pages of the Holy Quran, has devoted an average of 10 hours a day to the project.

“It’s more than a difficult task, and just as sensitive [in terms of the sanctity of the Quran]. One minor mistake can ruin the whole effort, ”he noted.

In a sprawling but comfortable wing of the Karachi Arts Council, Shahid Rassam meticulously supervised a group of artists busy placing aluminum and gold-plated Qur’anic writing on a huge canvas.

Renowned Pakistani artist Rassam and his more than 200 associates have been working since 2017 to prepare what he says is the world’s largest copy of the Holy Quran, the holy book of Islam.

The rare project is expected to be completed in 2026.

The rare work of art, measuring 8.5 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, is on the verge of breaking the record currently held by a copy of the Quran in size 6.5 and 4.5 feet which has was prepared in Afghanistan in 2017 and is now kept at the Kul Sharif Mosque in the Russian city of Kazan.

According to Rassam, this is the first time in the more than 1,400 year history of Islam that the Qur’an has been cast in aluminum. Calligraphers have already produced classical art by creating copies of the holy book using conventional materials like wood, paper, animal skin, and fabric.

“This is the project of my life,” Rassam told Anadolu agency as his associates continued to focus on their work.

In recent months, Rassam, 49, who spent two years preparing the first two pages of the Holy Quran, has devoted an average of 10 hours a day to the project.

“It’s more than a difficult task, and just as sensitive [in terms of the sanctity of the Quran]. One minor mistake can ruin the whole effort, ”he noted.

Inspired by Turkish, Arab and Iranian art

Rassam will present the first sample of his work, Surah Rahman, at the ongoing Dubai 2020 exhibition in November.

The Karachi-based artist said his work is inspired by Turkish, Arab and Iranian artistic creations.

“We created our own design [to cast the Quran] after studying Turkish, Arab and Iranian designs. It’s not a mix of those designs, but it’s an inspiration, ”he said.

In the first step, he said, the letters are cast in clay, which is then plastered and ultimately made into fiber before being cast into aluminum.

Over 200 kilograms of gold, 2,000 kilograms of aluminum and 600 rolls of canvas will be used to cast 77,430 words on 550 pages. To illuminate and enrich the design, precious stones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds will also be used, he said.

Italian icing technique and acrylics were used to develop the design, as it can last for hundreds of years, he argued.

Not all about religion

Rassam said he prepared a sample of the artwork at a friend’s request in 2016, which prompted him to do it on a large scale.

“I started this project on my own. I always devote my own resources to it. There was no [financial] support from government or any institution, ”he said when asked how he would support such huge expenses.

“Some foreign governments, however, have approached me in this regard,” he said, without mentioning the names of the countries.

These types of rare and huge projects, he observed, always require state support.

Rassam said his work is not just about religion, but also art and culture.

“This [work] is not intended only for Muslims but to attract people of different religions through art. It aims to showcase Islamic art and culture, ”he said.

He said a separate museum would be needed to display this huge work of art.

Proud to be part of rare works of art

Jawad Ahmad Jan, one of Rassam’s associates, said he was proud to be associated with such a rare work of art.

“You have this once in a lifetime opportunity and I am proud to be a part of this project,” he said.

“Just imagine that at the very start of your career you got such a huge opportunity. “

Sharing a similar point of view, Mahnoor Khan, another young assistant, who has been part of this project for two years, said: “I feel lucky to be a part of this historic project. It’s a lifelong thing for me.

About Pamela Boon

Check Also

KMC to name park after Hazrat Salman Farsi on 75th anniversary of Pak-Iran relations

Karachi Administrator Lawyer Murtaza Wahab on Friday approved two Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) resolutions requesting …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.