The calligrapher of the Prophet’s Mosque, Shafeeq uz Zaman, is from Pakistan.Since 1990, he has been accomplishing calligraphy assignment (in the Thuluth script) on the mosque’s 177 domes.He won additional award-winning at the All-embracing Calligraphy Antagonism in Istanbul, Turkey.He has additionally won several competitions at civic and all-embracing levels. Hundreds of Arabs and Turkish bodies are acceptance of Ustadh Shafeeq. It is amazing that he abstruse calligraphy on his own and calls himself the airy apprentice of the acclaimed 20th aeon calligrapher, Ustadh Hamid Al-Amidi.Ustadh Shafeeq thinks in the aeon of computers, calligraphy’s accent will not fade. He additionally says he finds accord while accomplishing calligraphy in the Prophet’s Abbey and cannot acquisition this anywhere else. He aggregate his adventures and achievements in an account with Khalid Khurshid.
AN: Do you anticipate that calligraphy is a full-time job? How did you get absorbed in calligraphy?SZ: Since adolescence I was adherent to calligraphy and drawing. I anticipate back I was six there was no cardboard or bank in my home that had been larboard clear by my assets and calligraphy. Whatever I got authority of chalk, pencil and colors, I fabricated use of it. I acclimated to get baffled by my parents but it didn’t bedew my activity for cartoon and calligraphy. Afterwards one blame too many, I took my besom and paints alfresco and started to draw and address on the walls of my neighborhood. In the beginning, my parents were adjoin my assignment and were additionally actual acrid with me. Afterwards a connected time passed, an ancient in my ancestors saw my assignment and was astonished. He told my parents that I was accomplishing admirable work.If there was any chargeless aeon or cafeteria breach at school, all my classmates went alfresco to comedy but I didn’t. I acclimated to do calligraphy and sometimes draw on the classroom blackboard. Back my abecedary and classmates acclimated to go into the classroom they acclimated to be abashed and because of this I became acclaimed as a calligrapher and artisan at school.I won an interschool autography antagonism and I was additionally acknowledged in autography competitions were captivated in Karachi. Back I was in the fifth grade, I fabricated all the boards and signboards at school. My art abecedary acclimated to acquaint me that one day I would accomplish it big.
AN: We heard that you were active to assignment in Saudi Arabia while you were animate on a street.SZ: While I was creating signboards application argument from the Angelic Qur’an for a aggregation on a artery in Karachi, a Saudi sheikh was casual by. Back he saw my work, he anon chock-full and asked me to assignment for his company. At that time, my authorization had not been issued, but the sheikh ensured I got one bound and took me to Saudi Arabia. I formed for a connected time in Riyadh as a calligrapher. I advised and fabricated hundreds of signboards and artificial boards and I accept additionally done awning paintings.
AN: Who was your abecedary for calligraphy?SZ: I abstruse calligraphy on my own. The Almighty Allah adored me with the abilities of calligraphy. At the beginning, I did this for fun but afterwards I learnt from books.My adamantine assignment and active calligraphy studies were the key to all my successes in life. During my break in Madinah, I had the adventitious to accommodated the best calligraphers of the apple and additionally saw their august work. I anticipate I am best afflicted by the arresting assignment of the best calligrapher of the 20th century, Ustadh Hamid Al-Amidi of Turkey. You can alarm me his airy student. I consistently accustomed to advance his standards and methods in my work. If we compared my assignment with his, no one would be able to acquaint the difference.
AN: How did your arrangement as calligrapher of the Prophet’s appear about?SZ: I acclimated to appointment Masjid Al-Nabawi abounding times. I was acutely afflicted by the calligraphy done on the domes of Prophet’s Abbey during the Turkish era and acclimated to appraise it for hours. While in Riyadh, I got an action from Madinah to assignment for a affiche company, which I accustomed immediately.In 1990, the angelic mosque’s amalgam aggregation Dallah appear a common calligraphy antagonism because best of the aboriginal assignment on the domes had beat off.They were analytic for a calligrapher who could amend and actual the calligraphy. About 400 pieces of assignment were showcased in this calligraphy competition. I was declared the winner, but the antagonism board anticipation the champ would be a Turk or Egyptian. They were abashed to apprentice I was from Pakistan.Their alternative is a absolution from the Almighty Allah. Back this antagonism was announced, I didn’t appetite to participate. An Arab acquaintance of abundance assertive me otherwise. Alike those who appointment the abbey are abashed to apprentice the calligraphy was done by a Pakistani. It’s an account not abandoned for me but additionally for Pakistan.
AN: Describe the assignment you are abating in the Prophet’s Mosque.SZ: The architecture of the Prophet’s Abbey can be disconnected into three parts: the Turkish era construction; architecture during King Saud’s reign; and architecture during King Fahd’s reign.The Ar-Rawdah, Al-Riyad Al-Jannah, Prophet’s Minbar and Ashab Al-Sufa genitalia of the Prophet’s Abbey were complete during the Turkish era.This architecture was agitated out during the administration of Turkish Absolutist Abdul Hameed Khan. He said every architect should accept abstruse by affection the Angelic Qur’an. Every architect had to do ablution and afresh activate construction.At that time the architecture industry was not that developed. To body the mosque, the Turkish fabricated the use of all assets accessible at that time. For the pillars, they broiled metals. For the autogenous decoration, the absolutist arrive the best acclaimed calligrapher of the time, Ustad Abdullah Al-Zahidi from Turkey.The absolutist himself was a abundant calligrapher. For a connected time Al-Zahidi did the calligraphy assignment and abstraction on the mosque’s domes.In the book “The Art of Turkish Calligraphy,” it is accounting that back Al-Zahidi accomplished his work, whoever afresh saw it banned to accept that it had been agitated out by a bald mortal. Al-Zahidi’s calligraphic assignment remained on the domes for about 250 years.The arch adjudicator of the board that alleged me as the calligrapher of the Prophet’s Abbey was Ziauddin Ibraheem. He was the apprentice of Ustad Hamid Al-Amidi and has been active in Madinah for a connected time.
AN: What are the differences in the Turkish calligraphy appearance and yours?SZ: There are about 177 domes complete during the Turkish era in the Prophet’s Mosque. Each dome’s bore is about 11 meters and the pen acclimated for calligraphy is about 18 millimeters thick.The avant-garde appearance of accustomed out calligraphic assignment is that one or added ayahs (Qur’anic verse) can be accounting but it should alpha and end on the aforementioned dome.But the Turks did not do that. If an ayah was not completed on the aforementioned dome, they chock-full and connected on the added dome. This is not accessible because some domes are baby and some are big. It takes about three to four months to address an ayah on a arch and sometimes longer.Engraving was additionally agitated out. All calligraphy was done in the Thuluth script. The autograph appearance acclimated in the Turkish era is alleged Rasm Amlai, but now the adopted appearance is alleged Rasm Usmani.The mosque’s administrator said as Rasm Usmani is acclimated by all Islamic scholars, that is the appearance all calligraphy assignment should use.My assignment is a little bit altered from Al-Zahidi. Saudi Arabia’s acclaimed calligrapher, Usman Taha, who has additionally accounting Saudi Arabia’s Angelic Qur’an, acclimated to apprehend the calligraphy accounting on the domes of Masjid Al-Nabawi for a connected time afterwards Fajr. He has apparent acknowledgment for my work.
AN: How connected will it booty to accomplishment the calligraphy assignment on the 177 domes?SZ: Back the calligraphy began to spoil, the authorities retraced it with the advice of a schoolteacher, calligrapher or painter. Whoever did the repainting for abiding didn’t accept adeptness of the Thuluth script.Because of this the aboriginal calligraphy started to get broke and the words began to mix up. Back I became the Prophet’s Abbey calligrapher, I was asked to restore the calligraphy done in the Turkish era.It was afresh absitively new calligraphy should be accounting on all 177 domes complete by the Turks in the Prophet’s Mosque.So far, about 80 percent of calligraphic assignment on the domes has been completed and the blow will be completed aural four to bristles years. It can booty added than three months to complete a dome.
AN: Accustomed out calligraphy assignment on the domes is actual difficult. How is calligraphy done?SZ: Aboriginal the admeasurement of the arch is measured. The ayahs to be accounting can be abbreviate or long. The adjustment for autograph a big ayah is to ensure the words do not attending chock-full and the adjustment of autograph a baby ayah is to ensure there are no spaces larboard amid the words.The best complicated allotment is to address a complete ayah on a dome.After barometer the dome, I afresh accomplish a asperous account of the ayah to be accounting on the arch application a blackboard. The asperous account is afresh transferred to traceable paper.Then, the calligraphy is aesthetic according to the rules of the Thuluth script. The words are afresh transferred assimilate the arch through a appropriate action application zinc. Afterwards this, we complete the calligraphy assignment on the arch application a appropriate affectionate of acrylic that lasts for about 200 years.The calligraphy assignment is agitated out at the night and requires a lot of patience.
AN: Abounding of the Turkish alarm you Shafeeq Thani. Why?SZ: Ustadh Shafeeq Bay was a acclaimed Turkish calligrapher of his times. He agitated out the calligraphy in Al-Aqsa Mosque.This agency the aboriginal Shafeeq had the account of accomplishing the calligraphy in Al-Aqsa Abbey while the additional Shafeeq had the account of animate in the Prophet’s Mosque.This is why the Turkish alarm me Shafeeq Thani. Our assignment is agnate because we use Jali script, but I accept added ascendancy over my art.Nowadays calligraphers address with a pen about 1 to 1.5 cm blubbery and application a computer enlarge the argument by about 20 to 100 percent added afore autograph the argument again.
AN: This aeon in time is additionally accepted as the computer age. What is the approaching of calligraphy in your view?SZ: All names on the doors of the Prophet’s Abbey like the King Fahd Gate, Salaam Gate, Rehmah Gate and others accept been accounting by my own hands. The offices as well. No computers were used.For the names and boards of the offices inside, the engineers created about 200 computer samples but none were approved, alike admitting software application the Thuluth calligraphy was available.For this blazon of assignment the abandoned affair that is important is the artistic mind. To address an ayah by duke in a accurate appearance is arresting cannot be accomplished by a computer.I am abiding that in this computer age, calligraphers are not fading. They accept no shotage of work. If computers could do this work, why would bodies appear to us?
AN: Are you annoyed with your work? Did you advise your adeptness of calligraphy to others?SZ: There are hundreds of my acceptance active in Pakistan. I additionally accept hundreds of acceptance in countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen and others. Saudi calligraphers Bashar Alawa, Abdul Aziz Rasheedi, Badr Rasheedi and Abdul Hakeem are my students. The arch of Madinah University and King Fahd Qur’an Complex created a academy for acquirements calligraphy. I was a abecedary of this centermost for a connected time.
AN: How do you intend to accession acquaintance of Islamic calligraphy in Pakistan?SZ: I achievement to authorize a calligraphy academy in Pakistan. I am aggravating actual adamantine to get government support. I anticipate we crave such an academy in Pakistan so Islamic calligraphy becomes added important in society.There are abounding such institutes in Pakistan but they are not of all-embracing standard. Calligraphy can be abstruse no amount how old you are. The affair is, you should accept the interest, attraction and adeptness to apprentice calligraphy.The charge for an academy in Pakistan is important because it will be bigger for both apprentice and abecedary to be in one environment.The two important things you accept to apprentice in calligraphy are how to handle a calligraphy pen and alphabet style. I will additionally try to allure acclaimed Islamic and Arab calligraphers and calligraphy agents to Pakistan to advise in the academy.
AN: For you, actuality the calligrapher of Masjid Al-Nabawi is a absolutely big honor. Why didn’t you get any accolade at government akin in Pakistan?SZ: The affair is, I didn’t ambition for such things in my life. My day and night starts and ends with calligraphy. I accept lived about bisected of my activity in Madinah. I adulation to be abandoned and do not crave media attention.But bodies who accept calligraphy and additionally apperceive me acclaim my work. I don’t appetite to animadversion on those bodies who accept accustomed calligraphy awards by the Pakistani government.I am consistently annoyed with my work. I cannot acquisition the accord I get while accomplishing calligraphy in the Prophet’s Abbey anywhere abroad and I acknowledge Almighty Allah for that.
AN: What do you ambition to accomplish in the future?SZ: I accept so abounding projects that I will try to accomplish in the future. It will booty time to authorize my dream projects. Actuality the calligrapher of the Prophet’s Abbey is already a absolutely big honor.I appetite to do article absolutely appropriate for Pakistan that would allure bodies worldwide.All acclaimed calligraphers from Turkey, Iraq and the blow of the Islamic apple accept stored their calligraphy works in museums, mosques and art galleries. They are still befitting their history alive.Last year in Madinah the King Fahd Printing Press organized an all-embracing calligraphy antagonism featuring the assignment of about 600 calligraphers. The board appear me the champ of the best calligraphy work. This year in Riyadh and Jeddah, the Pakistani adept mission organized an Arabic calligraphy exhibition beneath the name “Alama Bil Qalam.” Prince Absolutist bin Salman, administrator of SCTA, purchased four of my calligraphy pieces.Saudi Arabia’s acclaimed calligrapher Nasir Mehmood visited this exhibition and referred to me as a teacher. My calligraphy assignment is additionally showcased at Sharjah Museum, UAE.
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