Afghan artist makes world’s largest Quran masterpiece

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KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was hosted by Hakim Nasir Khusraw Balkhi Cultural Center this evening to visit the world’s largest Holy Quran created by an Afghan calligrapher with his team, reports Afghan media. 

Ghani was joined by several prominent politicians including the former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the prominent acting provincial governor of Balkh province, Ata Mohammad Noor. The composition work was started in September 2004 and was completed in September 2009, with at least two years of continuous work for the shafting and archiving work.

The calligraphy work has been done on 218 pages, having a dimension of 228 cm length and 155 cm width. All the 30 parts of the Holy Quran has been done in 30 different designs. Afghan calligrapher Mohammed Sabeer Khedri Hussani, 52, and nine student apprentices spent five years working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, to create the enormous masterpiece. Hussani, a devout Muslim, tells CBS News it was a labor of love, and he is proud of his accomplishment.

The lavish holy book, with pages measuring more than seven feet tall and five feet wide, has been certified as the world’s largest Quran by the Afghan Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, according to the cultural center which houses it.

It weighs 1,102 pounds, and has 218 pages of cloth and paper bound inside an embossed leather cover made from the skins of 21 goats. Hussani says the book cost a million dollars to create, and was paid for by Islamic spiritual leader Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi.

The Quran combines gold script with millions of tiny colorful dots, forming highly symbolic decorations around the giant pages. “I wanted to use as many tasteful colors as possible to make this holy book look beautiful,” Hussani says. The book was completed in 2009, but a room at the cultural center had to be built to house it.

—Originally published The News

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