Mus-haf of Qatar a model for others to follow
November 24 2020 12:49 AM

Ubaidah Salih al-Banki, the calligrapher of the Mus-haf of Qatar, has said that the Qur’an of Qatar has become a model for others to follow its style, especially with regard to the beginning and ending on pages and the distribution of linear density there.
In an interview with Arrayah 10 years after the inauguration of the Mus-haf of Qatar, al-Banki said that “the Qur’an of Qatar represents an artistic masterpiece in drawing, tuning and writing verses, as strict conditions had been set before the winning calligrapher to write it to the extent that there is no difference or change in the shape of the letters on all pages of the Qur’an.”
He pointed out that he entered an international competition in which 120 calligraphers participated from the Islamic world to write the Mus-haf of Qatar. After selection, two calligraphers were chosen to write the Holy Qur’an completely. It took him 5,000 hours to write. 
He explained that he is currently working on writing an artistic and museum copy of the Noble Qur’an, similar to the copies written by the famous Ottoman calligrapher Ahmed Qurah Hassari. 
Ten years after the launch of the Mus-haf of Qatar, al-Banki talked about his memories while writing it.
“I spent about 5,000 working hours writing the Mus-haf of Qatar. Each page took eight hours of continuous work, as the issue was not only a writing process, but was preceded by a study to distribute words in each line and take into account the consistency between all pages of the Qur’an. The Ministry of Endowments had set strict conditions for writing and I had to adhere to them, especially with regard to the endings of verses and the spaces between words, which forced me to distribute the linear density so that there was no compact or flat place on a single page. I had been writing at night to take advantage of the calm and serenity,” he said.
Al-Banki recalled the honour of receiving the Sash of Merit from His Highness the Amir of Qatar at the time of the inauguration of the Qur’an. He said: “This is a medal of high honour that I am proud of.” “Arabic calligraphy is an engineering process that includes strict rules and represents a hint of the soul to the extent that it sometimes reflects the psychological state of the calligrapher. If the calligrapher was happy, for example, this would undoubtedly be reflected in the calligraphy, and if he was anxious it would also be reflected in it,” he said.
On the countries which are most interested in Arabic calligraphy, al-Banki said: “the Turkish city of Istanbul is the capital of Arabic calligraphy. Turkey is very interested in Arabic calligraphy, and the Turks have a great love for it. Turkish calligraphers are masters of Arabic calligraphy, and the majority of international competitions for Arabic calligraphy are held in Turkey.”

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