By Shoeb Khan,
Ajmer: The annual congregation at the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinudin Chishti’s mausoleum brings millions of devotees from around the world to Ajmer every year.
This year, apart from the usual spiritual pursuit, the devotees have something more to look forward to – the biggest hand-written Quran in the world, which was put on display at the dargah premises on Sunday.
The man behind the record-breaking Quran, Najmul Hasan Chishti, 56, said it was the result of unwavering spirit and nine years of hard work. “It’s the biggest Quran in terms of size and font, which was compiled in one volume,” Chishti said, adding, “It has 63 pages and the size of each page is 60×88 inch[m 1,5×2,23].”
Chishti, a Sufi research scholar and a khadim at the dargah, said the Quran represents the true essence of Quranic calligraphy. “I feel honoured after accomplishing the gigantic feat,” he said, adding that every page has an average of 40 lines.
“Each page has a colourful border around the text, featuring flowers of different sizes and seasons,” he said, adding, “At the beginning of each surah (verse), the word ‘Bismillah’ (in the name of God) is written in a different calligraphic styles, which go back to the Prophet Mohammed’s time,” he said.
He said the Guinness Book of World Records has also expressed interest in the Quran. “A Guinness team is likely to reach Ajmer soon to verify our claim,” he said.
Chishti said he began his professional life as an Urdu teacher in a government school, but gave it up in 2003 for the devotional endeavours.
“Thereafter, I dedicated my life to this Quran,” Chishti, who is also a Urdu poet and writer, said.
He said the moral support of his family was crucial in accomplishing the extraordinary feat.
“My family supported me with creative ideas to enrich the style of writing. Valuable suggestions from my daughters helped me in coming up with innovative styles of calligraphy,” he said.