عربي

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Âl Saud –May Allah Protect him – His Excellency the Minister for Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance, General Supervisor of King Fahd Glorious Qur’an Printing Complex, Shaykh Salih ibn Abdul Aziz ibn Muammad Al al-Shaykh inaugurated on Tuesday in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah King Fahd Glorious Qur’an Printing Complex Forum for World Renowned Qur’an Calligraphers organized by the Complex with the participation of some of the best calligraphers who had the honour of writing the Noble Mushaf and scholars specializing in the Uthmanic Orthography, Arabic Calligraphy and Decoration.

A programme was held on this occasion which commenced with Quranic recitation. After that the General Secretary of the Complex, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Forum, Prof. Dr Muhammad Salim ibn Shudayyid al-Awfi spoke. In the beginning of his speech, he mentioned that the writing of the Noble Mushaf occupies a place of honour among the various Quranic Sciences. It received special attention since the time the writing of the Noble Mushaf began. The Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) selected a group of his noble companions known for their writing skills who were called Quranic Scribes, and the style of writing which they used for writing the Noble Mushaf was known as the Makkan Style of writing, formerly known as the Jazm style of writing.

He reviewed the history of the writing of the Glorious Quran since the time of the rightly-guided Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) till the 8th century AH. The General Secretary then said, ‘King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex, this great Centre which patronizes all the sciences which are related to the Glorious Quran, has the pleasure to organize this Forum in accordance with the directive of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Âl Saud –May Allah protect him-. There is also an exhibition accompanying the Forum displaying plaques and Mushafs prepared by 225 calligraphers of the Kingdom and other countries who were selected from among 278 calligraphers who applied for participation. There are also works of 20 government bodies and private establishments, three workshops and plaques prepared by 12 young gifted calligraphers. The exhibition also contains ancient and modern copies of the Glorious Quran, and some rare and invaluable exhibits. There is also a special wing containing academic theses and learned books dealing with Arabic Calligraphy and Islamic Decoration. There is also a wing containing writing tools and exercise books prepared by great calligraphers. In addition to all this, there is a documentary book and a catalogue documenting the CVs of the participants and specimens of their artistic creations and the mushafs they wrote.’

The chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Forum said that the Complex has brought out a special issue of the Journal of the Qur’anic Research & Studies containing research articles by university professors and calligraphers related to theme of the Forum. The Complex has also produced a documentary film titled Qâfilat al-Nur (Caravan of Light) which traces the origin of the writing of the Mushaf and its development till the present time.
The General Secretary further said, ‘King Fahd Complex strengthens bonds of cooperation with individuals and academic and cultural organizations sharing the same interest. It apprises the public of its role in lending its support to digital technologies related to the fonts for writing the Mushaf, and also of its efforts in incorporating some of the signs used in Uthmanic Orthography into Unicode.’
Dr al-Awfi thanked the rulers of this blessed country for their support for this towering institution, King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex and its activities. The first and foremost among these are the Custodian of the Two Mosques, King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz, HRH Prince Sultan ibn Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince and Deputy Premier, and HRH Prince Naif ibn Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister for Interior (May Allah protect them all). Dr al-Awfi also thanked HRH Prince Abdul Aziz ibn Majid ibn Abdul Aziz, Governor of Madinah Region for his interest in and attention to the Complex, and its activities and achievements, and also for his special interest in the Forum and his efforts to make sure that the Forum fulfills its aims and objectives.
Dr al-Awfi also thanked His Excellency the Minister, the General Supervisor of the Complex, Shaykh Salih ibn Abdul Aziz Âl al-Shaykh who closely followed the activities of the Forum and provided the committee with his useful directives.
After that, the documentary film titled Qâfilat al-Nûr (Caravan of Light) was screened. This film traces the origin of the writing of the Mushaf and its development till the present time.
This was followed by the speech of the Director General of Irsica, Dr Halit Eren who spoke on behalf of the participants of the Forum. He expressed his joy at the holding of this Forun in this holy land under the auspices of King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex and with the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Âl Saud (May Allah protect him).
He said, ‘This meeting of the calligraphers of the Noble Mushaf and those devoted to its service in various aspects in our Muslim world, coming together for the first time from the four corners of the world to meet here in the vicinity of the Mosque of the Prophet to present their creations and achievements in the service of Allah’s Book through consultations and exchange of experiences and technical know-how with a view to stepping into a wider sphere of activity.’
He praised the wonderful achievements that we see in this Complex, and experience its light in every nook and cranny of the world in the fields of Quranic research and studies, and the Prophetic Sunnah through its publications and recordings of a very high standard, and specially through its gifts of masahif and translations of the meanings of the Glorious Quran into different languages of the world presented to millions of hajis throughout the year and also during the haj season every year. All this is a matter pride and appreciation, and calls every one of us to pray that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala may bless these efforts and preserve those engaged in these activities for the sake of Islam and the Muslims.
The Director of Irsica also presented during his talk some of the achievements of the Centre in the service of the Glorious Book of Allah.

Dr Halit Eren concluded his speech on behalf of the participants with thanks to the Custodian of the Two Mosques, King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz, HRH Prince Sultan ibn Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince and Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Aviation and Inspector General, and HRH Prince Naif ibn Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister for Interior (May Allah protect them all) for their kind support for the Forum.
After this His Excellency the Minister for Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance Shaykh Salih ibn Abdul Aziz Âl al-Shaykh spoke. He commenced his speech with welcoming the audience representing the Kingdom and all other countries, those who had the honour of writing the Noble Mushaf, the Word of the Lord of the Worlds. He thanked them for their response to the invitation of the Complex to participate in the activities of this international Forum. He said that this is a clear indication that the outstanding members of this ummah are ever ready to return to their principles, to their fine arts and to the landmarks of their original civilization and culture.
His Excellency thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz (May Allah protect him) for his kind patronage of this international Forum, and for his kind gesture to appoint His Excellency to deputize for him at the inaugural meeting of this Forum. He said that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques pays great attention to spreading the Guidance of the Glorious Qur’an, and all the arts and sciences related to it. May Allah amply reward him for what he is doing for Islam and the Muslims.
His Excellency went to say:
Allah the Exalted has greatly honoured this ummah by granting them this revelation. He says, ‘We have sent down to you a Book wherein is your reminder. Will you not then understand? (Q21:10). Allah honoured this ummah, and made them an ummah worthy of being mentioned after it was a forgotten community with no mention of it anywhere. There were civilizations flourishing in its east and its west. But the heart of the world, the Arabian Peninsula had no importance, and no mention of it anywhere. It was a totally forgotten community. Allah honoured the Peninsula, honoured the Arabs, and the Arabic Language by revealing in it this Qur’an. He made this Quran a manifestation of the Arabic Tongue, and made its guidance for the whole of mankind. He made the Arabic language, the Arabic words, the Arabic letters and the Arabic system of writing the basis of the Islamic civilization and culture which will remain fresh and original to the end of history.
Allah revealed this Quran and promised to preserve it, and created the means that will contribute to its preservation. And of these is the attention paid to its writing. The Quran is a kitab, i.e. it is written, and it will be copied with the right hand. All these are indications that these means of preservation will receive the attention of the ummah. When the Islamic civilization was born, and came face to face with the former civilizations with their fine arts, both permissible and unlawful, it had to bring forth with the help of the Quran a basis for various things which may be placed in mosques and with which books may be written. Beauty according the nations that flourished before us was a variety of things which did not serve the soul, but served only the eyes, and perhaps the carnal desires. And Islam came out with its civilization and gave esthetics a new meaning, and new dimensions other than those known to the Greeks. And this new concept of beauty manifested itself in calligraphy, in decoration and in weaving, and also in other arts which provide nourishment to the soul in addition to soothing the eyes with their the beauty of sequence and symmetry.
His Excellency thanked all Mushaf calligraphers for their service to the Glorious Quran. Addressing them he said. ‘King Fahd Glorious Qur’an Printing Complex is indebted to all those who serve this Qur’an, it is indebted to all those who remind the ummah of its appreciation of its esthetic values, and the landmarks of its renaissance and civilization and culture. And the letter with which the Glorious Qur’an is written with the variety of its styles, the variety of its artistic and esthetic manifestations is the foundation of the identity of this ummah on the basis of its Qur’an. The identity of this ummah is founded on the basis of its devotion to the landmarks of its arts. There is no doubt that we have been invaded, the minds of the children of this ummah are being invaded and raided by artistic forms which do not provide any nourishment to the soul, nor does it pay any attention to its beauty. But Arabic Calligraphy provides the observer with beauty after beauty: beauty for the soul, beauty for the eyes, and beauty of feeling for the artist. And what a great benefit is to be derived when beauty confronts us from two sources: the beauty of the Qur’an with its guidance and the beauty of writing with its symmetry and sequence! Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. And the beauty found in all the universe is a manifestation of the Beautiful.’
His Excellency the Minister and the Supervisor General of King Fahd Glorious Quran Complex concluded his speech with words of thanks to all those involved in the organization of this unique international Forum, especially the members of the preparatory committee headed by Prof. Dr Muhammad Salim ibn Shudayyid al-Awfi, and the members of all other committees, and all the participants who will contribute to the success of this Forum with their lectures, symposia and research papers. He said, ‘I pray that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grants all of them success and guidance.’
At the end of the speech progamme, His Excellency received the Complex’s gift to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques which is an artistic plaque with writing in beautiful creative calligraphy. He also received a gift from Irsica, and a gift from the Algerian calligrapher, Muhammad Hamman al-Shibl, the youngest calligrapher participating in the Forum.

After this His Excellency, accompanied by the OIC General Secretary, Prof. Dr Akmal Oğlu and the public, went to venue of the Calligraphers’ Exhibition and declared it open. He also declared open the other exhibition housing exhibits of government and private establishments participating in the Forum.

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