Visitors to Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah praise Saudi efforts to serve Islam

A number of visitors at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah have praised Saudi leaders for their efforts to serve worshippers. (SPA)
Updated 30 May 2019

Visitors to Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah praise Saudi efforts to serve Islam

  • Visitors praised security measures, comfort facilities and the guidance they received during their journeys

MADINAH: Visitors to the Kingdom have praised the efforts of the Saudi government to serve Islam and Muslims around the world, through development projects to improve and preserve the Two Holy Mosques in the cities of Makkah and Madinah.

A number of visitors at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah praised the efforts of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to improve services provided to visitors and Umrah pilgrims.

Visitors praised security measures, comfort facilities and the guidance they received during their journeys.

Bilal Bouziane, a visitor from Algeria, called Saudi Arabia the “beacon of Islam and peace for the whole world.”

Jaafar Ahmed, from Sudan, commended the efforts of the Kingdom in the service of Islam, Muslims and humanity, pointing to the 14th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, currently being held in Makkah, as proof of its dedication to modern, tolerant and moderate religion.

Salih Abdulmajid from the UK praised the government’s keenness to improve services provided to visitors, as well as the implementation of large projects to ease the performance of holy rituals, while Ghulam Murtada, from Pakistan, lauded the continuing expansion of the Two Holy Mosques to allow more Muslims to visit the holy sites.

More than 1,300 volunteers are providing assistance around the clock to pilgrims at the Prophet’s Mosque. SPA Madinah


Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. The 86-year-old is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. (Supplied)
Updated 15 August 2020

Uthman Taha: ‘I wish the verses about heaven would never end’

  • The Syrian Qur’an writer, regarded as one of the world’s finest calligraphers, is on the road to recovery following his recent hospital admission

MAKKAH: Syrian calligrapher Uthman Taha is in good health and recovering at home after a 13-day stay in a hospital where he was treated for what he and his wife initially suspected to be the novel coronavirus COVID-19, although he ultimately tested negative for the virus.

Taha is the official calligrapher of the Qur’an at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. His wife, Fatimah Umm Al-Nour, said Taha had a chest infection during his stay at the hospital and stressed that he had been “careful and took all the precautionary measures” and that he had not left the house for five months before his hospital visit.
The 86-year-old calligrapher is still in the recovery phase, his wife said, and has been advised to rest and to avoid stress. She praised his doctors, who have consistently checked in with the couple since Taha returned home, and added that she has tested negative for COVID-19 too.
Taha is regarded as one of the most skilled calligraphers in the Arab world. Al-Nour told Arab News that he continues to practice calligraphy daily.
Taha, who has written the Qur’an 12 times at the King Fahd Complex, was born in 1934 and attended school in Aleppo. His father was also a skilled calligrapher, who used the Ruq’ah script, and Taha studied with several of Syria’s finest calligraphers including Mohammed Al-Mawlawi, Mohammed Al-Khatib, Hussein Al-Turki, and Ibrahim Al-Rifai.
When he moved to Damascus for university, Taha began to learn other scripts, including Thuluth, Naskh (in which he is now considered a master), and Farsi. He received his calligraphy certificate from master calligrapher Hamed Al-Amadi in 1973.
He arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1988, and began work as a calligrapher at the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah. He writes the Qur’an in the Ottoman script, and copies of his work have been distributed throughout the Islamic world.
What makes Taha’s work unique is that each page of the Qur’an that he writes concludes at the end of a verse. The secret, he explains, is to simplify the words — which is the origin of the Kufic script in which the Qur’an has been written since the days of Prophet Muhammad’s companions — keeping the letters close to one another.
Taha spent years perfecting his technique of evenly distributing the words in every line so that the space between the lettering is consistent throughout every page of every book, which means eliminating many of the script combinations that make such consistency difficult.
He explained to Arab News that when he is working on his Qur’an calligraphy he is transported: “When I begin writing the Holy Qur’an, I resort to solitude to allow myself to be invested in the verses and their interpretation, forgetting about the world around me,” he said. “I wish the verses about Jannah (heaven) would never end, and my hand trembles when I write the verses about Jahannam (hell).”