Beware of rift creators, Islam image distorters

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais (L) and Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh. (SPA)
Updated 12 June 2016

Beware of rift creators, Islam image distorters

MAKKAH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has warned against fueling the fires of sedition in Islamic societies and distorting the image of Islam as a religion of bloodshed and violence.

Similar views have been expressed by imam of the Grand Mosque Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, who urged Muslims not to follow lies and rumors spread by those working to fan terrorism and sectarianism and exploit religion for political ambitions.
Al-Asheikh said society should seek unity and reunification, and that the curse of God awaits those who attempt to encourage disorder. “All Muslims should seek to reform and reconcile their societies as per the words of God which call for making peace between two battling parties of believers.”
He said cooperation with the enemy to weaken the nation or incite bloodshed and violence is “criminal behavior.”
People of Islam and the Sunnah must collaborate with their rulers to maintain their identity, security and stability against all those who incite fitnah (evil), said the grand mufti.
Al-Sheikh said the danger of takfeer is that it is detrimental not only to the community, but to Islam in general as it instills enmity and hatred.
“Accusing someone of kufr before inviting them toward Islam may make them more resistant and unaccepting.”
Al-Sudais, meanwhile, urged media men and writers to abide by a professional ethical charter to safeguard the principles and values of Islam and counter the biased media campaigns against Islam and the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, and the Holy Qur’an.


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).”