Haj sermon calls for unity as pilgrims fill Arafat

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Pilgrims gather on Mount Rahma in Arafat. (SPA)
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Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais
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Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al-Ashiekh
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Makkah Gov. Prince Kahlid Al-Faisal
Updated 11 September 2016

Haj sermon calls for unity as pilgrims fill Arafat

ARAFAT: Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, imam of the Grand Mosque, led the multitude of pilgrims gathered in Arafat, in prayers after delivering the Haj sermon.
Delivering the wide-ranging sermon, Al-Sudais called on muslim leaders to work together to solve the many issues that are confronting the Ummah.
The imam said that “terrorism doesn’t belong to any religion or nation.” He also asked pilgrims to avoid politics during the Haj.
Al-Sudais gave the sermon this year instead of the Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al-Ashiekh after he opted out due to health reasons. Al-Ashiekh sat on a chair as he listened to Al-Sudais encourage pilgrims to benefit from their time at Arafat and the rest of their Haj.
He urged the unity of the muslims and warned about deviant ideologies reminding parents, teachers and scholars the responsibilities they have in nurturing the young away from deceptive messages.
Makkah Gov. Prince Kahlid Al-Faisal sat with worshipers as he listened to the sermon in which Al-Sudais thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the organizers of the Haj for their efforts in making the Haj easy for pilgrims.
The sheikh said that scholars are the inheritors of the prophets and that they should speak with truth and be a good example to the people.
Al-Sudais also asked those in the media to show responsible reporting by avoiding “sensationalism and rumours” and using their efforts to aid unity. 


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).”