Special Reports

Biggest-size Qur’an made in Tonk

Jaipur: It is said that in Afghanistan there is a large-sized Qur’an which has 218 pages, with all the 30 Paras. In this Qur’an each Para is written in 30 different calligraphic designs. It is said to have taken 3 years to complete.

In India one Haji Sher Khan, a businessman of Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan, thought of preparing a Qur’an of a much bigger size than the one in Afghanistan. Accordingly he ordered the preparation of a Qur’an of much bigger size. This task was given to a family of expert calligraphers of Tonk (Rajasthan) which claims that it has prepared the largest size of the Qur’an in the world. About a dozen persons, mostly members of the family of Maulana Jameel Ahmad Tonki, including his brother Ghulam Muhammad who is himself a famous calligrapher, Maulana Tonki’s three sons, his wife and his two daughters worked on the Qur’an’s design as suggested by Khurshid and Zafar Alam, two famous artist.

The completed Qur’an was displayed at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Arabic Persian Research Institute in Tonk, a Rajasthan city which was formerly a state. The size of this Qur’an is 10.5’X7.6’ and its weight is 260 kgs. All the 30 Paras of the Qur’an are written in 30 pages. This means that one entire para is written on a single page. The writing is Khat-e Sulz or Nashk, Arabic language script which is used in Makkah. There are 41 lines in each page and these are written in such a way that every line begins with Alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet (and also of Urdu and Persian alphabets).

In order to give this Book (The Qur’an) a long life, Jaipur’s famous Sanganeri hand-made paper and German ink has been used for writing this Qur’an. Sanganeri paper has a life of 400 years, according to curator Waqar Ahmad but, according to him, if proper care is taken to preserve this paper, it can very well last for about one thousand years. Though Maulana Jameel Ahmad Tonki has not disclosed the price (and does not want it disclosed), it reportedly cost about Rs 15 lakh. According to Maulana Jameel Tonki, who is a translator of Persian language in Maulana Azad Arabic Persian Research Institute, this Qur’an was completed in two years.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2014 on page no. 13

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