Holy Embroidery! Quran gets all stitched up
For Illustrative Purposes (Getty Images/Amir Mukhtar)
Dubai: It’s unique, it’s magical and it’s monumental. A Syrian businessman in his 50s has come up with a new form of art that’s a blend of calligraphy and embroidery and, interestingly, he has used his skills to script the world’s first Quran entirely in embroidery.
Without the aid of technology or any margins and lines, Mohammad Mahir Hadri uses an ordinary sewing machine, silk yarn, velvet sheets and his extremely skilful hands to create Arabic words, verses from the Quran and calligraphic designs.
“This is the first time I’m exhibiting the entire Quran. Previously my works have been exhibited in several countries but only in parts. I m really grateful to Almighty Allah for bestowing this talent on me which I could use in His cause,” said Hadri of his unique ability.
From two-metre long frames displaying chapters of the Quran and wall hangers with words of wisdom to scrolls and booklets containing selections of the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) sayings, Hadri has come up with a wide range of work that demonstrate his skills. But the tome of all his efforts is the 12-volume reproduction of the Quran done in embroidery and velvet that took eight years to make.
“I realised my potential around 14 years ago and started creating small items like wall hangers, scrolls and booklets. When friends and family saw the work they appreciated and encouraged me to do more. I thought there was no better thing to try my skills with than the words of Allah and hence I began my work on reproducing the Quran,” said the artist, who ran an embroidery and garments business before the war broke out in Syria.
A trained calligrapher and embroider, Hadri creates his works in five popular scripts – Diwani, Sulus, Riqah, Naskh and Osmani – and he has done his magnum opus in the Osmani script which is the most popular of all.
The embroidered Quran contains 426 pages, weighs 200 kilogrammes and is worth 5 million euros (Dh24 million).
The artwork, which is verified for authenticity and approved by three government-appointed Syrian scholars, is the only copy of the Quran in the world done in this unique style and Hadri is willing to offer it to any interested art lover.
“I created it because I wanted to do something new and different and I spent my own money to fund the project. My idea was not to sell it when I created it but if anybody is willing to offer its true worth, I may think of striking a deal,” said Hadri, who also sells small items he has created such as scrolls, booklets and wall hangers.
Asked if he is planning to impart his talent to others who are willing to learn, he said: “What I have is a gift from Allah. The work requires a lot of hard work, patience and dedication and it won’t be easy for anybody to learn but if somebody is willing then why not.”
The artwork, along with a live demonstration of Hadri’s skills can be seen at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce every day between 10pm and 12 midnight until the end of this month.
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