First verse of Quran, in 6,000 different styles


New Delhi : His inclination towards calligraphy was realized way back in school, when he frequently labeled the notebooks of his classmates with their names written in beautiful artistic forms.

Support TwoCircles

However, for 60-year old Hashim Akhtar Naqvi, an architect by profession and calligrapher by interest, the inclination became a life-long devotion when he took upon the task of writing the first verse of the Holy Quran in as many stylised forms as possible.

At last count, the Lucknow based artist had already written the verse in over 6000 styles. What more! His innovative faculties are still as enthusiastic as they were when he started the work, ensuring that he can smoothly go on to add more to his stock.

Recognised by the Limca Book of records for his unique venture, the collection of the artist was recently displayed in the capital at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, as part of the programme, ‘Aqeedat ke Rang’, an exhibition of expressions of devotion in Islam.

“When I started blending the verse into artistic designs, I felt I would hardly be able to proceed beyond 8 or 10 forms. But the ideas kept coming and the verse kept repeating itself through my fingers until there was a collection of over 6000 styles, and the venture has not yet ended,” says Naqvi.

The Arabic verse, “Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim”, translated as, “In the Name of Allah, most beneficient, most merciful”, which is recited by Muslims before performing any major or minor task is also represented by the number 786.