Khan Shahnawaz Malhi, who retired in 2014, said he is the first artist to have weaved the entire holy book with thread on pencils, a technique he learnt from prison inmates during his years as a serving policeman,
The retired Pakistani policeman painstakingly went on to knit the whole scripture, all 114 chapters and 6,236 verses of the Qur’an on about 8,000 pencils, culminating in a project that is now on display at the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi. The exhibition will run through March 19.
Malhi, a longtime cop in the southern Sindh province who retired in 2014, said he is the first artist to have weaved the entire holy book with thread on pencils, a technique he learned from prison inmates during his years as a serving policeman.
Completing the project took up to eight hours of painstaking labor each day over a decade, and 3 million Pakistani rupees ($16,765) in donations from family and friends. Malhi says he even sold his house and moved into a smaller one to use the leftover funds to support the project.
“This is the first Quran in the world which has been weaved,” he told Arab News at the opening of his exhibition on Saturday. “It’s the outcome of 3 million rupees and hard work of 10 years.”
Malhi called the technique an “invention” in the calligraphy form: “In it, only thread and pencil are being used and the fingers have weaved it … you neither need an ink, nor a pen, or paper and nor a piece of cloth.”
He wrote the word “Bismillah,” or “In the Name of Allah,” followed by Al-Fatiha, the first surah of the holy book. When he was a decade later weaving some of the last paragraphs of the Quran, he decided he would use the technique to weave the entire book on pencils.
Reference: Arab News
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