Men and women who created the World's biggest handwritten Quran

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 19-03-2024
Maulana Jameel Ahmad Tonky (Second from right) showing the Quran at Rabindra Manch
Maulana Jameel Ahmad Tonky (Second from right) showing the Quran at Rabindra Manch


Farhan Israeli/Jaipur

Some 12 years ago, Haji Sher Khan, a wealthy businessman in Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan, wanted to create a unique Quran, the holy book of Islam. He contacted Maulana Jameel Ahmad Tonky, a famous calligrapher, with the idea.

A team of 10 persons was cobbled and their two-year work led to the creation of the world’s largest handwritten Holy Quran!

The book weighs 260 kg, is about 10.5 feet wide and 7.6 feet long, and can be lifted only by 20-25 people. It requires two persons to turn its page and those keen to read it have to use a ladder!

Maulana Jameel Ahmed claims it’s the world’s largest and heaviest hand-written Holy Quran. “Its design is not made by computer but by hand. It is written on handmade paper which is made in Jaipur and Sanganeri,” he told Awaz-the voice as his manuscript of the holy book was on display at the city’s Rabindra Manch, a government-funded cultural center on the occasion of its diamond jubilee.

Maulana Jameel Ahmad and Haji Sher Khan 

It took two years for Maulana Jameel and six members of his family - brother Ghulam Muhammad, three sons, wife, and two daughters – to complete the mission to give what should be registered as the world’s biggest handwritten Quran. The family followed the instructions on the design proposed by Khurshid and Zafar Alam.

Maulana Jameel who works as a translator of the Persian language at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Arabic Persian Research Institute (APRI), Tonk, is a master calligrapher and so is his brother 

Ghulam Mohammad. The brothers did the calligraphy on Sanganeri paper with German ink, while, Mualana’s wife and sons cut and folded the paper and daughters filled the floral designs on each page with colors.

The title 'Quran-e-Kareem' is inscribed in silver on the cover.

The magnificent manuscript was carted out of Tonk for the first time to Jaipur for the four-day display. People from far-off places came to see it,

The rare manuscript is permanently kept on display at the APRI, an institute dedicated to studies and research on the Arabic and Persian languages.

Maulana Jameel Ahmad Tonky addressing students of Banasthali School at APRI

All the 30 paras of the Qur’an are written on 30 pages. This means that one para is written on a single page. Its cover has silver corners and golden plates and the Quran can be opened and closed with Brass hinges.

Jameel and his brother used Khat-e Sulz also or Nashk Arabic language script which is used in Makkah. There are 41 lines on each page and these are written in such a way that every line begins with Alif, the first letter of the Arabic, Persian, and Urdu languages.

Maulana Jameel said the paper for the Quran was made by joining 18 standard pages of Sanganeri handmade paper.

According to curator Waqar Ahmad, Sanganeri paper has a life of 400 years,. However, if it is taken care of and well preserved, the paper can last for about 1,000 years. 

Though the cost of the project is a secret it is reported to be around Rs 15 lakh. 

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So far, Afghanistan had the distinction of having the world’s largest handwritten Qur’an of 218 pages. In this all the 30 paras are written in 30 different calligraphic designs. This manuscript was completed in three years.