Arshid Soliha of Kashmir seeks to popularize Quranic calligraphy

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Srinagar, Feb.11 (ANI): Though the modern-day youth is fascinated to the use of smses and E-mails to communicate, but Arshid Soliha in Kashmir has kept the charm of traditional Quranic calligraphy alive with his devotion for this great art form.

Soliha is a master of calligraphy art in Srinagar and wants to promote calligraphy on a global scale.

"I didn't think about whether I would receive appreciation or not. I left all those thoughts behind and just did my work. I want to try and promote Islamic art across the world," says Arshid Soliha.

In 2002, Soliha was the first calligrapher to represent India at the International holy Quran Exhibition in Iran, where he competed with artists from 26 other countries and won an award for his work.

Soliha tells how the exposure he received in Iran offered him an opportunity to showcase his art across the world. He describes his paintings as a fusion of Kashmiri landscapes paired with Quranic calligraphy.

"This has been passed down to me from my father and my grandfather. I've always done calligraphy but as a professional artist, I thought I would combine Quranic calligraphy with landscapes. One of the reasons to paint a beautiful landscape of Kashmir with calligraphy was to make my work universal," said Soliha.

Quranic calligraphy is a form of artistic writing using the Arabic script. It dates back to the seventh century when calligraphy was written on parchments or papyrus to make copies of the Islamic holy book, the Quran.

Calligraphic art is prominent in Islamic societies. By Afzal Butt (ANI)

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