Srinagar: Walnut wood calligraphy of Surah Al-Inshirah by master-craftsman Jalaludin Sheikh is breaking internet in Kashmir.
Experts say walnut wood Quranic calligraphy was dying and finding masters of this art was not easy.
Sheikh, who is in his sixties and hails from Eidgah area of downtown Srinagar, said writing an entire surah of the Holy Quran required expertise and finding walnut wood of a certain size too was not easy.
“I have been doing this work for the past 40 years and thanks to Allah, there is a huge demand for walnut work. However, as far as walnut wood Quranic calligraphy is concerned, not all can do this. Carving an entire surah requires a lot of expertise and it is a ‘single-hand work’. A particular individual who makes it only knows how to go about it. And finding walnut wood of this size too is not easy. It took me a month to complete this and the diameter of this particular piece is around two and a half feet. Who else will do it? I have not seen any other craftsman doing this,” Sheikh told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said he had taken inspiration from Indonesian craftsmen while finishing the work.
“I took inspiration from Indonesian craftsmen as they are experts in Quranic calligraphy of this sort. Iranian artists are masters too but their Arabic inscriptions have a Persian touch. Nevertheless, they too have marvellous designs,” said Sheikh.
Art lover Showkat Baba said he went to meet the artist as soon as he came across the viral post of Sheikh’s work.
“Usually, one will not come across walnut wood calligraphy of Quranic surahs. One may come across the name of Allah or His attributes but I had not seen an entire surah carved out of walnut wood before. When I came to know of this, I found out his address and personally went to meet this master-craftsman,” Baba told The Kashmir Monitor.
Art Researcher Wiqar Bashir said art-works of this kind were only available on order.
“Craftsmen that can do Quranic calligraphy of this sort on walnut wood are rare to find. An artist has to be careful with ‘zer, zabar’ and other ‘harakat’. These works are priceless and are only made on request. Art lovers usually place a request for this sort of work after paying an advance,” Wiqar told The Kashmir Monitor.