Calligrapher who worked on Holy Quran for 12 years passes away

874063By Mai Al Abria — MUSCAT: Dec 20: The Omani calligrapher of the Holy Quran, Salim Khalfan al Balushi, (pictured) died at the age of 56. He had spent more than 12 years writing the Holy Quran. He became interested in this art since childhood. It all began when his brother, who lived in Kuwait, sent him a box engraved with some phrases, which sparked his interest in calligraphy.
Those days, there were no regular schools or institutes that taught calligraphy. They studied in tents at Al Sahel in Qurayat. During his studies, he practised calligraphy. In 1974, he joined the Armed Forces School in Ghala. After that, he joined the Royal Guard of Oman. In the eighties, the calligrapher received a scholarship for studying new types of Arabic calligraphy in Egypt. After returning to the Sultanate, he founded an Arabic calligraphy institute in Muscat, but had to close it because of his poor health.
Al Balushi began writing the Holy Quran in 1993 assisted by a Sudanese teacher in the institute and a three-member team. He had the approval from His Eminence, the Grand Mufti of the Sultanate.
He began the composition, revision and management, while Omar Kamal al Qudoosi wrote the Quranic text. Mohammed al Qasmi embellished the holy book — a journey that lasted more than 12 years. The original Quran consists of 604 pages and weighs 25 kg (75 x 55 cm). Only three copies of the book are available. The original is available at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. One of the three copies has been gifted to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and another to Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said. The third copy is at his home. Al Balushi’s children are continuing his legacy.