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INSIGHT &
INSPIRATIONS
 

Learn Quran Through Colors

The progenitor of the concept “Learn Qura’an through Colours”, Amar Raza, a Lieutenant Colonel in Pakistan Army Aviation has been rendering his services in imparting Qura’anic teachings through paintings. Born in 1965 in Lahore, Amar possessed inherent qualities and passion for the art of calligraphy, drawing and painting from a very early age. He joined Military College Jehlum at the age of thirteen; the college afforded him a cordial environment, suited to nourish his artistic talent and temperament and he received immense admiration from his teachers and fellow students for what he expressed through his fascinating drawings and paintings.

Despite having being endowed with natural talent, great passion and acumen for painting, he did not get an opportunity to get any formal training in the subject. Academically however, he succeeded in obtaining a Masters in Islamiyat privately, which helped him comprehend the spiritual message of the Qura’an, this enhanced his inspiration for expressionistic translations.

In the light these facts it can therefore be rightly said that it was solely due to self-devotion and dedication for learning the Holy Qura’an that Lt. Col. Amar Raza was able to illustrate its verses and exquisitely execute the complete Qura’an. With the help of translations (Matalib and Mafaheem) and illustrations (Tafaseer) of the Arabic text of the Holy Qura’an, it took him over 16 years to complete this colossal task that comprised 200 large and small size canvases.

Although numerous artists, like Sadeqain, Hanif Ramay and others have used Qura’anic verses in their paintings, no one has ever worked on the complete Qura’an. This unique achievement distinguishes Amar from other artists, for which he certainly deserves surpassing credit.

Amar Raza has done a great service to the Islamic world by painting the verses of the Holy Qura’an in such a lucid and expressionistic manner that it will always be remembered as one of the unique historic achievements in the art world.

To serve the basic purpose of disseminating the teachings of the Holy Qura’an, Amar laid the concept of “Learn Qura’an Through Colours” and held a number of exhibitions at venerable public places, educational institutions, art galleries etc. in Pakistan and abroad. No doubt he is earning a great name for his country. Since launching his first exhibition in 1998, there has been an ever growing demand of people yearning to witness his work of Qura’anic calligraphy. Besides Pakistan, exhibitions of his work were also held in Britain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and United States of America. Amar’s concept of “Learn Qura’an Through Colours” has gained immense popularity and astounding applauds by art lovers, critics, sages and the press.

Amar Raza also has the credit of preparing panels of art calligraphies for the library of Command and Staff College, Quetta, in appreciation of which the president of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf awarded him with 100,000/, which he donated to the “Quran and Art Foundation & Research Center”. His work is also being included in the library of Masjid-e-Nabvi, among unique works on Quran attempted in last 1400 years. Amar’s paintings will be included as the 21st century specimen, which is a rare honor for Pakistan indeed.

The positive and healthy response of his exhibitions has encouraged Amar to extend his elevated ambitions manifold. Currently he is engaged in reproductions of the complete set of his art work of Qura’anic calligraphy in the form of a book (Separay); the specimen of the 30th Separa has already been completed and printed with translations in Urdu and English. He is also working on converting his work into animated audio-visual form, further enhancing it with Qir’at of the Arabic text and translations in different languages on CDs.

Amar advises teachers especially those teaching in Madaris, to be cautious not to forcibly impart Islamic teachings on the students. He feels that students should be taught in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, rather than an oppressing one. He advises teachers to use innovative techniques to gain the students interest.

On his visit to Pakistan, a renowned scholar from Kent University remarked that Amar Raza’s work is rich with meaning. Amar’s emphasis on the use of colors rather than following strict geometric intricacies of lines is something that is very original, spontaneous and thought provoking. The colors invite the viewer to develop an urge to learn Quranic paintings and colors.

Translation

In the name of Allah, most Gracious most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah.
Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds.
Most Gracious, most Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgment.
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Show us the straight way.
The way of those on whom Thou have Bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray.

 

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