Bangladeshi youth records by making the world’s biggest hand-written Quran

South AsiaBangladeshi youth records by making the world's biggest hand-written Quran

By Md. Kamruzzaman

Bangladesh’s remote Southwestern coastal district of Satkhira, around 300 kilometers away from the capital Dhaka by road, is one of the country’s most climate-vulnerable regions frequently hit by cyclones, floods, storms, and other natural disasters. Fishing and agriculture are the main sources of livelihood for nearly 2.2 million people in the distant district. However, with the alarming spike in salinity due to the climate change impacts, thousands of people are switching to other professions and migrating to Dhaka or other urban areas.

   

To meet the minimal basic needs and survival, most of the people of the district have to struggle a lot and the prevailing economic recession and skyrocketing price hikes of daily commodities have made their lives and livelihoods harder. Alongside this long-prevailing narrative, Satkhira is now being recognized as the place of the world’s largest hand-written holy Quran, the sacred divine book of the Muslims from Allah through the last prophet Muhammad (SAW) to guide mankind.

The maker of this largest hand-written copy of the Quran is Md. Habibur Rahman, a small local fish trader. He has never been educated in any Islamic seminary. But this youth has made such a mammoth task after years-long hard labor and huge investment. What inspired him to take on such a challenge?

“After late night Tahajjud prayer, I suddenly dreamed that I was offered to be Imam at a prayer in the holy Qabah (Masjid al-Haram). When I shared it with a reliable religious leader, he replied to me that Almighty Allah might make me do something good. After a few days, I started writing the Quran one night. I did not imagine that it would be the world’s largest hand-written Quran,” Habibur told this journalist with an emotional tune.

– A challenging work

It was not at all easy to make such a record living in a remote village in Bangladesh. It took 6 years, 8 months, and 23 days to complete this epic work. Habibur also had to spend more than one million local Bangladeshi Taka or above 10,000 US dollars to do it. Moreover, every month he spends Taka 5,000 on the rent of a house for preserving this big Quran.

Habibur said that as a generally educated person, it was almost impossible for him. But he never loses hope. “I took the help of the printed version of six Qurans. I checked every single letter of those six printed versions and then wrote in my book. Thus I proceeded with my work. I spent nights and days with little rest. I was determined to end this work at any cost as I thought that my almighty Allah had chosen me for this work and it was a great mercy to me from Allah,” he said adding that in writing people usually say word by word but in his case it was letter by letter.

The length of this Quran is 11 feet, or 132 inches, or 335 centimeters. When closed the width of it is 8 feet and 8 inches means 104 inches or 264 centimeters. When it’s open fully its width stands at 528 centimeters or 208 inches. The weight of this Quran is 405 kilograms. To write this holy book 660 permanent markers of four colors were used. The margin designs were done with Allah’s name “Allahu” and nearly 400,000 times the word “Allahu” was used. The total number of pages of the book is 142.

– A great wonder to visitors

Habibur occasionally places it at a nearby mosque to exhibit for visitors. Local people as well as many others from various parts of the country gather in the district’s Palashpur area just to see the biggest hand-written Quran with their own eyes. After watching it many expressed their ecstasy and thanked the writer for making a world record with their holy book.

Ahmad Shah Masud, a resident of Palashpur, said that they were lucky to have such a record in their locality. He added: “There are many people across the world in different parts. They can know about this largest hand-written piece of the holy Quran through media, but can’t directly see and touch it. But we are so lucky that we can do it. Whenever I think about it I get so emotional.”

People of all ages and all walks of life gather to see this largest hand-written copy of the Quran. Even aged females from distant areas also come to see it. The people of this South Asian Muslim-majority nation of nearly 170 million people are very emotional about the holy book of Al Quran. Most of them are not highly educated or conscious of the rules and regulations of their religion. But it does not mean that there are lack of love for the religion as the position of the holy Quran is above all. During different incidents of insulting the Quran in some countries in the past hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Bangladesh came out of the streets like storms and took part in demonstrations protesting the defamatory act to the Quran.

Remote Bangladeshi youth records by making world's biggest hand-written Quran

Nearly 80-year-old Shahida Begum came to Palashpur from a nearby village on foot just to see the biggest hand-written Quran. She stood at the corner of the mosque leaning over the shoulder of another one and looked at the Quran even without twinkling. She said that it was a matter of great pleasure for her to see such a big Quran. “I feel very good to see it. My heart is filled with peace now. It’s such a feeling that I can’t express in words.”

– Dreams for exhibition for global visitors

Habibur Rahman now dreams of exhibiting this Quran in such a way that people from all over the world can see it. For that purpose, his request to the concerned authorities of any Muslim country like Turkiye, Egypt, or any Arabian state to take this Quran and place it in their museums so that it can be easily shown before the global community. “It should be placed in the proper place so that people can see it. I have wished for a long time that it would be preserved by any Arabian country for the global exhibition. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Turkiye can do it,” Habibur said.

Remote Bangladeshi youth records by making world's biggest hand-written Quran

Local Islamic scholars also feel that such a Quran is a message for the whole world about the significance and dignity of this holy book. If it is available to people across the world, people will be attracted to it and study this holy book. Thus it will play a very effective role in preaching Islam and the divine speeches of the holy Quran.

Hafez Mohammad Shahidul Islam, the Imam (leader) of the Palashpur Jame Mosjid, the local mosque where Habibur occasionally places the biggest hand-written holy Quran for public exhibition, told this journalist that it is again proved that Allah is protecting this Quran in various ways and it must exist in this world until Allah wills. He said: “Allah promised to protect the holy Quran by himself. I see another proof of that through this work by a youth in a remote area that was even out of imagination.”

Remote Bangladeshi youth records by making world's biggest hand-written Quran
Remote Bangladeshi youth records by making world’s biggest hand-written Quran

 

The writer Kamruzzaman is an Asia-based prize-winning freelance journalist who mainly writes on diplomacy, refugee, human rights, and climate change. His articles have been frequently published by Turkish Anadolu Agency, South Asian Monitor, and other media outlets including Aljazeera as the content of the Anadolu Agency

Note: The writer is an Asia-based prize-winning freelance journalist who mainly works for the Turkish television, TRT World. He also writes on diplomacy, refugees, human rights, and climate change. His articles have been frequently published by the Turkish Anadolu Agency, South Asian Monitor, and other media outlets including Aljazeera as the contents of the Anadolu Agency.

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