Irfan’s efforts for revival of forgotten Islamic art bear fruit


Masjid-i-Nabwi’s Pakistani calligrapher honoured

Zubair Qureshi

Adviser to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH) on Wednesday acknowledging skill and artistic journey of the Pakistani calligrapher who has worked in Masjid-i-Nabwi, Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman said the government would publish a book on his life and works to inspire the younger generation.
Siddiqui was addressing in a ceremony organized by the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD) in honour of Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman. The Calligraphy Wing of the NLPD had hosted the reception for Ustad Shafiq. Iftikhar Arif Director General and a towering poet of Pakistan was the host on the occasion and he also spoke high of the master and his works.
Irfan Siddiqui called it a matter of honour for Pakistan that a Pakistani Calligrapher is privileged to have his calligraphic works on display on the walls of Holy Mosque “Masjid-i-Nabwi”.
Our division is taking several measures to promote and revive the great Islamic art of calligraphy and for transferring this legacy to the next generations, said Irfan Siddiqui.
Irfan Siddiqui said Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman was selected through a calligraphy competition among Arabs and non-Arabs. Speaking on the occasion, Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman expressed his gratitude for Irfan Siddiqui and NLPD DG, Iftikhar Arif for acknowledging his calligraphic contributions.
He said he had no words to express his gratitude over such appreciation and warm welcome given to him by the audience. Prominent calligraphers, Khalid Yousafi and Rasheed Butt termed the calligraphic works of Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman as extraordinary and said Shafiq-uz-Zaman was greatly inspired by Ustad Abdul Majeed Parveen Raqam who was calligrapher of Allama Iqbal’s poetry.
Appreciating the efforts of NH&LH Division under the supervision of Irfan Siddiqui for promotion of calligraphy, they said the ceremony to pay tribute to Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman was actually a way to revive the neglected art of calligraphy. Later, the adviser presented gifts to Ustad Shafiq-uz-Zaman while the artists from far flung areas including Shafqat Ali Javed, Muhammad Shakeel Tabbasum and Muhammad Hanif also presented art pieces to him for expressing their love. A number of young calligraphers, students and officials of NLPD and NH&LH Division attended the ceremony.

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