Rejuvenating Islamic Calligraphy in India: DargahAsar Sharif explores the rich wealth of Islamic culture and arts

By Ghulam RasoolDehlvi


The promotion of Islamic arts and calligraphy has always been a soaring aspiration, ideal and a duty of the Muslim ummah towards the global human fraternity. However, in the current fast-paced life, it is now rarely portrayed in its truest and fullest sense in the wider Muslim world.

It has become an important challenge for Muslims living in a multicultural society like India to find a suitable way to achieve this noble objective. It requires a sophisticated approach to foster the ideal of ‘unity in diversity’ by assimilating the rich wealth of diverse Islamic culture, arts, architecture and calligraphy.

The Islamic arts in general and the calligraphy in particular can promote peace, because of their emotive nature, and create a desire and commitment to build a cohesive global society. All Islamic arts—Sufi music (sima), spiritual Islamic recitals like na’atkhwani (poetry in praise of the Prophet pbuh), Sufi literature, and the visual Islamic arts such as paintings, posters, sculptures and calligraphy—can substantially contribute towards the conception of an amicable and cordial Muslim world.

In fact, Islamic arts and calligraphy emerged as an essential factor for an atmosphere of harmony and lasting peace. The equitable progress and social cohesion are possible by practicing a culture of universal human values. The road to inclusive socio-economic development and environmental sustainability, peace and security is deeply rooted in art and culture, which lead to the eternal paths for lasting cultural connections resolving conflicts and communal disharmony.

The role of Islamic arts and calligraphy is also paramount in promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue. One attains a better understanding of the harmonious and peaceful culture through the study of our arts, architecture and calligraphy. A wide embrace and positive recognition of one another’s cultures is essential to the peaceful dialogue not only between the different countries, but more necessarily between common masses of different faith traditions.

The Delhi-based DargahAsar Sharif, situated inside shahiJama Masjid has taken an epoch-making initiative to build the cultural connections and share the values of Islamic arts and calligraphy.

Keeping this vein of thought in view, All India Islamic Calligraphy Competition is going to be held in Delhi’s Ghalib Auditorium (also known as Aiwan-e-Ghalib) in conjunction with the launching of the fully illuminated Mushaf in India. On this occasion, a great many classical Islamic scholars, Sufi practitioners, writers, academicians, researchers and media persons would take part with great gusto.

Organized by Aasar Sharif International in collaboration with Restu Foundation, it is an initiative undertaken by the DargahAasar Sharif. One hopes that it would turn out to be an ennobling effort to highlight the inherent architectural Islamic legacy of peace, pluralism, spiritual symbiosis and harmony.


Most notably, a group of Na’at reciters from Turkey will recite the beautifulqaseedaBurdahsharif. Also, there will be 67 people from Malysia including 36 women. Senegal ambassador and staffmembers, League of Arab states mission, head of the mission are confirmed to participate as chief guests in the event. The Mawlid celebration will reverberate with spiritual discourses on love of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.


Indeed, the event which also combines the grand Mawlidcelebration, will  greatly help the people move beyond the cultural and geographical barriers to accentuate the beautiful Islamic arts and calligraphy as a vital part of the human heritage and the same time, as a key to mutual understanding and cultural exchange between India and foreign countries.

The All India Islamic Calligraphy Competition will also utilize the immense intellectual resources for the benefit of scholars seeking to understand the significance of Islamic arts and calligraphy as peacemaking entities in India. Given the current vitiated atmosphere of communal polarization, there is a pressing need to bring together the different faith traditions in India by actively upholding their consonances. The promotion of Islamic Calligraphy in India is one of the best ways to achieve this end.

Obviously, this joint effort of Aasar Sharif International and Restu Foundation will help students, scholars and anthropologists to study the Islamic art and calligraphy as an expression of a beautiful Muslim tradition with all-embracing and inclusive interpretations of spirituality well-imbedded in Islam.

Event: All India Islamic Calligraphy Competition

Venue: Ghalib Auditorium (Aiwan-e-Ghalib), Mata Sundari Lane, Near Bal Bhawan (ITO), N. Delhi-110002

Date & Time: Sunday, 12th February, 2017 (06:00 pm to 10:00 pm)

For more info, contact: 9266908882/9250896340


Thanks & Regards!
Ghulam RasoolDehlvi

Independent Writer and Journalist,
Arabic-Urdu-Hindi Author & Translator,
Scholar of Classical Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion,
Researcher in Media & Communication Studies,
Commentator on Muslim Affairs in national and international Media.




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