NOOR AHMED was a multi-talented artistic genius. One aspect of which was his love of calligraphy and aesthetic decoration of the verses of The Qur’an Kareem. This facet of his personality led to this expressing a long held desire soon after the establishment of Elite Publishers in 1951, to bring out an edition of The Qur’an Kareem which should be artistically calligraphed and superbly produced with such immense professional expertise that believers felt great solace in reciting the verses.

The most important step in this regard was calligraphy. After an exhaustive search for a classical master calligrapher, in January 1966 at the age of 72 my beloved father decided to take up the task of calligraphy himself, although this aspect of his talent was never his profession. After completing 9 chapters of The Qur’an Kareem within a short period of 6 months, unfortunately he became ill and in November of the same year left for his eternal abode.

We were all saddened that our dear father’s cherished wish remained unfulfilled. My brother Zahoor Ahmed came up with a brilliant but an impractical idea. What, if we were to photo-graphically reproduce the already calligraphed 9 chapters and then clip, select and assemble the required letters, words and sentences, and thus complete the text of the remaining 21 chapters.

Apparently this idea was a near impossible one, yet it kindled a ray of hope. The master calligrapher Munshi Raza Hussain (age 74) and my respected uncle Maqbool Ahmed artist (age 70) willingly accepted the daunting challenge, they clipped, selected, assembled and pasted each letter, ligature, word and sentence from the prints of the original calligraphy so meticulously that the graphic calligraphy matched the original with no difference at all.

Allah blessed these two elders with long life, health and perseverance to accomplish this overwhelming task, and in 14 years of unrelenting hard work they achieved the impossible, by assembling over half million pieces to complete the remaining calligraphy of the 21 chapters.

Immeasurable care was taken to ensure that no connecting “ wow ” appeared at the end of any line and every chapter started on a new page.

Meticulous proof readings by many scholars, correction and designing consumed another 9 years. It is the beneficence of Allah that a humble person like me was chosen to fulfill a near impossible task in 23 years.

To complete the remaining 21 paras by graphic calligraphy, letters, ligatures, words and even sentences were selected from the original calligraphy and printed. From these printed sheets suitable pieces were selected and clipped to form the required text, keeping in view the grace of calligraphy and space available in each line

Diacriticals were added where required and by the grace of Allah this near impossible mission was accomplished in 14 years by graphic calligraphy.