Hindu man in India paints calligraphy on mosques without “haddiya” out of spiritual connection

Hindu man in India paints calligraphy on mosques without “haddiya” out of spiritual connection

July 1, 2021 0

Who is Anil Kumar Chowhan: Anil Kumar Chowhan is a self-taught calligraphy artist from Hyderabad, India. His career in painting started over 30 years ago, with him getting into first painting signboards for shops and then moving onto painting temples, dargaahs, and mosques. Coming from a very poor family, Chowhan had to give up his studies after Grade 10 and help financially support the family. He was good at drawing and so decided to earn through that skill.

His art: Chowhan had no formal training in calligraphy or Urdu script. He learned the art of Arabic and Urdu script through his assignments. His art impressed notable religious land-marks around Hyderabad and he was being invited often to paint Quranic verses. Through his assignments he fell in love with Urdu and Islamic calligraphy. His first big assignment came in 1990’s when he was asked to pint the iconic Noor Mosque in Hyderabad with the verses of the Quran. While he was given remuneration (Haddiya) for painting over 100 mosques, for another 100 he refused a remuneration as he felt a sprititual connection to them.

The need for a Fatwa: Some locals opposed Chowhan painting Quranic verses and Islamic art and therefore he was compelled to seek a Fatwa from the Jamia Nizamia University in Hyderabad. The Fatwa allowed him to paint Islamic art and he was able to continue with his art. In the university’s main gallery hangs a camvas of Surah Yasin painted by him. Chowhan believes religion is unifying and not divisive. He says if people believed in God’s religion everybody could live in peace and the world would be a richer place for all. Chowhan feels that the spirit behind mosques, dargaahs, and temples is of love, peace, and oneness of mankind.

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Tasmia Masaud
Tasmia Masaud