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Updated: April 21, 2012 00:53 IST

A Hindu artist who paints Koranic verses in mosques

J. S. Ifthekhar
Comment (16)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Anil Kumar Chauhan a Hindu by faith, has been painting verses from the holy Koran on the walls of various mosques in and around the twin cities. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
The Hindu
Anil Kumar Chauhan a Hindu by faith, has been painting verses from the holy Koran on the walls of various mosques in and around the twin cities. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Some like to desecrate, while some consecrate. Places of worship in Hyderabad were in for defilement recently. But here is a man who loves to deck and embellish them.

Anil Kumar Chowhan, an artist by profession, has been offering his services to paint Koranic verses and supplications in mosques for more than a decade. While the sanctity of temples and mosques in Hyderabad was violated, he carried out his job with single-minded devotion.

For art's sake

In the last decade-and-a-half, Mr. Chowhan has done calligraphic work in almost 100 mosques in Hyderabad, Secunderabad, and nearby districts.

A huge frame containing ‘Sura Yaseen', the 36 chapter of Koran, written by him, adorns the Jamia Nizamia. He has painted the 99 names of Allah and the Prophet as well. Interestingly, he doesn't charge anything. But if people do offer something, then he accepts it.

Scepticism initially

His foray into calligraphy started when he began painting signboards and banners in Urdu. He mastered the Urdu script perfectly, and then writing Arabic was relatively easy. There was initial scepticism regarding his writing Arabic verses in mosques.

But Mr. Chowhan approached the Jamia Nizamia, Hyderabad's well-known seminary, and got a ‘fatwa,' which permitted him to write. “I was asked to remain clean and do ablution before writing,” he says.


Mr. Chowhan's fingers move deftly as he wields the ‘baru ka qalam.' Though he can't read Arabic, he writes the verses from the Koran perfectly. “I do take care to see that the dots and strokes accompanying the Arabic letters are correct,” he says, even as he works on a new frame.

‘Living for religion'

While people fight for religion and even die for it, Mr. Chowhan lives for it, in the true sense of the word.

This is really good message for all community. He is doing his work apart from this he is a Muslim or Non-Muslim. We respect this great man and pray Almighty Allah to keep him in peace and happiness in his whole life.

from:  M.Rashid
Posted on: Apr 30, 2012 at 11:41 IST

I am not sure whether more religious texts would make people any better? I find this kind of work is pretty idiosyncratic with no clear goal. Please serve the poor instead!

from:  Dev Saha
Posted on: Apr 27, 2012 at 17:55 IST

Time and again such people show that true Hindus and Muslims have no enemity among themselves, it is the people with narrow minds that want to create trouble.
God bless him, and the religious unity of India.

from:  N Suresh Kumar
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 07:12 IST

"Verily, Allâh gives (of His Bounty, Blessings) to whom He wills without limit." This is the beautiful meaning of the verse he is writing in the picture.

from:  abu
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 03:43 IST

Thanks Hindu for bringing up such stories...need to bring up the positive side of the society!!!

from:  Pritam
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 00:01 IST

Can one not question the fact that these pretty illusions wrought with his pen, will
not cause a resolute sword to be raised in their defense later.

from:  nmantri
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 23:59 IST

Mr. Chowhan's work is the proof of brighter and stronger side of the
human nature. Excellent conclusion in the report that he is ‘Living for

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 21:56 IST

Good work .. keep going on ....i really appreciate the Hindu paper
bringing the unity in India...and i want to see shining india in the that no one can divide india on basis of religion and caste

from:  Abdul
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 17:06 IST

Really commendable service.
No words to praise him. Only pray to God to give him good in this world in the hereafter.

from:  sadiq
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 13:04 IST

people of different faiths and believes fighting each other. a person honestly working on painting of religious writings. this must be appreciated. government should come forward to honour him.

from:  shahab
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 13:00 IST

Beautiful Message!

from:  Binoy
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 11:31 IST

This is manifestation of professional spirit. At the same, it is good example of social harmony in our country. God bless this artist.

There should be many examples like this and politicians should get lesson so that they can purify their hearts and make their mind for clean, impartial and justified governance.

from:  Mohammad Abbas
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 11:26 IST

Well done.True art knows no boundaries.

from:  Sujatha
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 10:59 IST

Hats Off to such inspirational act to those extremist in both communites.......God never allows to kill the innocent in any mannar or in any case.

Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 10:59 IST

Kudos to a person who renders service without religious bias.

from:  Rammohan
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 04:56 IST

God bless Anil kumar Chowhan .There should be respect for each
other's faith.Arguments and trying to be little each other faith
generates hatred .

from:  syed abdurrab
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 03:12 IST
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