Navigate / search

Watch Muqtar Ahmed inscribe Calligraphy for the Rumi Book (Photos + Video)

muqtar-ahmed

 

Rumi’s greatest work, the Masnavi has more than two thousand references to the Qur’an.  It is a volume of work that is deeply attached to it & is often referred to as the poetic Commentary of the Qur’an.

So when working on the Sufi Comics – Rumi book, we included references to the verses of the Qur’an on the same theme as the poem.  This would allow the reader to discover a more authentic meaning to the poem.

These days the lettering in a book is almost always done using computer fonts. But we didn’t want to use Arabic fonts to present the verses.

So we asked Muqtar Ahmed, to inscribe the verses of the Qur’an & sayings from the Islamic traditions for the book.  He’s the only calligrapher in India to have received a third level Diploma (equal to a masters degree) from Istanbul based Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture.

It’s a treat just to watch him write. As his reed stick touches the paper, the divine words appear in it’s most beautiful forms.

Have a look at the photographs & video clips I took of him inscribing calligraphy for the book.

Read more

What Rumi Can Teach Us About Inner Peace (Even If Your World Is Crashing Down)

Rumi Inner Peace

You look at it with pride.

Your first car.

A shiny, new Renault Duster.

You love everything about it. The shimmering silver colour. The smell of newness. Even the lights inside seem special.

You take your car out on your first drive. You cruise down the neighbourhood. A big smile on your face. Life is sooo good. But, all of a sudden you hear the sound of friction against the side of your new car.

OMG! Your new car just got horribly scratched.

Before you can stop the driver of the other car, it zooms away.

You feel wrecked inside. Almost violated.

How could this have happened?

You’re depressed the whole day. Instead of celebrating your new car, you feel rage. How could that person scratch your new car?

You think to yourself, “Why me? Why is the world against me?”

Have you ever felt like this? Read more

5 Thought-Provoking Reasons Why Rumi is the Best Selling Poet in America

Rumi

Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
~Rumi

You may have come across Rumi’s quotes like the one above.

Perhaps in books. Or quite likely on your Facebook feed, Twitter account or on Buzz feed.

If you enjoy poetry you might have even read some of his poems.

Rumi was a 13th Century poet who lived in different parts of the Persian Empire which included present day Afghanistan, Iran & Turkey. He was a mystic, a philosopher and top Islamic Scholar of his time.

But he’s most popularly known for his timeless Poetry that sprang from his yearning for the Divine.

What is astonishing is that he’s the best selling poet in America. Even outselling giants of English literature like Shakespeare.

How is it that the works of a 13th Century Persian Poet becomes one of the most widely read in the Western world?

What is it about Rumi, that makes him so popular?

While working on our upcoming book Sufi Comics Rumi, we researched more about this great mystic.

This led us to these 5 reasons why Rumi is so popular.

Here they are:

Read more

Announcing: Get a Free copy of our next book on Rumi!

Untitled

Yes, you’ve heard it right! How will I get a free copy of  Sufi Comics: Rumi book, I hear you ask?

You’ve been enjoying updates on Sufi Comics – Rumi, you’ll know that the journey and process of creating the book has been an exciting and an a fruitful one to say the least!

So far in our updates we’ve revealed to you:

  • Behind the Scene Sketches
  • Process Thumbnails to illustrations
  • Excerpt of a story
  • Interview with the Artists & Authors
  • Designing the cover page illustration

We’ve  completed around 70% of the book, which will go to print this August with the official launch in September.

There is an exciting opportunity for interested readers like yourself to join an “early-bird” Pre Launch list.

Before the book is released to the public, a digital version of the book will be made available to read online exclusively to those on the list.

That’s not all. Get 1 Copy Free!

By joining the Pre-Launch list, not only would you be the first to read the book, as a special gift you could receive 1 signed physical copy of the book anywhere in the World!

This offer is now closed

Thank you to all you who’ve participated! You still view 3 chapters from the book for free.

Click here to view 3 Chapters from the book

 

Making the Cover Page for Rumi Book. What? How? and Why?

So far in our behind the scenes journey you’ve viewed snippets of the final pages, met multi-faceted researcher and member of the team Tanzil Rahman, and explored the process of selecting and illustrating the comics. What to explore now?

Yes the wait is over. It is time now to reveal to you the illustration of the cover page!

For this I delve into the creative mind of Rahil Mohsin to uncover the inspiration, symbolism and process behind the design of the cover page. I ask Rahil to share some of his artistic imagination and talent with us by revealing the illustration, the process of creating it, and the inspiration behind it.

As always, the posts would not be complete without the sneak peeks just for you – so scroll down and enjoy as Rahil reveals all this: what, how and why?

What is the process of creating the illustration? Can you share with us the rough/draft sketches?

Much to the chagrin of a lot of people I know, I am a purist. Most of my artworks, including the ones I’d done for Wise Fool of Baghdad and more recently, Rumi, are done by hand. Which means, the process of making an artwork is slower compared to work on a digital software (with all its fancy tools). That, and a mild doze of OCD. The processes I am talking about are the penciling and the inking stages (inside the book). Ali Bhai and Gaffur bhai bring life into the otherwise mundane and achromatic artwork by adding colours to them.

While I’ve vehemently professed my love to the process that gets my hands stained with graphite and blackened by ink, there are
however a few shortcomings when these hand-made art works are printed.

Even if a small part of the said artwork is neglected (inspite of the OCD) and printed right away, the flaw, however small will stand out and ruin the artwork. I did not want to take such a huge risk while designing the cover page.

I initially made a rough sketch of what I’d in my mind on a sheet of paper. Given below is a scanned copy of the sketch.

unnamed

Read more

Get Behind the Scenes and View the Final Pages of Sufi Comics Rumi!

It’s an exciting time in our journey of Sufi Comics Rumi. It’s time to reveal some sneak previews of the final pages, and get some exclusive insights from the members of the Sufi Comics team. This month we go behind the scenes on the production of the pages…

So who works on the production of the pages? Well, brother Mohammed Ali Vakil creates the template design of the page and selects the colors of the comics, then brother Abdul Gafur prepares all the pages based on the template designs and colors of the comics. Thereafter, brother Rahil will do the cover and back page of the book. The pages are created with Photoshop and also Corel Draw for the lettering of the text.

I had a chat with brother Ali about the process of production, why this style was selected, and any challenges or changes that may have gone into the process. From this, I learnt a lot about what goes into the process of production, and even learnt some interesting ideas about comics from different regions acquiring their own unique style!

So what inspired the style of Sufi Comics Rumi? How will the final pages look? Read on as we reveal sneak preview of the pages and more!

What is the process of production? How do you develop from each stage and are there any challenges involved? 

“After the thumbnails, pencils & Inks, Rahil sends us the final Inks of the pages via Dropbox.

suficomic-rumi-thumbnail

Read more

Meet Tanzil Rahman from Sufi Comics: Rumi

With his range of impressive studies and creative talents, to being an avid member of the Rumi fan club, Tanzil Rahman is an interesting member of the hardworking team behind Sufi Comics: Rumi. 

From being involved in livelihood support for communities living in urban slums, acting in various plays, to writing powerful poetry on the idea of social justice, Tanzil’s contribution to the new project is inspired and invaluable.

His work with Sufi Comics: Rumi has been around the selection and research behind the poems, as well as sourcing the original Farsi text for the short-listed poems.

Tanzil reveals how the collaboration came about, dispells the view that you can’t be a spiritual activist, as well as us why we should stay tuned for Sufi Comics: Rumi!

Tanzilur Rahman is  researcher for Sufi Comics: Rumi, poet and social activist
Tanzilur Rahman is researcher for Sufi Comics: Rumi, poet and social activist

Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your educational/professional background?

“I come from a village in Darbhanga district of North Bihar. My family later settled in Aligarh in UP. I have studied Electronics Engineering at Aligarh Muslim University and General Management  at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

Professionally my expertise is in the area of Human Resource strategy primarily advising organizations on how to leverage technology for HR transformation. I am currently employed with software major SAP.”

How did you meet Arif and Ali?

“I met Arif and Ali bhai for the first time at the Quran Study circle of Dr. Taha Mateen in Bangalore. We connected in very first  interactions. I liked their progressive and pragmatic approach to issues and things while adhering to the basics.”

 How did the collaboration with Sufi Comics : Rumi come about?

“I had known and read  Sufi Comics’ earlier editions. Arif bhai has discussed these a few times to get my feedback and reaction as a reader. It was while discussing “The  Wise Fool of Baghdad” that he mentioned about his plans to do next edition of Sufi Comics on Maualana Rum’s poems. He also mentioned that he has short listed some poems from a translation that I had gifted him earlier. Having been an avid member of Rumi fan club , I jumped on the opportunity and requested that I would like to collaborate which he accepted warmly.”

Read more