YALA: Muslims from near and far have visited Raman district to see the nation’s biggest Koran, the latest art attraction in the South.
Marokhi Ahreeyu, imam of Baan Paphungoh Mosque, said the giant Koran was made for the annual celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which marked the end of Ramadan on April 21 this year.
“We wanted to create something unique, something outstanding, so we voted for making a model of the Koran. We wanted it to be the biggest book people have ever seen. We have skilful artists, carpenters and calligraphers,’’ he said.
The model book stands upright and is made of plywood and was designed by Masaki Johmae to look like an opened Koran. It is 3.36 metres high and 5.3 metres in width. The cost was just 6,000 baht, Mr Masaki said.
The calligraphy was hand-done by Muneerulhuk Maso, who began practising Islamic calligraphy when he was a child, with the support of his father.
The challenge was in writing the text so much larger than usual, Mr Muneerulhuk said.
“I have been interested in writing koranic script since I was young. I have also won awards for my calligraphy,” he said, adding that he hoped the display would inspire other youngsters to learn to read and write koranic script.
He said the government should include Islamic calligraphy in the basic education curriculum, especially in Islamic schools.
The giant Koran has also drawn visitors from neighbouring countries such as Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, and brought in at least 300,000 baht in donations to the community, Mr Marokhi said.
The community plans to build a roof over the artwork, to protect it from the elements, he added.