Mokhtar Alim Shaqdar – the official calligrapher of the Holy Kaaba cover Kiswa

Holy Kaaba which is located in the Holy Mosque of Makkah bears a unique sacredness among the Muslims. We all know that the holy cover of the Kaaba is replaced with a new one every year.

Many people believe that the text Quranic verse written on the Kiswa is written new every year but no one knows who are the official calligrapher behind all this work?

Most people are unaware about the officials who design the Black cover of the Holy Kaaba but today we are going to introduce you to Mokhtar Alim Shaqdar who is the official calligrapher of the Kiswa the black cover of the Holy Kaaba.

He came after his ancestor Abdul Raheem Bukhari in who died in 1996 at the age of 90. His story that brought him to this path is quite amazing.

Shaqdar, the official calligrapher of Kiswa was in fourth grade when he joined the calligraphy school in 1978 where he studied for two years. After completing his bachelor degree in arts education he worked as a calligraphy teacher in the different institutes.

He also worked at Umm Al Qura University. After that Shaqdar attained his Master degree in calligraphy and became a Quran teacher who thought the Holy Quran in the grand mosque. He said one of his teachers recommended him to join the Kiswa factory and that he did in 2003.

During his work in the Kiswa factory, he gave the idea of using a computer to print the calligraphy. He said that all the work that appears on the Kiswa was previously done by late Bokhari and he only made minor modification.

He also wrote the names of King Abdullah and King Salman and added some graphic art to some parts of the clothes. During his work, he was titled as the doyen of Arabic Calligraphy in Makkah.

The Kiswa factory has prepared templates of the text to be written on the Kiswa for future use. The templates are prepared through different phases, firstly it is handwritten on a piece of paper and then it is processed on a computer system by a graphic artist.

Later on, the processed text is printed on transparent paper which is used to make the template. In the end, the template is sent to the embroidery section where embroider sew the text on the Kiswa using gold and silver threads.

Shaqdar explained, now with the advancement of the computer technology, the data of the template is saved from being lost.

Source: Al Arabiya