Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – “Through my art I wish to speak to the world about the figure of Jesus Christ, his personality and his message of peace and love,” said Shafique Shad Khan, Pakistan’s first recognised Christian calligrapher. Speaking to AsiaNews he talks about how he developed his artistic vocation which has also become a privileged means by which he bears witness to his faith in Christ.
Last month he launched his first book of calligraphy in a well known art gallery in Lahore, capital of Punjab province. The first ever black and white book, titled Jesus Christ’s message of Peace, is now on sale. In it Mr Khan has given form to the name of Jesus Christ one hundred times in different styles in which he blends them with 36 verses of Holy Bible to transmit a message of peace and love.
In his book the pioneer in Christian religious calligraphy wrote: “My heart and mind are divided into four parts: the human being, the Christian, the Pakistani and the calligrapher. When I decided to print my first book on calligraphy I also fulfilled the demands of the ‘four parts of my personality. As a human being I made humanity my objective and as a Christian, Jesus Christ is my aim” he added.
Originally from Resal Pur, a town in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), since 1993 his work has been appeared in 113 exhibitions in the country’s main art galleries.
On Wednesday he presented a copy of his book to Mgr Joseph Coutts, bishop of Faisalabad, who said that what Shafique Shad Khan was doing was “very precious for the local church in Pakistan.”
“In an Islamic culture where it is not allowed to depict the human form, the art of calligraphy has been highly developed over the centuries.” Mgr Coutts explained. “May God bless his work and the witness he is giving to his people.”
During his career of many years Mr Khan has lettered verses of the Qur’an as well as the names of many leading leaders of country which has put him among its most celebrated calligraphers.