M Dileep(right), caricaturist, attempted World Longest Quran displayed at 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) at the Sharjah Expo Centre on Wednesday. 30th October 2019, Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News Image Credit:

Sharjah: An Indian exhibitor at Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), who has already written a 300-metre long Quran scroll, will next year attempt to break the world record for the longest handwritten Quran.

M. Dileef, a caricaturist from Bengaluru, told Gulf News on Wednesday that he will write around 12 hours daily to add 700-metres to his 300-metre scroll to reach his 1,000-metre target by November 2020.

The current world record for the longest handwritten Quran is widely said to be 700-metres, set by Egyptian artist Saad Mohammad in 2017.

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On Wednesday, Dileef, 43, said he took a year to reach 300-metres, which was verified by Guinness World Records as an official attempt for the longest handwritten Quran, according to documents shown by Dileef.

Dileef, who runs his namesake M Dileef Art Gallery in Bengaluru, said he has already spent around 700,000 Indian rupees (around Dh36,250) on the paper and ink used in his 300-metre scroll.

Dileef needed extra hands, of people at SIBF, to unfold part of the scroll, which is kept in an oversized wooden box at SIBF. Visitors took photos and videos as people stretched out the scroll towards the back of the hall.

To achieve his dream, Dileef, who is a calligraphist as well, aims to write three-metres (three pages) every day from 10am to 10pm back home. He said his friend, Adnan, proofreads the Quran verses as Dileef writes. The verses are written in the “Osmani” style.

The paper is of “ivory” make, of 300gsm (grams per square metre) variety – 80gsm is standard for copy or printer paper. He uses a calligraphy pen and “Indian ink” to write the verses.

His ambition is to write the world’s longest Quran by late next year and have it displayed at an international Quran exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey by then.

Dileef said he has been offered 30 million rupees (around Dh1.55 million) by a buyer if he reaches 1,000m and sets a new record.

“I know it’s going to be hard but I’m dedicated to this dream and I’m feeling confident I’ll get there,” Dileef said.