Organized by the Restu Foundation and Nasyrul Quran Complex with the cooperation of foreign partners, including the Iranian Cultural Center in Malaysia, the festival is set to be held from January 20 to 29 in Putrajaya.
“After three years of covid problems in the world, we are back,” Chairman of Restu Foundation, Datuk Haji Abdul Latif Mirasa, told IQNA in an exclusive interview on Monday.
“We want to promote Quranic arts and also the Malaysian art, especially the Islamic arts, not only for Malaysians but also for the world,” he stressed.
According to a released program book by the organizers, the event allows visitors to witness special exhibitions, and interact with the Quran and Islamic arts and Islamic products entrepreneurs while also trying to improve the image of Islam as an inclusive and peaceful religion.
Introducing the preservation and prosperity of the Quran, glorifying the teachings of Islam, inviting the community to love knowledge and scholars, utilizing modern technology as an effective preaching medium, and trying to return the Muslim community to their true identity have been named among other objectives of the event.
“We have lots of activities,” the prominent Quranic activist said, noting that the festival seeks to especially attract “children and families” so that they become familiar with what the Restu Foundation does.
The event, according to Mirasa, will put on display beautiful copies of the Quran, works of Islamic arts such as Tazhib (illumination), calligraphy, tiles, as well as decorations that are used in digital editions of the Holy Quran.
The 10-day festival also includes funfairs and food fairs, he added.
Restu Foundation is the only non-profit organization in the whole world that has organized such an event, he said while also acknowledging that the Malaysian government has backed them “very strongly”.
Four countries will participate in this year’s event, said the head of Restu Foundation, adding that several other countries were also interested to come to Malaysia but they had problems, including with the required funds. He hoped that more countries would attend the event in the coming editions.
He named Iran as the “best country” in terms of cooperation in the festival, hailing the Iranian embassy and public for the joint work.
“Inshallah maybe after holding this event in Malaysia, we may come to Iran to share our ideas of the exhibition of Islamic arts,” Mirasa noted.
There are “many areas” of cooperation between Iran and Malaysia with a focus on the Holy Quran because Iran is a “very rich country in the Islamic tradition,” he said, adding, “in fact, we are learning a lot from Iranian public.”
He also pointed to an Iranian delegation that is slated to go to Malaysia for the event which includes artists, reciters, and Quran activists.
He pointed to some Iranian arts, such as tile works and Muqarnas, and said these are “very strong traditions of Iranian culture”, noting that the festival will put on display some Iranian artworks.
“I’m happy to say that some of these people coming from Iran will have a kind of public lecture to teach the people about Islamic arts,” Mirasa added.
He also appreciated the efforts of the Iranian cultural center in Malaysia for cooperation on this festival.
Mirasa pointed to the need to explain the Holy Quran to non-Islamic countries, noting that Islamic countries are “doing well” for offering the Quran.
He referred to the need to translate the Quran into other languages other than Arabic.
“But the beauty of our Quran is not only about translation and tafsir but also the beauty of illumination, how we identify the beauty of that country in the Quran and the Quran towards the country.
So it is a very important process to make the people feel they are very close to the Quran. That is what we do.”
One of the objectives of the festival is to introduce the role of Nasyrul Quran Complex to local and international visitors. The complex, according to its website, is the world’s second-largest Quran production center after the King Fahd Quran Printing Complex in Medina. The foundation, which is located in Putrajaya, a city near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, is also a tourist attraction visited by those who love the Quran and Quranic arts from around the world.
The 10-day festival will have various exhibitions such as artifacts of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions, Kaaba Kiswa, Quran village, the largest seerah book in the world, and exclusive Restu products.
Restu Global Quranic Arts Festival will also include a host of other events such as Halal hub, sale bazaar, animation festival, kids activities (Batik painting), and bidding on art pieces.
Visitors can also take a tour of the Holy Quran printing factory while also receiving services for disposing of the Quran and other Islamic books.
A host of art workshops, courses, and competitions have been also scheduled during the event. The program book of the event provides further details.
Interview by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas