Rasheed Butt, a world renowned calligrapher, started Calligraphy in 1961. Since then he has devoted his everything to Islamic calligraphy. He has exhibited his work all over the globe and many of his Calligraphy masterpieces feature in museums, private collections and many monuments including the Pakistani Senate, Al-Furqan Foundation (UK), Agha Khan medical college and hospital and Mecca Gate, Saudi Arabia. Butt has been commissioned by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to create inimitable works of Islamic Calligraphy which have been presented to more than twenty heads of state in an official capacity. Rasheed Butt’s versatility in various kinds of khat is established in the Muslim world. It is no wonder that the famous Christie’s had put up his work for auction a distinction not given to any living Muslim calligrapher.
The calligraphic inscriptions of Mr. Rasheed Butt fall into four catgories:
a. Qur’anic: The Holy Qur’an falls into Chapters (Suras) and Verses (Ayat)
b. Hadith: The Hadith (Traditions) is the body of sayings attributed to the Prophet (bpuh).
c. Traditional invocations or prayers.
d. Poetry, both Arabic and Persian.
Another significant characteristic of Rasheed Butt’s works is the serenading illumination. He is the first person in Pakistan who used illuminations in his work. Illumination, again an art sadly lost in the sands of time, at the hands of chilling complacence and continuing disinterestedness gradually slipping into oblivion is redeemed by Butt’s own daughter Saira Butt.
Butt’s achievements were recognised by the President of Pakistan who presented him with the “Pride of Performance” award in 1989 which is considered the highest civil award in Pakistan. He was chosen as an International jury member for the International Calligraphy Competition organised by the IRCICA (Turkey).
Butt has worked to promote the art of Islamic Calligraphy and has many students from around the world. He first taught calligraphy on National Television in 1991-1994 when he hosted his own weekly programme. He is the first to teach khat through the electronic media. He also has been the curator of national and international Calligraphy exhibitions. Mr. Butt continues to teach Islamic Calligraphy as a lecturer at the National College of Art and Fatima Jinnah Women’s University in Pakistan.
Many publications including books on history of art and architecture, newspapers feature his work. Towards enhancing Islamic calligraphy in Pakistan. He has had several one man exhibitions in Pakistan and overseas and also participated in several art exhibition in USA, England, Iran, China, Iraq, Malaysia, Kuwait, Tunisia and Algeria. He has received many awards and commendation particularly at the national level.
“He does not sleep a single night without concentrating on ways and means of enhancing his contribution to Islamic calligraphy”.
Visit Raheed Butt’s Website : http://www.rasheedbutt.com