Al-Hizb al-A'zam wa al-Wird al-Afkham
Author: Shaykh Mulla Ali al-Qari/Edited and designed by Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
Publisher: White Thread press
Al-Hizb al-A'zam is a beautifully organized and comprehensive collection of invocations drawn from the Quran and Prophetic Sunna. Its wide range leaves uncovered hardly any area of worldly and otherworldly concern, and a complete reading might well put before Allah just about everything one would need in both this life and the next.
This work's acceptance is plainly visible in the multitudes of devotees who recite it regularly around the world. A lot of attention has been paid to it, from commentaries and translations to abridgements and rearrangements.
Though a number of illuminated copies exist in manuscript, no illuminated edition to our knowledge has yet become available in print. For an important book of prayers such as this, illumination provides an aesthetic touch that pleases the eye and enhances the reader's spiritual engagement with the text.
No effort has been spared in preparing this edition to bring about immense joy and pleasure for its readers.
The typeface used (with minor modifications) was prepared from the original naskh script of the internationally acclaimed Syrian calligrapher 'Uthman Taha, who is renowned for his beautiful, clear, and easy-to-read hand and who prepared the Madina Mushaf that is printed and read around the world today.
Each page is set in twelve lines of text, enclosed with a decorative gold and red frame.
The inner pages have been printed using five colours and varnished on coated stock.
They pages have been sewn for strength and durability and bound so that the book, when opened, lies flat without help of the hands, to facilitate easier reading.
The openings of the introduction and first section are adorned by illuminated headpieces in gold and other colours, while the remaining section titles are enclosed in embellished borders.
The ninety-nine name of Allah are elegantly featured across a two-page spread.
While the basic design emulates the classical Arabic manuscript style, a few modern typographical touches have been added to this edition. In addition to page numbers at the bottom, marginal heads are included to guide the reader. These heads include the number of the section (using numerals) to facilitate easy navigation for non-Arabic speakers. Since the author advises to complete the litany over several days if doing so is not possible each day, each of the seven sections also include halfway markers to break it down further.
To facilitate pauses during recitation, punctuation marks have been added within the text. Ornaments are used for verse endings in Qur'anic invocations and for where larger entries can be divided into separate invocations. Commas suggest pauses that fit with the length, rhyme, rhythm, and meaning of each invocation.
The text of this edition is primarily based on that of the Indian editions, and has been compared (and emended where deemed necessary) with several manuscripts from around the world
To achieve a more balanced division of the seven sections of the book, the Saturday to Tuesday sections follow those found in the majority of manuscripts, while the remaining sections follow the Indian editions.
The invocations are fully referenced in an appendix along with a bibliography of the print and manuscript copies used.
A traditional license of transmission (ijaza) to the author is included.
The end sheets carry a printed design in pantone gold and varnish.
The front and back covers include the book title in gold foil along with a centre-medallion and author's name. A debossed frame encloses this, while a debossed arabesque pattern sets of the gold title on the spine.