Sufi Comics, created by brothers Mohammed Ali Vakil &Mohammed Arif Vakil, was launched as a web comic in the year 2009. Published by Sufi Studios located in Bengaluru, 40 Sufi Comics is a blend of short anecdotes from Islamic tradition and history that contain spiritual & thought provoking messages. Alongside each comic are verses from the Holy Quran & Traditions from the Prophet & the Ahlul Bayt, related to the topic of the comic.
Indian Brothers are all set to steal the show at San Diego Comic Con International this year at Comic Con San Diego International as for the first time ’40 Sufi Comics’ color edition will be on sale & also a special preview of their upcoming book “Sufi Comics: The Wise Fool of Baghdad” will be showcased.
Mohammed Arif Vakil & Mohammed Ali Vakil attended a local Community Madrasah in Dubai& were deeply influenced by the spiritual and moral stories of the Prophet Muhammad (s)and his Holy Progeny (the Ahlul Bayt), taught at the Madrasah. Mohammed Ali began learning the art of drawing comics and used it to express these stories. As each comic would be drawn they would be posted on their Blog http://www.vakil.org and on Face bookhttp://www.facebook.com/suficomics.
In 2012 Sufi Comics got nominated by Comic Con India Awards for “Best Web Comic” & “Best Publication for Children”.
Speaking on the occasion of 40 Sufi Comics Participating at Comic Con San Diego International, Mohammed Vakil, Co-Author of 40 Sufi Comics, shared, “It’s our first time we’re participating at the largest US International Comic Convention. We’re quite excited about showcasing our books to a more global audience. We hope this is a beginning for more Indians to participate at International Comic Conventions”
“We started Sufi Comics by posting each comic on our personal blog and posting them on Face book. The response we received was highly encouraging, which spurred us to compile the comics into the book “40 Sufi Comics. With Sufi Comics, this is one of the first times the authentic teachings of Islam are presented in this way. Normally if one wishes to learn about Islam, they have to go through large books with a lot of text. With Sufi Comics you can get the essence of the eternal teachings in an easy and enjoyable way ‘cause of which Sufi Comics appeals to Muslims & people of other faiths”, said Mohammed
At present Sufi Comic is available in the mediums of Web comic: www.suficomics.com ,
A book: http://www.flipkart.com/40-sufi-comics-mohammed-ali-book-1456461273
&IPad App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sufi-comics/id499841847?mt=8
More than 3000+ copies of 40 Sufi Comics are sold till date. Until now, Sufi Comics has been translated by volunteers in French, German, Indonesian, Russian, Spanish and Tamil & translations are ongoing for Norwegian, Finnish, Kannada, Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam and Turkish languages.
Sharing more on the 40 Sufi Comics, Mohammed stated, “As a Muslim I grew up learning about Islam, and was inspired by its stories found in its History & Traditions. The lessons from stories became the moral compass for me to know right from wrong. Though there are several books on Islam, I felt it would be great if these stories were illustrated in the form of comics. What we’ve done with Sufi Comics is combined Spirituality with Comics. Most of the stories in Sufi Comics are the ones that we were taught in the Madrasah. Alongside each story there are verses of the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet & his family. Most of the sayings are originally either in Arabic or Farsi and have only recently been made available in English. By including these sayings alongside the comics, these teachings are now being made available for a larger audience & this is one of the reasons why we have a very diverse readership across different faiths, nationalities & languages.
So far, Sufi Studios has participated in Comic Con Delhi and Mumbai& after Comic Con San Diego, Sufi Studios will participate in Comic Con Bengaluru in September. The brothers have collaborated with Rahil Mohsin, who did the illustrations for the book & Indian Master Calligrapher Muqtar Ahmed, who hand crafted the Arabic calligraphy for the book. This forthcoming book of Sufi Comics is a selection of short stories from the life of Bahlool Dana. The Wise Fool of Baghdad revolves around Bahlool, a wise man from 7th century Baghdad who pretended to be mad, to save himself from the ruling class & in his foolish behavior he would teach people lessons of wisdom.
Elaborating on the Upcoming Book Sufi Comics: The Wise Fool of Baghdad, Mohammed said,
“Every generation remembers Bahlool’s stories with a lot of interest, but they’re often narrated in Arabic, Farsi or Urdu. For the first time we’ve made Bahlool’s stories available in the medium of comics. Just like our first book we’ve taken verses from the Qur’an & sayings of the Prophet on the theme of the story. Sufism is part of Islamic culture, and therefore the inspiration for the style came from Islamic miniature paintings. Other than this we also incorporated Islamic geometric patterns, floral designs & Arabic calligraphy as part of the art to give the reader a feel of the Islamic space within which the story takes place.”
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