Matters of spirituality are deep and profound. It is something to be experienced, felt and imagined. So how do comics fit in to the whole genre of religious and spiritual texts?
Well,after meeting brothers Arif and Ali at Bengaluru Comic Con, one realises it is the best match possible.
Bengaluru-based Mohammed Ali and Mohammed Arif Vakil grew up with the stories from Quran at the local madarsa, stories about the benevolence of the Prophet and his disciples. The tales were their day-to-day learnings on how to be a better human being and what life is all about.
Years later, they decided to tell these stories through pictures, graphics and drawings and thus took shape the idea of Sufi Comics in 2009.
It started as a blog, where we drew the stories and teachings from the Quran. I had read somewhere that drawing improves the power of observation. The idea was to make religion accessible to all. We are not professional artists so the drawings were basic but gradually we got better. Meanwhile, the response on the blog was tremendous. People loved everything, the choice of messages, the beautiful imagery, the calligraphy. In 2011, we launched the first Sufi comics.Mohammed Ali, co-author, Sufi Comics
The books are laced with beautiful imagery and calligraphy. They are loved by both children and the adults. The followers of the faith connect to it and for non-Muslims, it is a visual guide to understanding the Quran.
The books are in the context of Islam but the message is religion-agnostic. People from any religion and even those who don’t follow a religion will find it endearing.Mohammed Arif Vakil, co-author, Sufi Comics
All in all, Sufi comics sound like a great idea, to introduce spiritual teachings to a wider audience.