18/01/2012 05:47 GMT | Updated 19/03/2012 05:12 GMT

World's Largest Qur'an Shown In Afghanistan

It took five years to complete, and now it’s finally ready: the world’s biggest Qur’an has been unveiled in Kabul.

Calligrapher Mohammad Sabir Khedri’s magnificent, delicately decorated version of the Islamic text has been confirmed as the largest in existence by the Afghan ministry of Haj and religious affairs.

Khedri told Reuters: "I wanted to use as many tasteful colours as possible to make this holy book look beautiful."

The astonishing feat wasn't achieved entirely on his own however - Khedri had 9 assistants who helped.

In Numbers

  • 218 pages measuring 2.28 metres by 1.55 metres
  • 500kg in weight
  • 5 years to create
  • 21 goats’ skin used to make cover
  • 300,000 pounds in cost

The Qur’an is housed in a specially-built room in a cultural centre in Kabul ran by its founder Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, who explained: "Writing the Qur'an is a privilege, and … of course if you can make the biggest Qur'an everyone wants to do it, because they want to show the feeling they have, the biggest feeling inside their heart."

He added that, as a devout Muslin, he’d nevertheless be happy when someone makes an even bigger version of the Qur’an in service to Islam.

Khedri’s Qur’an even dwarfs the Klencke Atlas – currently at the British Library – that measures an impressive 1.78 metres by 1.05 metres.

However, it is still smaller than the world’s largest book. Housed in Burma, the record-holder contains 1460 pages that each stand at 1.5 metres in height. Of course it’s not an entirely fair comparison – the Kuthodaw pagoda is made from stone.