Haji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang, eminent master of Arabic calligraphy.
Born in 1963 in eastern China’s Shandong Province bordering the Yellow Sea, Haji Noor Deen lectures on the art of Arabic calligraphy at the Islamic College in Zhen Zhou, where he has also established a correspondence course to enable students from all areas of China to study Arabic calligraphy. In addition, he researches Islamic culture at the Henan Academy of Sciences. In 1997, Haji Noor Deen was the first Chinese Muslim to be awarded the Egyptian Certificate of Arabic Calligraphy and to be admitted as a member of the Association of Egyptian Calligraphy.
Haji Noor Deen’s extraordinary mastery and genius in the art of Arabic calligraphy along with his unique ability to spectacularly deliver his craft to an audience has brought him lecture and workshop invitations from some of the most renowned and prestigious institutions around the world, including: Harvard University, Cambridge University, University of California-Berkley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, the Bukhari Institute and the Zaytuna Institute, amongst a few.
Haji Noor Deen displayed his works in July of 2001 as part of a month-long tour of the western United States sponsored by the Zaytuna Institute. He again revisited the United States in 2002 touring the eastern states while making stops at many of the universities, art galleries, and mosques sponsored by the Bukhari Institute. He returned to Harvard University in 2003, displaying his work while giving lectures and workshops. He was invited to participate in the Zaytuna Institute’s 3rd Annual Conference and Fundraiser on July 1, 2001 in Santa Clara, California, which focused on the topic “Unity Through Diversity.” Haji Noor Deen has been a regular and part of the Zaytuna family giving annual workshops during the summer. Haji Noor Deen was also an invited speaker at the 39th Annual ISNA Convention in 2002 held in Washington D.C., the 40th Annual ISNA Convention in 2003 held in Chicago, Illinois, and at the 2003 MSA Conference held in New Jersey. The display of his beautiful artwork was a tribute to the unification of the Arabic and Chinese calligraphic tradition.
Haji Noor Deen also lectures on Islam in China. As one of the largest nations in the world, China’s population represents 56 nationalities, ten of which have an Islamic background. By sea and by land, Muslims went to China over the first three hundred years of Islam. The first official delegation was sent to China by the Khalifa Uthman in approximately 651 A.D. Both the Islamic and Chinese cultures have a rich tradition of respect, mercy, and compassion. Thus, Islam found little resistance as it took root in China. Today, there are approximately twenty million Muslims and thirty-five thousand mosques in China. The architecture of the mosques is a testament to the vastness of Islam’s identity. They are wooden structures, which inculcate both an Islamic and Chinese style. The interplay of these cultures, which is exemplified in the architecture of the Chinese mosque, plays a vital role in the Muslim-Chinese identity.