Islamic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based upon the alphabet in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. It includes Arabic Calligraphy, Ottoman, and Persian calligraphy. It is known in Arabic as khatt Islami (خط اسلامي), meaning Islamic line, design, or construction.
The development of Islamic calligraphy is strongly tied to the Qur’an; chapters and excerpts from the Qur’an are a common and almost universal text upon which Islamic calligraphy is based. Deep religious association with the Qur’an, as well as suspicion of figurative art as idolatrous, has led calligraphy to become one of the major forms of artistic expression in Islamic cultures. It has also been argued that Islamic calligraphy was motivated less by iconophobia (since, in fact, images were by no means absent in Islamic art) than by the centrality of the notion of writing and written text in Islam. It is noteworthy, for instance, that the Prophet Muhammad is related to have said: “The first thing God created was the pen.”
As Islamic calligraphy is highly venerated, most works follow examples set by well established calligraphers, with the exception of secular or contemporary works. In antiquity, a pupil would copy a master’s work repeatedly until their handwriting was similar. The most common style is divided into angular and cursive, each further divided into several sub-styles.
Instruments and media
The traditional instrument of the Islamic calligrapher is the qalam, a pen normally made of dried reed or bamboo; the ink is often in color, and chosen such that its intensity can vary greatly, so that the greater strokes of the compositions can be very dynamic in their effect. Some styles are often written using a metallic-tip pen.
Islamic calligraphy is applied on a wide range of decorative mediums other than paper, such as tiles, vessels, carpets, and inscriptions. Before the advent of paper, papyrus and parchment were used for writing. The advent of paper revolutionized calligraphy. While monasteries in Europe treasured a few dozen volumes, libraries in the Muslim world regularly contained hundreds and even thousands of books.:218
Coins were another support for calligraphy. Beginning in 692, the Islamic caliphate reformed the coinage of the Near East by replacing visual depiction with words. This was especially true for dinars, or gold coins of high value. Generally the coins were inscribed with quotes from the Qur’an.
By the tenth century, the Persians, who had converted to Islam, began weaving inscriptions onto elaborately patterned silks. So precious were calligraphic inscribed textiles that Crusaders brought them to Europe as prized possessions. A notable example is the Suaire de Saint-Josse, used to wrap the bones of St. Josse in the Abbey of St. Josse-sur-Mer near Caen in northwestern France.:223–5
Kufic is the oldest form of the Arabic script. The style emphasizes rigid and angular strokes, which appears as a modified form of the old Nabataean script. The Archaic Kufi consisted of about 17 letters without diacritic dots or accents. Afterwards, dots and accents were added to help readers with pronunciation, and the set of Arabic letters rose to 28. It is developed around the end of the 7th century in the areas of Kufa, Iraq, from which it takes its name. The style later developed into several varieties, including floral, foliated, plaited or interlaced, bordered, and squared kufi. It was the main script used to copy Qur’ans from the 8th to 10th century and went out of general use in the 12th century when the flowing naskh style become more practical, although it continued to be used as a decorative element to contrast superseding styles.
There were no set rules of using the Kufic script; the only common feature is the angular, linear shapes of the characters. Due to the lack of methods, the scripts in different regions and countries and even down to the individuals themselves have different ways to write in the script creatively, ranging from very square and rigid forms to flowery and decorative.
Common varieties include square Kufic, a technique known as banna’i. Contemporary calligraphy using this style is also popular in modern decorations.
Decorative kufic inscriptions are often imitated into pseudo-kufics in Middle age and Renaissance Europe. Pseudo-kufics is especially common in Renaissance depictions of people from the Holy Land. The exact reason for the incorporation of pseudo-Kufic is unclear. It seems that Westerners mistakenly associated 13–14th century Middle-Eastern scripts as being identical with the scripts current during Jesus’s time, and thus found natural to represent early Christians in association with them.
The use of cursive script coexisted with kufic, but because in the early stages of their development they lacked discipline and elegance, cursive were usually used for informal purposes. With the rise of Islam, new script was needed to fit the pace of conversions, and a well defined cursive called naskh first appeared in the 10th century. The script is the most ubiquitous among other styles, used in Qur’ans, official decrees, and private correspondence. It became the basis of modern Arabic print.
Standardization of the style was pioneered by Ibn Muqla (886 – 940 A.D.) and later expanded by Abu Hayan at-Tawhidi (died 1009 A.D.) and Muhammad Ibn Abd ar-Rahman (1492 – 1545 A.D.). Ibn Muqla is highly regarded in Muslim sources on calligraphy as the inventor of the naskh style, although this seems to be erroneous. However, Ibn Muqla did establish systematic rules and proportions for shaping the letters, which use ‘alif as the x-height.
Variation of the naskh includes:
Thuluth is developed as a display script to decorate particular scriptural objects. Letters have long vertical lines with broad spacing. The name, meaning “third”, is in reference to the x-height, which is one third of the ‘alif.
Riq’ah is a handwriting style derived from naskh and thuluth, first appeared in the 9th century. The shape is simple with short strokes and little flourishes.
Muhaqqaq is a majestic style used by accomplished calligraphers. It was considered one of the most beautiful scripts, as well as one of the most difficult to execute. Muhaqqaq was commonly used during the Mameluke era, but the use become largely restricted to short phrases, such as the basmallah, from the 18th century onward.
Line of patch
Line of patch is a line used by many people in their daily writings, one of the origins of the Arabic fonts and the easiest, characterized by its beauty and integrity, and easy to read and write, and after the complexity, and depends on the point, it is written or painted pen well. It is said that the name is similar to the writing on the old patch, but this label did not meet with some scholars who said that the views are not agreed on the beginning of the emergence of the line and name, which has nothing to do with the old line of the patch, and that the pen is short characters, Of the triangular and spherical line and between them, and that many types. The invention of the invention of the Ottomans, they invented it around 850 AH, to be the official line of transactions in all departments of the state, for the privilege of characters in the palace and the speed of writing.
A phrase written in a patch
The line is used in writing titles of books, newspapers, magazines, banners and propaganda. The advantage of this line is that the calligraphers kept it, did not derive from it other lines, or developed it to other lines, different from the base, as in the Persian line and Diwani and Kofi and one third and others. The line of the patch of late lines in terms of setting the rules was established by the famous Turkish calligrapher Mumtaz Bey adviser in the reign of Sultan Abdul Majid Khan about 1280 AH, and invented by the line Diwani and the line of the context where it was a mixture between them before that. The line is the line written by people in the Arab countries, except for the countries of the Maghreb in general, although some Iraqis write a third and copies.
The line of copying is one of the closest lines to the Thuluth line. It is one of the branches of the third-third pen, but it is more basic and less difficult. It is a copy of the Holy Qur’an. It is a beautiful line, copied by the many books of Arabic manuscripts, and possibly composition, but less than the line of the third. This line is distinguished in the lines of the Holy Quran, as it is found that the most obvious copies of the Koran in its letters and reading, as the rule and proverbs and paintings in mosques and museums written.
The line of transcription written by the calligraphers today is the line of the ancient Abbasids who invented and mastered it. It was improved by the son of Makla, and his presence by the Atabeks, and by his devotion to the Ottomans, until he arrived in his kashiba, very beautiful and magnificent. Newspapers and magazines use this line in their publications, which is the line of books printed today in all Arab countries. The modernists have developed a copy line for presses and typewriters, and for computer photodetectors, and they have marked the press line for writing daily newspapers.
The Thulth line is one of the most beautiful Arabic fonts, the most difficult to write, and it is the origin of the Arabic fonts and the balance of the calligrapher’s creativity. The calligrapher is not an artist unless he mastered the third line. Whoever mastered it mastered others easily and easily. Calligraphers may be lenient in the rules of writing any type of line, but they are more accountable, and more focused on commitment to the rule in this line, because it is more difficult in terms of rule and discipline.
The evolution of the Thulth line through history from what was originally Umayyad Altumar, and invented the line of the investigator and the line Rihani calligrapher son of the doorman. Then the line of signature and then the line of the patch and then the line of the two thirds, a line smaller than the line Altomar, serial line created by the calligraphic editor, then the line of the third third, and the line of the third trigonometric and the third line of the knitted and the third line affected by drawing, and the third-line geometric, The calligraphers used the third line to decorate mosques, niches, domes, and the beginnings of the Koran. And some of them wrote the Koran in this line, and used by writers and scientists in the line of titles of books, and the names of newspapers and magazines daily and weekly and monthly, and cards of joys and condolences, and for the beauty and improved, and the possibility of many movements in the formation, whether by Rafiq or Jalil.
Ibn Makla is the deceased in 328 AH, the author of the rules of this line of points and measurements and dimensions, and has the advantage of precedence than others. Then came the son of the doorman Ali bin Hilal al-Baghdadi, who died in 413 AH, and laid the rules of this line and liked it, and arranged in its structures, but did not interfere in the rules mentioned by the son of a kiss before him, remained constant today. Although Iranian calligraphers have preceded others in the Persian line Nastaalik, but there are a number of paintings on this line in Tehran, and was able to call the Iranian calligrapher to gain his artistic ability.
The Persian line appeared in Persia in the seventh century AH (13th century AD), called the line of suspension, a beautiful line characterized by letters accuracy and extension, and is characterized by ease and clarity and lack of complexity, and does not tolerate the formation, despite the difference with the line patch. The Iranians used the line of comment from a line that was written by the Quran at the time, and is called the line of kiramos, and it is said that its first rules were derived from the line of liberation The line of the patch and the third line.
The famous Iranian calligrapher Mir Ali al-Harawi al-Tabrizi, who died in 919 AH, who is likely to have been a student of Zein al-Din Mahmood,, And then moved Mir Ali in 1524 from Herat to the country of the Uzbeks in Bukhara, where he worked on the continuation of traditions established by Herat School in the arts of calligraphy. As a result of the exhaustion of the Iranians in the Persian calligraphy, which embraced and specialized in it, it passed through different stages, increased rooting and authenticity, and invented other lines taken from it, or an extension of it, from these lines the line of the Shaksta : invented from the lines of comment and Diwani. In this line, there is something difficult to read, because it remains confined to Iran, and no one writes or spreads among them. The symmetrical Persian line: They wrote verses and poems and the corresponding rule in writing, so that the last letter in the first word with the last letter in the last word, as if they fold the page from the center and print it to the left, called the Persian mirror line. The Persian Calligraphy: The Iranian calligraphers wrote the paintings that resemble the letters of their words so that they read more than one word and write more than the other letters and write instead. In this line, it is very difficult for the calligrapher and the reader alike.
Line of leave or signature
The signature line is also called the Rihani line, and is called the leave to be used in the writing of written leave. The appearance of this line began in Baghdad and developed in the Ottoman Empire and then spread. Characterizes this line as a combination between the line of copies and the line of the third, it is simply the beauty of reproduction and prestige and dignity of the third and the viewer is pleased to read and rest his soul.
This line was invented by the calligrapher Youssef Al-Shagari, who died in 200 AH, and he called it the “line of signature,” because the caliphs were signing it, and the books were written by the caliph al – Ma’mun. This line was later developed by the calligrapher Mir Ali Sultan al-Tabrizi, and the calligraphers were still writing their holidays to their students, like the ancients. This line is used for the purposes in which the third line is used, and it is also possible to form as the third line, and in the beginning of its letters and endings there is some turning, and this is added to it as well as the basil leaves. Those who write in the present era have said less.
The Diwani line is one of the lines invented by the Ottomans. It is said that the first one to set its rules and determine its scales is the calligrapher Ibrahim Munif. This line was officially known after the opening of the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad al-Fateh of Constantinople in 857 AH and was called Diwani in relation to the government offices in which he was writing. The Diwani line is the same as the Rihani line, but it differs from it by overlapping its letters in some of them in a proportionate and consistent manner, especially its alphabets and lamas. The overlap in some of them is similar to basil sticks. This is why this was called by the ancient Rihani. In this age, he was called the Ghazalian line, in relation to the calligrapher Mustafa Bey Ghazlan, where he mastered great mastery. He was taught by Mahmoud Shukri Pasha, the head of the Royal Court of Egypt.
The line is characterized by its vaults, and it is not without a letter of arcs. The origin of the Diwaniya line drawings is written directly in the reed pen with a piece of free manufacturing. The amendment is even more precise in its letters with the exact sent letters, which are: A, C, D, W, and R. However, the experienced calligrapher writes this type by a single letter, according to the requirements of the letters with high endings, as well as in the drawing of the descending millennium, the pain, the cup, the H-cup, its derivatives, the Mim and others with high endings. It is also advantageous to have the convergence of characters and connect them through the path of a straight horizontal line, but some characters have to get out of that path to give a more aesthetic dimension to the flexibility of the craft in a creative creative structure aspiring to the horizon packed with wide vocabulary of elegance and elegance and soft texture.
The Diwani line is a soft line for most writings. It is flexible in writing, making it easy to write on calligraphers. He specialized in the official writings of the Ottoman State Office. His writing is of a special style, especially in the royal court, princes and sultans. He writes the appointments in large posts, imitating high positions and giving patents, issuing royal orders and so on.
The line of the tyrants
The line of tughra, toura, or tughra is one of the forms of Arabic calligraphy written in the thuluth script in a special form. And its origin is a sign of a bowl written in the Royal Orders or Islamic money or other, and mention the name of the Sultan or his title. ” The Sultans and the rulers of Turk, Ajam and Tatar took their seals, and the sultans may replace the seal by drawing the royal tigra on patents and publications, and they have specific documents. However, the tyrants often do not print, but draw, write and print on the coins. When the Euphrates. It is said that the origin of the word Tghara is a Tatar word containing the name of the sultan and his surname and that the first was used by the third Sultan in the Ottoman Empire Murad I. It is narrated in the origin of the tugra story that it is an old slogan of a legendary mythical bird was sanctified by the sultans of the Oguz, and that the writing of Tgara came in the meaning of the shadow of the wing of that bird.
The line of the tughra is the finest that reached the art of decorative beautification by lines. The lines in Tghraa aim to harmonize with the technical and engineering forms. The tughra evolved with time and in modern times it became more simple in terms of photography. The tigra is usually written in two types of lines, the third or the diwani, whose lines flow harmoniously and intersectically to give a smooth flow configuration The tugra has a fixed form based on three stretches of a thousand or not decreasing in length, three arches that start back a little abruptly forward and two lines that arch back and bounce back and expand., And the line Lin suffering up, followed by a sudden drop to cut the bow, and finally find a small alpha cut the bow.
The Moroccan Line
A type of local kufic line has appeared in Morocco and Andalusia, known as the Moroccan kufic script, and is commonly used in the writing of its manuscripts and correspondence. It is closer to the copy line and the third, which is characterized by its letters which combine in form between the dry and soft lines together, giving it a distinctive character. The writer of this type of line draws some of the letters such as the indentation, the nun and the final jowl in a semicircular arched form that descends at the line level and repeats along its length. The calligrapher mixes these radiations with the other letters in dry form and in the corners, reminiscent of primitive Arabic writing. This type was used until it was replaced by the copy line in the writing of the Koran in the seventh century AH.
The most prominent feature of the Moroccan line: softness in the arches of the nun and the like, has been measured and contrasted with its dry origin. The thousand were drawn on straightness and the removal of the scorpion that was attached to it from the right. A thousand descents descend from the line level, and a kufic trait is one of the features we see remaining in the Moroccan line. This may be due to the beginning of its drawing from above. Because of the absence of specific rules for this line, it is not possible to impose a special alphabet, as the calligrapher in this line often blurs the characters using variable forms of the letter and connects the words to each other, making the lines knit coherently helps to support the horizontal structure of the page. Reading is one of the characteristics of this line.
With the spread of Islam, the Arabic script was established in a vast geographic area with many regions developing their own unique style. From the 14th century onward, other cursive styles began to developed in Turkey, Persia, and China.
Nasta’liq is a cursive style originally devised to write the Persian language for literary and non-Qur’anic works. Nasta’liq is thought to be a later development of the naskh and the earlier ta’liq script used in Iran. The name ta’liq means “hanging”, and refers to the slightly steeped lines of which words run in, giving the script a hanging appearance. Letters have short vertical strokes with broad and sweeping horizontal strokes. The shapes are deep, hook-like, and have high contrast. A variant called Shikasteh is used in a more informal contexts.
Diwani is a cursive style of Arabic calligraphy developed during the reign of the early Ottoman Turks in the 16th and early 17th centuries. It was invented by Housam Roumi and reached its height of popularity under Süleyman I the Magnificent (1520–1566). Spaces between letters are often narrow, and lines ascend upwards from right to left. Larger variations called djali are filled with dense decorations of dots and diacritical marks in the space between, giving it a compact appearance. Diwani is difficult to read and write due to its heavy stylization, and became ideal script for writing court documents as it ensured confidentiality and prevented forgery.
Sini is a style developed in China. The shape is greatly influenced by Chinese calligraphy, using a horsehair brush instead of the standard reed pen. A famous modern calligrapher in this tradition is Hajji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang.
In the post colonial era, artists working in North Africa and the Middle East transformed Arabic calligraphy into a modern art movement, known as the Hurufiyya movement. Also known as the Al-hurufiyyah movement or the North African Letterist movement, artists working in this field use calligraphy as a graphic form within a contemporary artwork.
The term, hurifiyya is derived from the Arabic term, harf for letter. Traditionally, the term was charged with Sufi intellectual and esoteric meaning. It is an explicit reference to a Medieval system of teaching involving political theology and lettrism. In this theology, letters were seen as primordial signifiers and manipulators of the cosmos.
Hurufiyya artists rejected Western art concepts, and instead grappled with a new artistic identity drawn from within their own culture and heritage. These artists successfully integrated Islamic visual traditions, especially calligraphy, into contemporary, indigenous compositions. Although hurufiyyah artists struggled to find their own individual dialaogue with nationalism, they also worked towards an aesthetic that transcended national boundaries and represented a broader affiliation with an Islamic identity.
The hurufiyya art movement probably began in North Africa around 1955, in the area around Sudan, with the work of Ibrahim el-Salahi. However, the use of calligraphy in modern artworks appears to have emerged independently in various Islamic states. Few of the artists working in this field, had knowledge of each other, allowing for different manifestations of hurufiyyah to emerge in different regions. In Sudan, for instance, artworks include both Islamic calligraphy and West African motifs.
Leading exponents of hurufiyyah art can be found in Jordan. The Jordanian artist and art historian, Princess Wijdan Ali, for example, who revived the traditions of Arabic calligraphy in a modern, abstract, format.
The hurufiyyah art movement was not confined to painters, but also included artists working in a variety of media, such as the Jordanian ceramicist, Mahmoud Taha, who combined traditional aesthetics, including calligraphy, with skilled craftsmanship Nor was the movement confined to Jordan. In Iraq, the movement was known as Al Bu’d al Wahad (or the One Dimension Group)”, and in Iran, it was known as the Saqqa-Khaneh movement.
Western art has influenced Arabic calligraphy in other ways, with forms such as calligraffiti; the use of calligraphy in public art to make politico-social messages or to vandalise public buildings and spaces. Notable Islamic calligraffiti artists include: Yazan Halwani active in Lebanon, and A1one in Tehran and Middle East.
Pen : It is a writing and calligraphy tool, called in the Arabic language of the pimp and the tombstone. The first Arabs used the green palm leaf to write, and they mastered the purity and accuracy of the soil in the shape and size they wanted. Then they used the reeds in the line and took their pens. Then, after the expansion of the Islamic conquests, they saw that the reeds differed from Egypt to Egypt. And found that the Persian cane is the best types of reeds, and was cultivated and grows in India and Persia, traders were bringing it to Syria and Iraq, to be used by lions and scribes. After the Arabs became proficient in the manufacture of paper and ink, they invented the ink pen, which is characterized by a small tank of ink and a fist, and has a pointed feather. This pen was used for the first time in Egypt, and was written by Mu’izz Ladin Allah Fatimi and then invented in the manufacture of pens and caskets. In the present age, metal feathers have emerged, but many calligraphers still walk with cane, because the metal feathers dictate to the calligrapher to display the line, while the calligrapher acts in the reed feather as desired by the wild and the cat, and because the reed is soft and smooth, Toner a little bit.
Ink : The Arabs wrote in ink from China, then produced it from smoke, gum and others. The calligraphers used black ink, while the owners of drawings and decorations used red, blue and others. The needle was filled with ink for use in writing, and was made of glass or porcelain or any other material, and the manufacturer dressed in the manufacture using beautiful colors, although the use of two colors requires great skill, where each section should be blown separately and with each other, The filler is filled with layers of silk to absorb the ink and prevent impregnation in the tooth impregnation.
Paper : The Arabs were writing on the shoulders of camels, the soft white stones, the pines, the leather, the papyrus coming from China, then the concrete paper, which was made of linen, like the Chinese paper made of hashish. The beginning of the matter is slavery, a thin skin they wrote on it, and showed the first features of the art of Islamic writing, and remained slavery used in Morocco even after leaving, and the demand for paper in other regions. At present white paper is used in line, especially soft kushic paper.
The knife : Used for styling pen, which is made of metal or steel, which is packed with gold, and contains within it a smaller span to cut the tooth, and the masters of this work stamp their stamp on the steel for their blades, which should have been as sharp as the blade.
The direction of the lines in writing was not determined by a specific system until after it was promoted, so the writing was written by the first ones. When the writing was written and decided upon by the nations, each nation took a certain path in its writings. The hieroglyphic writing, the first writing written by the ancient Egyptians, was written from right to left and sometimes from left to right. The hieroglyphic face explains the direction of reading; moreover, they wrote it from top to bottom. The Chinese people write from top to bottom, from right to left on the vertical line, and the people of Europe are writing from left to right. As for the Arabs, Syriac and other Semitic people, they wrote from right to left. Arabic writing has been written in writing and written wherever it is from Yemen to the left in a horizontal line. All the Arabic letters had a head and then, the head was placed to the right and the butt to the left, except for six letters (A, C, H, X, G, G). It is difficult to write Arabic from left to right, while keeping the image of the letter on what it is.
Among the unique forms of Arabic calligraphy are the so-called repetitive or mirror scripts, (4) The historians of Arabic in general and the Arabic calligraphy in particular agree that this biblical phenomenon was known only in the late Middle Ages, specifically in the early Ottoman period, Accuracy and stoneness, and no evidence of the Ottomans’ passion for this phenomenon of linear launch them a term of its own expressed as a me. But the archaeological evidence indicates that this phenomenon has found its way into Islamic art in general and the Arabic calligraphy especially since the beginning of the Islamic era, specifically during the first three centuries of migration. This evidence is based on three rock inscriptions found in the Arabian peninsula (in Saudi Arabia now) To that period, I wrote in a reverse way from left to right. Examples of these inscriptions include:
In addition to these inscriptions, inscriptions were found on the early coins, for example: a Byzantine-style coin dating back to 29 AH, corresponding to 650 CE, struck in Damascus. The inscription contains a number of coins in the second half of The first century AH contains some words written in reverse, one of which is the campaign of a place beaten by Palestine carved in reverse, and another bear the place beaten Aleppo carved also in reverse, and found fils of Floss Abdul Malik bin Marwan inscribed by Abdullah Abdul Malik bin Marwan in reverse. The inscriptions on the coins were the result of an error in which they discussed the molds of the coins. They wrote on the coins in a moderate manner. They came out after they were poured on the metal piece in reverse, while the reverse was done with the three inscriptions.
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