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An Insight Look At The Beauty Of Arabic Calligraphy
Dec 17, 2020
Arabic Calligraphy

by Virtosu Art Gallery

Dec 17, 2020

An Insight Look At The Beauty Of Arabic Calligraphy




Arabic, a beautiful and exceptional language, has one of the most prominent writing styles. Arabic calligraphy, also known as Islamic calligraphy, is given particular respect and esteem worldwide because it is the first script in which the Holy Quran was written.

Arabic Calligraphy
Arabic calligraphy art is and has always been an important component of Islamic art. In the earlier days, Arabic calligraphy originally served as a medium for communication, but with the passage of time, it began to be used in architecture, ornament, and coin design. The beauty of Islamic paintings and calligraphy lies in their unique formations, symmetry, and variations.

The Art Of Calligraphy

In every civilization, art has always been one of the common and the most important element. From the Early Egyptian to Roman, Indian to Byzantine, and even until the modern period, every civilization has valued art in various forms, be it abstract or contemporary art. Islamic art has always been known for its distinguishing and diverse style.

Alongside its strong association with the Holy Quran, one of the main reasons for the rise of Arabic calligraphy was the prohibition of sculpting and painting. Since figurative art has always been prohibited in Islam, this resulted in a strong association of the Muslims with their holy language, eventually becoming the primary source of their artistic expression.

Evolution Of Arabic Calligraphy Script

The script of Arabic calligraphy has different forms that range from diverse periods to discrete lands. In the earlier days, Arabic calligraphy was minimalistic and straightforward compared to the later development in its script forms. There are two reasons for this development in the Arabic script forms. The first was the expansion of Islamic civilization, covering large areas of the earth. The second reason was the urge and interest to communicate across these vast areas of the Islamic civilization. This resulted in the emergence of different Arabic scripts.

Kufic Script

The Kufic script is one of the oldest Arabic scripts, which was developed over the 7th century. It played an essential role in documenting the Holy Quran. The Kufic script, in its earlier stages of development, lacked the dots and accents that are now a part of modern calligraphy.

Kufic Script
The Kufic script had angular shapes and long vertical lines. The letters of this script were also wider, which made it difficult to write long content. This affected the script's usability, making it more suitable for writing architectural and Islamic titles instead of long texts. The Kufic script continued its development through the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties.

Thuluth Script

The meaning of “Thuluth” is one-third, which refers to the size of the pen, which was used to write this script. First developed during the Abbasid dynasty in the 11th century, Thuluth was one of the scripts used to decorate mosques and other religious places.
Thuluth Script
The clear structure and readability of the Thuluth script make it suitable for several purposes. The letters and the long lines make it easily usable for long texts and titles. Thus, in many Islamic empire regions, the Thuluth script was used for writing the Holy Quran and in architectural decorations. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia also has the Thuluth script embedded in its flag.

Naskh Script

Naskh means “to copy.” This script was used to copy the Holy Quran. It was also developed during the Abbasid dynasty in the 10th century. Due to its easy readability, the Naskh script was used for transcribing books, including the Holy Quran and in administrative court documents. Thus, Ibn e Muqla standardized Naskh as one of the primary six scripts of the Arabic calligraphy in the 10th century.

Naskh Script
Naskh uses a horizontal based line. It is a sans serif script, meaning it lacks hooks at descending and ascending strokes. Due to this script's modern look, it is still used in the designing and printing of Arabic books.

Taliq Script

Developed during the 11th century and reformed during the 13th century in Persia during the Safavid dynasty, Taliq script was used for writing books, messages, letters, and poems. The meaning of the word Taliq is suspension, which was inspired by the script line’s shape, which looks hung together. This script is a pure work of art.
Taliq Script
The letters of the Taliq script are round, having a lot of curves. The words also appear suspended, connecting to each other. Due to this reason, this script is often written with more distance between lines. This makes the letters and the words easily identifiable. Though an advantage to the eye, this consumes a lot of space when the content is long, making the text limited.

Nasta’liq Script

Developed during the 15th century in Persia and Turkey, the Nasta’liq script is a refined version of the Taliq script, having elements of Nashkh. The Nastaliq script letters are a little hooked, like those of the Taliq script, having a varied thickness. Nastaliq script has the characteristics of both, Taliq and Nashkh script.
Nasta’liq Script
Having long curved horizontal strokes of Taliq and short vertical lines of Nashkh, the letters of Nastaliq flows smoothly and in harmony. It is the most preferred calligraphy styles for Islamic art. As compared to the previous both, this script is hard to write and less readable. Nastaliq script is still being used in Persia, India, and Pakistan for writing in Persian, Urdu, and Punjabi.

Diwani Script

Diwani script was developed in the 16th century and reached its height of popularity in the 19th century, under the reign of Suleman I, the tenth ruler of the Ottoman empire. It was used to write official documents, such as decrees, resolutions, and endowments.
Diwani Script
Diwani script is exceptionally cursive and highly structured to form composite shapes and enhancing forms. Known for its beautiful curved letters, the Diwani script is still used in the ceremonies and greeting cards of the kings, princes, and presidents.

Reason For Popularity Of Arabic Calligraphy

By far, the main reason for the popularity of Islamic calligraphy is its symmetry. Having a perfect balance of dots, edges, curves, and points, the Arabic lettering and script make up the design's perfect component. Since it can be fitted into a wide variety of shapes, forms, and designs, it provides a space for creativity and originality to bloom on canvas.

In A Nutshell

Like in the past era, Arabic calligraphy is still one of the most widely acknowledged forms of art. It serves as a means of communication between nations and religions. Having developed for over 14 centuries in various regions around the world, the letters, style, and script of Arabic calligraphy are continuing to develop, depending on the modern era's versatility. The modern is contributing to the art form, just like the traditional scripts have done.

About author Claudia Jeffrey is a senior research analyst & lifestyle blogger at Dissertation Assistance. She has shared many of her articles online to help entrepreneurs promote their business, has a passion for helping people, and brings a change in their lives through her words. During her free time, she likes to delve into pop culture from across the planet.

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