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Encyclopedia > Islamic calligraphy
The stylized signature (tughra) of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was written in an expressive calligraphy. It reads Mahmud Khan son of Abdulhamid is forever victorious.
The stylized signature (tughra) of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was written in an expressive calligraphy. It reads Mahmud Khan son of Abdulhamid is forever victorious.

Islamic calligraphy is the art of writing, and by extension, of bookmaking.[1] This art has most often employed the Arabic script, throughout many languages. Calligraphy is especially revered among Islamic arts since it was the primary means for the preservation of the Qur'an. Image File history File links Tugra_Mahmuds_II.gif Animated Tughra Mahmud II showing the structure of the calligraphy. ... The tughra of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire. ... Sultan (Arabic: سلطان) is an Islamic title, with several historical meanings. ... The stylized signature of Mahmud II was written in an expressive calligraphy. ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–65) Edirne (1365–1453) Constantinople (İstanbul, 1453–1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish (official); spoken languages include Abkhazian, Adyghe, Albanian, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Azerbaijani... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing Arabic and various other languages, together with various closely related scripts that typically differ in the presence or absence of a few letters. ... The term Islamic art denotes the arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people (not necessarily Muslim) who lived within the territory that was inhabited by culturally Islamic populations. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ...


Throughout Islamic history, the work of calligraphers were collected and appreciated. Consideration of figurative art as idolatrous led to calligraphy and abstract figures becoming the main methods of artistic expression in Islamic cultures.[2]


Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish calligraphy is associated with geometric Islamic art (the Arabesque) on the walls and ceilings of mosques as well as on the page. Contemporary artists in the Islamic world draw on the heritage of calligraphy to use calligraphic inscriptions or abstractions in their work. Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Look up Persian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–65) Edirne (1365–1453) Constantinople (İstanbul, 1453–1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish (official); spoken languages include Abkhazian, Adyghe, Albanian, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Azerbaijani... Contemporary Calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek kallos beauty + graphẽ writing) is the art of beautiful writing (Mediavilla 1996: 17). ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Arabesque pattern at the Alhambra An element of Islamic art usually found decorating the walls of mosques, the arabesque is an elaborate application of repeating geometric forms that often echo the forms of plants and animals. ... The Masjid al-Haram in Mecca as it exists today A mosque is a place of worship for followers of the Islamic faith. ... An artist is someone who employs creative talent to produce works of art. ... The Islamic world is the world-wide community of those who identify with Islam, known as Muslims, and who number approximately one-and-a-half billion people. ...

Contents

Role in Islamic culture

Page of a 12th century Qur'an written in the Andalusi script
Page of a 12th century Qur'an written in the Andalusi script

Calligraphy has arguably become the most venerated form of Islamic art because it provides a link between the languages of the Muslims with the religion of Islam. The holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, has played an important role in the development and evolution of the Arabic language, and by extension, calligraphy in the Arabic alphabet. Proverbs and complete passages from the Qur'an are still active sources for Islamic calligraphy. The Arabic alphabet consists of 28 letters and 18 different forms of writing. Download high resolution version (576x672, 265 KB)12th century Quran page, from http://faculty. ... Download high resolution version (576x672, 265 KB)12th century Quran page, from http://faculty. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Caliphate proper and the general period of Muslim rule (711–1492). ... Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... For the music piece by Steve Reich see Proverb (Reich) Look up proverb in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing Arabic and various other languages, together with various closely related scripts that typically differ in the presence or absence of a few letters. ...


Calligraphic scripts

The first of those to gain popularity was known as the Kufic script, which was angular, made of square and short horizontal strokes, long verticals, and bold, compact circles. It would be the main script used to copy the Qur'an for three centuries. Its static aspect made it suitable for monumental inscriptions, too. It would develop many serifs, small decorations added to each character. Surah Al-Baqarah written in Kufic form. ... The Taj Mahal, commissioned by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, as a mausoleum for his wife, Arjumand Banu Begum. ... In typography, serifs are non-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. ...


More often used for casual writing was the cursive Naskh script, with rounder letters and thin lines. As techniques for writing in this style were refined, it would come to be preferred to Kufic for copying the Qur'an. Most children are taught Naskh first, and at a later stage they are introduced to the Ruq'ah script. Almost all printed material in Arabic is in Naskh so, to avoid confusion, children are taught to write in the same script. It is also clearer and easier to decipher. Cursive is any style of handwriting which is designed for writing down notes and letters by hand. ... Naskh (نسخ, also known as Naskhi or by its Turkish name Nesih) is a specific calligraphic style for writing in the Arabic alphabet. ... Ruqah or Riqa (Arabic: الرقعة) is a calligraphic variety of Arabic script. ... For other articles which might have the same name, see Print (disambiguation). ...


In the 13th century, the Thuluth would take on the ornamental role formerly associated with the Kufic script. Thuluth meaning "one third", it is based on the principle that one third of each letter slides downward. Thus it has a strong cursive aspect and is usually written in ample curves. (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Thuluth (Arabic: ثلث one-third) is a script variety of Arabic calligraphy, which made its first appearance in the fourth century of the Hegira (11th century AD). ...

As the Persians converted to Islam, they took to using Arabic script for their own language, Persian. They contributed to Arabic calligraphy the Ta'liq and Nasta'liq styles. The latter is extremely cursive, with exaggeratedly long horizontal strokes. One of its peculiarities is that vertical strokes lean to the right rather than (as more commonly) to the left, making Nasta'liq writing flow particularly well. The Persians also developed a style called shekasteh ('broken' in Persian). Shekasteh has seldom been used for scripting Arabic texts, though it is an Arabic calligraphy style. Image:Thuluth. ... The Persians of Iran (officially named Persia by West until 1935 while still referred to as Persia by some) are an Iranian people who speak Persian (locally named Fârsi by native speakers) and often refer to themselves as ethnic Iranians as well. ... Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... taliq is the arabic word for suspension. ... Nastaliq (نستعليق) is a specific style for writing in the Arabic alphabet. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ...

The Diwani script is a cursive style of Arabic calligraphy developed during the reign of the early Ottoman Turks (16th and early 17th centuries). It was invented by Housam Roumi and reached its height of popularity under Süleyman I the Magnificent (152066). As decorative as it was communicative, Diwani was distinguished by the complexity of the line within the letter and the close juxtaposition of the letters within the word. Image:Farsi. ... Diwani is a calligraphic variety of Arabic script, a cursive style developed during the reign of the early Ottoman Turks (16th century - early 17th century). ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–65) Edirne (1365–1453) Constantinople (Ä°stanbul, 1453–1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish (official); spoken languages include Abkhazian, Adyghe, Albanian, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Azerbaijani... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I (November 6, 1494 – September 5/6, 1566); in Turkish Süleyman, (nicknamed the Magnificent in Europe and the Lawgiver in the Islamic World, in Turkish Kanuni) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 and successor to Selim I. He was born... mary elline m. ... Events January 7 - Pius V becomes Pope Selim II succeeds Suleiman I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Religious rioting in the Netherlands signifies the beginning of the Eighty Years War in the Netherlands. ...

A variation of the Diwani, the Diwani Al Jali, is characterized by its abundance of diacritical and ornamental marks. Arabic Diwani font This image is ineligible for copyright and therefore in the public domain, because it consists entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship. ... Diacritical is a Washington DC based experimental rock band offically formed in 2004. ...

Finally, the most commonly used script for everyday use is Riq'a. Simple and easy to write, its movements are small, without much amplitude. It is the one most commonly seen. It's also considered a step up from the Naskh script, and as children get older they are taught this script in school. Image:Jali. ... Riqa is a calligraphic variety of Arabic script. ...

In China, a calligraphic form called Sini has been developed. This form has evident influences from Chinese calligraphy, using a horsehair brush as opposed to the standard reed pen. A famous modern calligrapher in this tradition is Hajji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang [1]. Image:Riqa. ... Sini is a Chinese Islamic calligraphic form for the Arabic script. ... Calligraphy is an art dating back to the earliest day of history, and widely practiced throughout China to this day. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Hajji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang (米廣江, 1963-) is an expert in Islamic calligraphy, specializing in the Sini style which originated from the Chinese Muslim tradition. ...


Calligrams

Arabic calligram in the shape of a bird
Arabic calligram in the shape of a bird
Bismillah calligraphy
Bismillah calligraphy
Bismillah calligraphy
Bismillah calligraphy

Calligraphy, the most Islamic of arts in the Muslim world, has also its figurative sides. By interweaving written words, made from an "Allah", a "Muhammad", a "Bismillah", etc., or using micrography[3], calligraphers produced anthropomorphic figures ('Ali, the Ideal Human of mystics, a praying man[4], a face), zoomorphisms (symbolical creatures, most from the Shi'a iconography, like the lion (Duldul, horse of 'Ali[5], horse ('Ali's Duldul)[6], fish[3], stork[7] or other bird (the qur'anic Hudhud)[8][9]) and unanimated representations (a sword (Dhu al-Fiqar), a mosque, a ship (made from the letter and Arabic grammatical conjunction waw, symbol of mystical union)). Calligrams are related to Muslim mysticism and popular with many leading calligraphers in Turkey, Persia and India from the 17th century onward. Image File history File linksMetadata Caligrafia_arabe_pajaro. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Caligrafia_arabe_pajaro. ... Image File history File links Bismillah. ... Image File history File links Bismillah. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Contemporary Calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek kallos beauty + graphẽ writing) is the art of beautiful writing (Mediavilla 1996: 17). ... Phrases containing Allah Allah is Arabic for God and is the only god (monotheism) in the religion of Islam. ... Micrography is a Jewish art form developed in the 9th century, utilizing minute Hebrew letters to form representational, geometric and abstract designs. ... Ali ibn Abu Talib (Arabic: ) (c. ... Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ... Ali ibn Abu Talib (Arabic: ) (c. ... Ali ibn Abu Talib (Arabic: ) (c. ... Zulfiqar, a fictional representation of the sword of Ali. ...   Vav or waw is the sixth letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic in abjadi order; it is the twenty-seventh in modern Arabic order. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ...


In the teachings of calligraphy figurative imagery is used to help visualize the shape of letters to trace (such as "initial ha' looks in nasta'liq similar to two eyes like his Persian name implies: "ha' two eyes" he' do tcheshm). In literature and poetry seeing in letters a reflection of the natural world goes back to the Abbasid times. Abbasid Caliphate (Abbasid Khalifat) and contemporary states and empires in 820. ...


One of the contemporary masters of the calligram genre is Hassan Massoudy. Hassan Massoudy is an Iraqi calligrapher who has published many collections of his work. ...


A good example is the logo of Al Jazeera, a local/international news station based at Qatar. Al Jazeera logo Al Jazeera (الجزيرة), meaning The Island or The (Arabian) Peninsula (whence also Algiers) is an Arabic television channel based in Qatar. ...


Instruments and media

The instruments and work of a student calligrapher.
The instruments and work of a student calligrapher.

The traditional instrument of the Arabic calligrapher is the qalam, a pen made of dried reed; 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. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 291 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Qalam Islamic calligraphy Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 291 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Qalam Islamic calligraphy Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or... This is about the tool known as a qalam. ... A ballpoint pen A pen (Latin penna, feather) is a writing instrument that applies ink to a surface, usually paper. ... Binomial name Phragmites australis (Cav. ... An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for coloring a surface to render an image or text. ... Color is an important part of the visual arts. ...


A variety of media were employed for presenting calligraphy. 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 hundred and even thousands of volumes of books.[10] Nations with a Muslim majority appear in green, while nations that are approximately 50% Muslim appear yellow. ...


Another medium for calligraphy were coins. Beginning in 692, the Islamic caliphate reformed the coinage of the Near East by replacing visual depiction by words. This was especially true for dinars, or gold coins of high value. Generally the coins were inscribed with quotes from the Quran.


By the tenth century, the Persians, who had converted to Islam, began weaving inscriptions on to elaborately patterned silks. So precious were calligraphic inscribed textile, that Crusaders brought them to Europe as prized possessions. A notable example is the Shroud of St. Josse, used to wrap the bones of St. Josse in the abbey of St. Josse-sur-Mer near Caen in northwestern France.[11]


Notes

  1. ^ Bloom (1999), pg. 218
  2. ^ Bloom (1999), pg. 222
  3. ^ a b BNF.
  4. ^ Praying man.
  5. ^ Lion of ’Ali.
  6. ^ Horse of ’Ali.
  7. ^ Stork.
  8. ^ HudHud.
  9. ^ Islamic Bird.
  10. ^ Bloom (1999), pg. 218
  11. ^ Bloom (1999), pg. 223-5

References

  • Esposito, John L.; Blair, Shiela; Bloom, Jonothan. (1999). The Oxford History of Islam. New York: Oxford University press. 

See also

Notable calligraphers: The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing Arabic and various other languages, together with various closely related scripts that typically differ in the presence or absence of a few letters. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Contemporary Calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek kallos beauty + graphẽ writing) is the art of beautiful writing (Mediavilla 1996: 17). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The term Islamic art denotes the arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people (not necessarily Muslim) who lived within the territory that was inhabited by culturally Islamic populations. ... Islamic pottery era started around 622. ... Photo taken from medieval manuscript by Qotbeddin Shirazi (1236–1311), a Persian Astronomer. ... Ottoman Turkish (Turkish: or , Ottoman Turkish: ‎ ) was the variant of the Turkish language that was used as the administrative and literary language of the Ottoman Empire. ... Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ...

Ismail Gulgee (born 1926) is an award winning globally famous Pakistani artist. ... Sadequain is a world renowed Pakistani painter and artist. ... Hassan Massoudy is an Iraqi calligrapher who has published many collections of his work. ... Khalil al-Zahawi (Arabic: خليل الزهاوي‎; 1946 - 25 May 2007) was one of Iraqs most prominent Arabic calligraphers. ...

External links

Islamic studies
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Islamic Science

Islamic ScienceTimeline of Islamic ScienceIslamic Golden Age
Alchemy and ChemistryAstronomyInventionsMathematicsMedicineOphthalmology
Islamic Studies is the academic discipline which focuses on Islamic issues. ... This article is about the general history of science in the Muslim World. ... This is a subarticle to Islamic studies and science. ... // All year dates are given in the Gregorian calendar except where noted. ... Photo taken from medieval manuscript by Qotbeddin Shirazi (1236–1311), a Persian Astronomer. ... Alchemy in Islam differs from the general alchemy in certain ways, one of which is that Muslim alchemists didnt believe in the creation of life in the laboratory. ... This is a sub-article of Islamic science and astronomy. ... A significant number of inventions were produced in the Muslim world, many of them with direct implications for Fiqh related issues. ... Islamic mathematics is the profession of Muslim Mathematicians. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The oculist or kahhal, a somewhat despised professional in Galen’s time, was an honored member of the medical profession by the Abbasid period, occupying a unique place in royal households. ...

Islamic Art

ArtArchitectureCalligraphyLiteratureMusicPoetryPottery The term Islamic art denotes the arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people (not necessarily Muslim) who lived within the territory that was inhabited by culturally Islamic populations. ... The term Islamic art denotes the arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people (not necessarily Muslim) who lived within the territory that was inhabited by culturally Islamic populations. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Islamic literature is a field that includes the study of modern and classical Arabic and the litarature written in those languages. ... Islamic music is Muslim religious music, as sung or played in public services or private devotions. ... Islamic poetry is poetry written by Muslims on the topic of Islam. ... Islamic pottery era started around 622. ...

Other Fields

HistoryEconomicsJurisprudenceMysticismPhilosophySufi StudiesTheology The Suleiman Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii) in Istanbul was built on the order of sultan Suleiman the Magnificent by the great Ottoman architect Sinan in 1557 The History of Islam is the history of the Islamic faith and the world it shaped as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon. ... Islamic economics is economics in accordance with Islamic law. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Sufism is a mystic tradition that is practised by some muslims and some non-muslims and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart. ... Islamic philosophy (الفلسفة الإسلامية) is a branch of Islamic studies, and is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between philosophy (reason) and the religious teachings of Islam (faith). ... Sufi studies: a particular branch of comparative studies that uses a. ... Kalam (علم الكلم)is one of the religious sciences of Islam. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
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In the Islamic tradition, the writing is connected and so it has a different aspect to it than the others do involving many connections that are made between the letters.
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Islamic calligraphy is not based on aesthetics or logic -- although many of its scripts certainly have that -- but on what Muslims call
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