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Encyclopedia > Nasta'liq script
Chalipa panel, Mir Emad.
Chalipa panel, Mir Emad.

Nasta'liq (نستعلیق nasta'līq) is one of the main genres of Persian calligraphy. It was developed in Iran in the 14th and 15th centuries. It has rarely been used to write Arabic but has been more popular in the Persian and Turkic spheres of influence. Nasta'līq has extensively been (and still is) practiced in Iran and Afghanistan as a form of art. A less elaborate version of Nasta'līq serves as the preferred style for writing Persian, Pashto and Urdū. The Nasta'līq script was also used for writing Ottoman Turkish. Image File history File links Nastaliq. ... Image File history File links Nastaliq. ... Emad Al-Hassani Qazvini (1554-1615), widely known as Mir Emad (میر عماد), is considered as one of the most celebrated masters of Nastaliq (نستعلیق) calligraphic style. ... Persian calligraphy is the calligraphy of Persian writing system. ... 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. ... Pashto (‎, IPA: also known as Pakhto, Pushto, Pukhto ‎, Pashtoe, Pashtu, Pushtu, Pushtoo, Pathan, or Afghan language) is an Iranian language of the Indo-Iranian language family spoken by Pashtuns living in southeastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan. ... (اردو), historically spelled Ordu, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch, belonging to Indo-European family of languages. ... 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. ...


Nasta'līq is amongst the most fluid calligraphy styles for Arabic alphabet. It has short verticals with no serifs, and long horizontal strokes. It is written using a piece of trimmed reed with a tip of 5–10 mm, called "qalam" ("pen," in Arabic), and carbon ink, named "davat." The nib of a qalam is usually split in the middle to facilitate ink absorption. An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for coloring a surface to render an image or text. ...


Two important forms of Nasta'līq panels are Chalipa and Siah-Masq. A Chalipa ("cross," in Persian) panel usually consists of four diagonal hemistiches, clearly signifying a moral, ethical or poetic concept. Siah-Masq ("inked drill") panels however communicate via composition and form, rather than content. In Siah-Masq, repeating a few (sometimes even one) letters or words virtually inks the whole panel. The content is thus of less significance and not clearly accessible.

Contents

History

Example showing Nasta'liq's proportional rules.[ 1 ]
Example showing Nasta'liq's proportional rules.[ 1 ]

After the Islamic conquest of Persia, Iranians adopted the Arabic alphabet and the art of Arabic calligraphy flourished in Iran alongside other Islamic countries. Apparently, Mir Ali Tabrizi (14th century) developed Nasta'līq by combining two existing scripts of Naskh and Ta'liq. Hence, it was originally called Naskh-Ta'liq. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1701x1768, 1176 KB)[edit] Summary Nastaliq proportions [edit] Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1701x1768, 1176 KB)[edit] Summary Nastaliq proportions [edit] Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Islamic conquest of Afghanistan. ... 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 stylized signature of Sultan Abdul Hamid I of the Ottoman Empire was written in an expressive calligraphy. ... Mir Ali Tabrizi (14th century). ... Naskh (نسخ, also known as Naskhi or by its Turkish name Nesih) is a specific calligraphic style for writing in the Arabic alphabet. ... taliq is the arabic word for suspension. ...


Nasta'līq thrived gradually and many prominent calligraphists contributed to its splendor and beauty. It is believed that Nasta'līq reached its highest elegance in Mir Emad's works. The current practice of Nasta'līq is however heavily based on Mirza Reza Kalhor's manner. Kalhor modified and adapted Nasta'līq to be easily used with printing machines, which in return helped wide dissemination of his transcripts. He also devised methods for teaching Nasta'līq and specified clear proportional rules for it, which many could follow. Emad Al-Hassani Qazvini (1554-1615), widely known as Mir Emad (میر عماد), is considered as one of the most celebrated masters of Nastaliq (نستعلیق) calligraphic style. ...


The Mughal Empire used Persian as the court language during their rule over the Indian subcontinent. During this time, Nasta'līq became in widespread use in South Asia, including Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. The influence remains to this day. In Pākistān, almost everything in Urdu is written in the script, concentrating the greater part of Nasta’līq usage in the world. In Hyderābād, Lakʰnau, and other cities in India with large Urdu-speaking populations, many street signs and such are written in Nasta'līq. The situation of Nasta'līq in Bangladesh used to be the same as in Pākistān until 1971, when Urdū ceased to remain an official language of the country. Today, only a few neighborhoods (mostly inhabited by Bihāris) in Ḍʰākā and Chiṭṭagong retain the influence of the Persian and Nasta'līq. The Mughal Empire (Persian: ‎ , Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت, Hindi: मुग़ल साम्राज्य), self-designation GurkānÄ«, گوركانى was an empire that at its greatest territorial extent ruled eastern parts of Khorasan (including Afghanistan) and most of the Indian subcontinent, then known as Hindustan, including most of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. ... 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. ... Satellite image of the Indian subcontinent Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ... This article is about the geopolitical region in Asia. ... Hyderabad or Haydarābād (Telugu: హైదరాబాదు Urdu: حیدر آباد ) is the capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. ... Lucknow   (Hindi: लखनऊ, Urdu: لكهنو, ) is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... Bihari is a name given to a group of Indo-Aryan languages spoken in the Bihar region of India. ... Dhaka (previously Dacca; Bangla: ঢাকা Đhaka; IPA: ) is the capital of Bangladesh and the Dhaka District. ... Chittagong (Bengali: চট্টগ্রাম, Chôţţogram) is the major seaport and second largest city of Bangladesh. ...


Nasta'līq is a descendant of Naskh and Ta'liq. Shekasteh Nasta'liq (literarily "broken Nasta'līq") style is a successor of Nasta'līq. Naskh (نسخ, also known as Naskhi or by its Turkish name Nesih) is a specific calligraphic style for writing in the Arabic alphabet. ... taliq is the arabic word for suspension. ...


Notable Nasta'līq calligraphists

And others: Mirza Jafar Tabrizi, Abdul Rashid Deilami, Sultan Ali Mashadi, Mir Ali Heravi, Emad Ul-Kottab, Gholam Reza Esfehani and Mirza Reza Kalhor. Mir Ali Tabrizi (14th century). ... Emad Al-Hassani Qazvini (1554-1615), widely known as Mir Emad (میر عماد), is considered as one of the most celebrated masters of Nastaliq (نستعلیق) calligraphic style. ... Mírzá `Abbás-i-Núrí Mírzá `Abbás-i-Núrí (Persian: ‎ ​), more commonly known as Mírzá Buzurg was the father of Baháulláh, the prophet-founder of the Baháí Faith. ... Mishkín-Qalam Mírzá HÌ£usayn-i-Isfahání (d. ...


And among contemporary artists: Hassan Mirkhani, Hossein Mirkhani, Abbas Akhavein and Qolam-Hossein Amirkhani.


Etiquette

Islamic calligraphy was originally used to adorn Islamic religious texts, specifically the Qur'ān, as pictorial ornaments were prohibited in Islam. Therefore, a sense of sacredness always hovered in the background of calligraphy. The stylized signature of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was written in an expressive calligraphy. ... The Quran (Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ...


A Nasta'līq disciple was supposed to qualify him/herself spiritually for being a calligrapher, besides learning how to prepare qalam, ink, paper and more importantly master Nasta'līq. For instance see Adab al-Masq, a manual of penmanship, attributed to Mir Emad. Emad Al-Hassani Qazvini (1554-1615), widely known as Mir Emad (میر عماد), is considered as one of the most celebrated masters of Nastaliq (نستعلیق) calligraphic style. ...

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

Nasta'līq typesetting

Producing high quality Nasta'līq in print is a demanding process. For example, Monotype's attempt to implement Nasta'līq for photo composer typesetting resulted in a repertoire of 20,000 different glyphs. Currently Monotype Imaging, Inc, a typesetting and typeface design company responsible for many developments in printing technology — in particular the Monotype machine which was the first fully mechanical typesetter — and the design and production of typefaces in the 19th and 20th centuries. ... A glyph is a carved figure or character, incised or in relief; a carved pictograph; hence, a pictograph representing a form originally adopted for sculpture, whether carved or painted. ...

An example of the Nasta'liq script used for writing Urdū
An example of the Nasta'liq script used for writing Urdū

Nastaleeq Typography first started with the attempts to develop a metallic type for the script but all such efforts failed. Fort William College developed a Nastaleeq Type but that was not close to Nastaleeq and hence never used other than by the college library to publish its own books. State of Hyderabad Dakan (now in India) also attempted to develop a Nastaleeq Typewriter but this attempt miserably failed and the file was closed with the phrase “Preparation of Nastaleeq on commercial basis is impossible”. Basically, in order to develop such a type, thousands of pieces are required. Image File history File links Nastaliq. ... Image File history File links Nastaliq. ... (اردو), historically spelled Ordu, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch, belonging to Indo-European family of languages. ... Fort William College was an academy and learning center of oriental studies, set up by then British India Governor General Lord Wellesley. ...


Later on, Monotype also worked on Nastaleeq Typography. Monotype attempt was in conjunction with a Pakistani industrialist Mr. Ahmad Jameel Mirza who himself is a calligrapher. Mr. Mirza wrote more than 20,000 frequently-used ligatures or words for Urdu to form that database of glyphs. This system was named Noori Nastaleeq. Noori Nastaleeq was implemented by Monotype on their LaserComp Machine in early eighties, costing 10 million Pakistani Rupee per unit at that time. This system was purchased by an Urdu daily newspaper daily Jang. But later on, as the IBM PC came into market, this database of glyphs was stolen[citation needed] [does this mean copied without permission? Did Monotype actually lose it? Was copyright breached?] and its PC Interfaces were developed by various companies and individuals. Examples of such interfaces are InPage, Surkhaab, and Shahkaar etc.


Modern Nastaleeq Typography begins with Pak Data Management Services Nafees Raqim and Jauher Nastaleeq. Nafees Raqim was basically an ASCII-mapped font following the Lahori Style of Nastaleeq that worked in its own environment, an ActiveX control and was a pure commercial effort. It is still in use but is not open for the masses to use. Jauher Nastaleeq is another effort by PDMS that resembles Noori Nastaleeq and hence follows the Dehelvi Ravish of the script. But key difference between Nafees Raqim and Jauher Nastaleeq is that Jauher is a Unicode-based OpenType font. It means that you can use it in Windows 2000/Windows XP and Microsoft Office and any other application as well. Jauher Nastaleeq is also not available to the masses as it is a pure commercial effort. However, for a sample, go to UrduNews which embeds Jauher through Microsoft's WEFT Technology. For a sample of Nafees Raqim, please visit Dewaan-e-Ghaalib but you'll have to download an ActiveX control in order to view this site.


The first publicly available attempt at developing Unicode-based OpenType Nastaleeq font was Nafees Nastaleeq. This font was developed by FAST University in Pakistan by a team of four people led by Dr. Sarmad Hussain, other including Aamir Wali, Aatif Gulzar and the Calligrapher Mr. Jameel-ur-Rehmaan. This team spent 18 months to develop Nafees Nastaleeq following the Lahori Ravish of Nastaleeq. It has 900+ shapes, 103 Joining Rules, 77 Mark Placement Rules, 15 Kerning Rules, 24 Cursive Attachments and 30+ ligatures. Nafees Nastaleeq was to be Open Source as it was funded by some American Grant but later on, the team decided not to disclose its internals, and as a result the font is still free to use but sources are not available to the public. Due to massive joining and mark placement rules, this font has serious performance issues. Nafees Nastaleeq makes the Rendering Process quite slow on larger amounts of text.[citation needed] However, the font has been used on several websites, including Frances Pritchett's Dīwān-i Ghālib.


Later on, Dr. Attash Durrani of Center of Excellence for Urdu Informatics initiated a project to develop a standard Unicode-based OpenType Nastaleeq font named Pak Nastaleeq funded by Government of Pakistan. Mr. Mohsin Shafique Hijjazi was the one responsible for the implementation and contextual analysis of Nastaleeq as they were not publicly available at that time. Using some mathematical modeling, he reduced the joining rules first from 100 to 25 and then from 25 to only 2 joining rules. This font is yet in its Beta stages and resembles Noori Nastaleeq following Dehelvi Script. Only 200 shapes, 2 joining rules, 5 mark placement rules, 1 Cursive Attachment rule and 0 ligatures, this font is highly efficient to use and targeted for both the Desktop Publishing and the World Wide Web.


References

  1. ^  Esrafil Shirchi, Amozesh khat pouya, Roham Pub., Tehran, 1998. ISBN 964-91846-2-7ba.

See also

Persian calligraphy is the calligraphy of Persian writing system. ... The stylized signature of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was written in an expressive calligraphy. ... The word Hindustani is an adjective used to denote a connection to India, or, more precisely, the historical region that encompasses Northern India, Pakistan, and nearby areas. ... (اردو), historically spelled Ordu, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch, belonging to Indo-European family of languages. ... The Uddin and Begum Urdu-Hindustani Romanization scheme was proposed by the late Syed Fasih Uddin and the late Quader Unissa Begum for the Romanization of Urdu-Hindustani. ...

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