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Islamic Calligraphy Art

Islamic Calligraphy Art

The inventive practice of handwriting/calligraphy sharing an Islamic ethnic heritage is called Islamic Calligraphy. This form of art is constructed on Arabic scripting, which was utilized by all Muslims in their relevant patois for a very long time. As making pictures of living things is prohibited in Islam, so Muslims exhibit their artistry in this way.

Calligraphy is particularly respected among all the arts in Islam since it was the main technique for the preservation of the Holy Quran. Suspecting figurative art of being a mean of idolatry Muslims artists gave birth to calligraphy and abstraction. The calligraphic art pieces have been collected and admired throughout history. With the passage of time as art has taken on many shapes and meanings so have calligraphy, Ottoman Turkish, Arabic and Persian calligraphy is associated with arabesque themes on the ceilings and walls of mosques along with on the page. The contemporary artists in Islam draw on the inheritance of calligraphy to use calligraphic engravings or concepts in their art.

With the passage of time, calligraphy has been recognized as the most acclaimed form of Islamic art because it transmits the Holy Quran to the viewer. Proverbs and complete passages from the Holy Quran are a very active source for Islamic Calligraphy. Calligraphy is most commonly displayed on the walls and columns of mosques. The artisans are especially told to give their best to the calligraphic piece because any alteration to it would mean catastrophe. The calligraphy done in mosques is solely based on arabesque. Arabesque is a geometric art form in Islam with repetitive patterns creating beautiful decorations. In calligraphy these patterns are composed of Arabic phrases or paragraphs. The theme of these writings can be derived from the written word of Holy Quran or Hadith (Sayings of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.)).

There is a beautiful concord between the inscribed calligraphy on the mosque and the different structures of a mosque. Specific surahs/ayats are selected and then inscribed on the mosque in unity with the functions of specific architectural elements. As you may find the Noor ayat written on the domes, then above the doors you may find verses related to entrance in heaven, similarly windows have the divine names of Allah so that sun rays though the windows prompt us that Allah manifests Himself in all the high qualities upon the universe.

Coins were another form of sustenance for calligraphy. Commencing in 692, the Islamic caliphate transformed the coin currency of the Near East by replacing pictorial depictions by calligraphic strokes. This can be seen on most of the coins of Muslim countries these days. Usually the coins were adorned with quotes related to business from the Qur’an. In short a diverse array of media has been used to serve the purpose of calligraphy.


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