Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Art of Arabic Calligraphy

The word calligraphy itself, taken from the Greek kallos (beauty) and graphy (writing), is literally understood in the West as ‘beautiful (hand) writing’ of the Arabic language.

Arabic calligraphy is a primary form of art for Islamic visual expression and creativity.  It is a very simple symbol representing unity, beauty, and power through art, especially as it was the primary means of preservation and transmission of the Qur’an (the holy book of Islam).  Today Arabic calligraphy has become, in itself, art. 
Great artistic calligraphers have worked hard to make it the brilliant art that we have today.  As well as this, Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish calligraphy are associated with abstract arabesque motifs on the walls and ceilings of mosques and it is a very important part of Arab culture.  The aesthetic principles of Arabic calligraphy are a reflection of the cultural values of the Muslim world. Thorough investigation into the aesthetic differences between Arabic and non-Arabic calligraphy might provide an approach for understanding the essential spirit of each culture. It is impossible to imagine Islamic civilization without Arabic calligraphy.
Arabic calligraphic development stemmed from the North Arabic script, influenced by the Nabataean script, which was established in north-eastern Arabia and flourished in the 5th century among the Arabian tribes who inhabited Hirah and Anbar. It spread to Hijaz in western Arabia and its use was popularised among the aristocracy of the Quraysh, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad, by Harb ibn Ummayyah.
Although early Arabic sources mention several calligraphic styles in reference to the cities in which they were used, they generally fit into two broad categories with only some minor variations. These categories are the "dry styles," the early predecessors of Kufic, and the "moist styles," the early predecessors of the cursive family of scripts.
Historically Arabic script has undergone different reformations, as well as being influenced by regional and epochal writing styles. Today the main styles are the Kufic script, Naskh style, Riq’a, Thuluth, Diwanii and Farsi.

We consider Arabic calligraphy to be one of the most precious unspotted art forms, elegant in its own right, this being a round-up of applications of the Arabic calligraphy in the real world.

By Ahmed Wahid


  1. Hi Ahmed! Thank you for this short introduction of Arabic calligraphy. I have a few questions.

    What is the difference between dry and moist style?
    Could you please give us examples as well.
    Which style is the one in the picture?
    Kufic, Naskh, etc. are like fonts in Word?

  2. hello Diana
    the difference between dry and moist style i don't know them very will but what i know its they use kind of special Colors to draw and do this style.

    the style of the Arabic which its in the picture it's Thuluth: it's one of the very brilliant, nice styles from the tree of the Arabic Calligraphy when you look at its very nice and give a great feeling but its one of the most hard style's, cuz Thuluth style you can write the one Sentence in many different ways with the same style.

    Kufic,Naskh, etc. which they are in word they are just small view of the arabic calligraphy not the right style's as will as what we have it. just it show;s to you different kind and style's of way to write Arabic.

  3. Outstanding Job! This is just amazing and wonderful to see this Calligraphy Islamic Art. I really enjoyed these exquisite patterns and these designs are useful for inspired people for Islamic interior designs.