Monday, October 26, 2009

Calligraphy, an Islamic Art

The history of Muslims is full of innovative discoveries and arts. It includes fields as varied as architecture, calligraphy, painting, and ceramics, among others. The premier form of Islamic Art is calligraphy, which is derived from the French word calligraphie and Greek word kalligraphia, meaning "beautiful handwriting."

One of the main reasons that the calligraphy is given a pedestal status in Islam is the Muslim belief that Allah (SWT) used the Arabic language to narrate his divine message to the Prophet Muhammad in the form of Holy Qur’an. This makes it sacred for Muslims all over the world.

Secondly, Islamic Art cannot be depicted by the use of pictures; therefore, using words as creativity avoids this problem as well. Calligraphy was of such importance for Muslims that it was taught in most of the Islamic Schools but with the invention of the printing press in European countries, the art of calligraphic writing mostly vanished.

Islamic art in the form of Calligraphy is most commonly found in mosques. The walls and ceilings of mosques are decorated with calligraphically written ayah. These inscriptions are done in a very complex and intricate way. Quran Recitation has its own charm when done through beautiful calligraphic designs of Quran.

Calligraphy further branched out according to the spread of Islam through the Arab World, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, The Indian Subcontinent and wherever else Islam reached. Throughout these different regions, calligraphy attained a unique flavor according to the symbiosis of native culture with the Islamic culture.

Calligraphic Islamic Art has evolved into a very multifaceted form of expression. The different forms of calligraphy include Diwani script, Ruqah script and Sini script. Diwani script was invented by Housam Roumini during the Ottoman Turks' early reign. The Calligraphy has played a vital part in the growth and progress of the Arabic language, and the various Muslim cultures.


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