Styles of Arabic/Islamic calligraphy
Are you looking to buy Islamic calligraphy online? Have you been surfing the Internet in order to buy Arabic calligraphy? Well, let’s first understand whatIslamic calligraphy is. It is a sophisticated art form with a glorious past covering centuries and varied geographical territories. A big sign of the evolution of Islamic calligraphy is the emergence of different styles of writing the Arabic script. Each style evolved in a particular place, at a particular time, and has its own set of rules of writing. We shall explore the different styles of writing the Quranic verses:
- Kufic: This is the oldest style, which developed in 7th century Kufa, Iraq, from where it draws its name. It was the first font in which the Quran was written. At the time, the Arabic script had no diactric symbols, or symbols to indicate vowel sounds. Later, as non-Arabs began entering into the fold of Islam and were unfamiliar with the language of the Quran, new symbols were introduced in the script. The Kufic font is characterised by horizontal strokes that are either very long or very short, and round characters with tiny counters.
The style developed into several varieties, including floral, foliated, plaited or interlaced, bordered, and squared Kufic.
The use of Kufic font in writing the Quran disappeared around the 10th century as the new more legible font, Naskh came into being. It, however, continued to be used for decorative purposes such as in ceramic plates.
- Naskh: This cursive style of writing, which replaced Kufic, gained popularity on account of the ease it offered in reading and writing. It continues to be used even today in writing the Quran. It formed the basis of the modern Arabic script, and is still used in newspapers, periodicals, official decrees and private correspondence.
- Thuluth: Thuluthemerged from Naskh font. ‘Thuluth’ is the Arabic word for ‘one thirds’. In Thuluth script, one-third of the letters are straight. It is a very striking font due to long, vertical lines, broad spacing and special emphasis on dots, diacritical marks as well as symbols for vowels. Because of its grand look, it is used primarily for decorative purposes such as adorning the walls and ceilings of many monuments of the past, and even in modern homes and offices.
- Nast’aliq: This is a regional style that developed in Persiafor non-religious purposes such as writing court documents. The name ta’liq means “hanging”, and refers to the slightly steeped lines of which words run in, giving the script a hanging appearance.
Diwani: This style came developed during the reign of the Ottoman Sultans in Turkey in the 16th century. It is an extremely elaborate and intricate style of writing – the letters are slanted, and the narrow spaces between them are densely filled with decorative dots. The Diwani script is difficult to read and was used to transcribe confidential documents of the court. In modern times, its extreme decorativeness makes it the preferred choice for those looking to buy Arabic calligraphy or to buy Islamic calligraphy online in order to decorate their homes.