Arabic Calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy based on the Arabic alphabet. It is known in Arabic as khatt (Arabic: خط‎), derived from the word ‘line’, ‘design’, or ‘construction’. Kufic is the oldest form of the Arabic script.

From an artistic point of view, Arabic calligraphy has been known and appreciated for its diversity and great potential for development. In fact, it has been linked in the Arabic civilization to various fields such as religion, art, architecture, education and craftsmanship, which in return have played an important role in its advancement.

Although most Islamic calligraphy is in Arabic and most Arabic calligraphy is Islamic, the two are not identical. Coptic or other Christian manuscripts in Arabic, for example, have made use of calligraphy. Likewise, there is Islamic calligraphy in Persian or the historic Ottoman language.

Pen (Qalam – قلم)

Bamboo pens
Bamboo pens are one of the oldest pens used for calligraphy. The edge of bamboo pens allow the performance of calligraphy to be in full movement.

Khamish Pens
The Khamish Pen also known as a reed pen is used by Arab, Turkish, and Iranian calligraphers. The reed of the pen is grown along rivers. Although this pen has been used for over 500 years, preparing the pen is a lengthy process

Bamboo pens
Bamboo pens are one of the oldest pens used for calligraphy. The edge of bamboo pens allow the performance of calligraphy to be in full movement.

The Handam
The Handam pen consists of the same strength that the Java pen has. The pen is good to use for all kinds of scripts.

Celi pen
The Celi pen is used for large writing in Arabic Calligraphy. These pens are made from hardwood and cut and drilled.

Java pen
The Java pen is known for the tool’s hardness and ability to create sharp edges. The pen is good to use for small scripts.

Popular scripts

The two most popular scripts used for Arabic calligraphy are Kufic and Naskh. Kūfic was derived from Iraq and initially used for inscription on stone and metal. Naskhī originated from Mecca and Medina. The script is used as a cursive script.

  • Naskh
    • Naskhī originated from Mecca and Medina. The script is used as a cursive script.
  • Thulth
    • The Thuluth script used during the medieval times is known as one of the oldest scripts to exist. The script was used on mosques and for Quranic text due to the appearance of the text.
  • Divani
    • The Diwani Script was created during the Ottoman era. The lining and lettering of this script creates a sense of closeness when writing. Due to this reason, it’s difficult to read since the letters intertwine
  • Nastaliq
    • The Nasta’liq script is used more for Persian than Arabic scripting. Because of the upward slant to the left, the script is seen as different than the other scripts. The cursive look creates an elegant look when creating.

Arabic Calligraphy is an classic art to write in difference scripts. There are so many articles and many supplies out there to start from. Some of free and paid online resources to try.

If you are inspired with Arabic Calligraphy, you can definitely work on that, there are so many resources are available out there, but now a days when we have smart computers, digital calligraphy become so famous. It’s easy compare to write with hand crafted bamboo Qalam & Ink, where you have variety of Arabic fonts to play around with. But some times it is also a problem when you don’t know how to do Arabic Calligraphy in Adobe InDesign or any other software. Check this article “Digital Arabic Calligraphy“. This Article include a “Rumooz” font that really help to make your calligraphy more perfect and beautiful.

I am Photographer & Web Designer. I always try to make something new. Typography is my hobby, I developed Arabic based fonts. Twitter: @Ayaz_Gul

Leave a Reply