Islamic Calligraphy

Calligraphy is an aesthetic code and art that is unique to Islamic culture and bears significant importance. Islam uses texts and letters to convey its core convictions instead of images and shapes because images reflect idolatry that is strictly prohibited in Islam. For religious expressions, the art of Calligraphy had been discovered which is the way of writing Arabic but with different styles. It was first specific to sacred scriptures, but now is embossed on Islamic heritage, books and coins. The beauty of Islamic calligraphy lies in the imaginative style that maintains the balance between the versatility of text and creativity of keeping the exact meaning of Arabic inscription.



To Muslims the art of calligraphy is of paramount importance because it uses the language that has chosen by Allah Almighty for His divine book of the Quran. The Quran is the book revealed upon Muhammad (PBUH) and I sent down by Allah for a sole guidance for the entire human race. As stated in the Quran:


“Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand.” [12:2]


Calligraphy a tool for communication


Calligraphy was originally a tool for communication in ancient times and was used to document the holy book of Quran. Later on, the rulers appoint calligraphic scholars to decorate their buildings as a manifestation and a way of paying importance to Islamic scriptures. Calligraphy has evolved beyond communication perspective into its magnificent and maverick glyph and forms.


Calligraphic text


Calligraphic text is the transliteration of Arabic language and to be a connoisseur one must learn Arabic language. Calligraphy inscriptions comprise following text styles


  • Quranic quotations
  • Praising quotes for former rulers
  • Aphorisms
  • Poems


These are the most common seen calligraphic texts across the world carved on Buildings that are mainly part of Islamic heritage. Calligraphy uses following ancient styles:


  • The first Arabic script was Arabic Musnad and was discovered back in Arabic peninsula.
  • The first form of Arabic of alphabets used for calligraphy was Al Jazm.
  • Kufic script was evolved after Musnad and Jazm, which played an important role in the citations of the Holy book of the Quran.
  • Kufic is a block style Arabic writing that seems legible.


Relationship between calligraphy and Arabic Alphabets


Scholars have probed into the history to extract the link between Islamic alphabets and Calligraphy. Calligraphy is entirely based on the Scriptures comprises Arabic Alphabets. To some archeologists the calligraphic inscriptions have their roots, ties to some other languages, but indeed the parent root of such inscriptions is Arabic alphabets.

Arabic has become a powerful language after the advert of Islam that holds quite an importance for Muslims because of all the Islamic scriptures and narratives that are composed in Arabic. Using this vitality the art of calligraphy has excel in the recent period and hence has transformed from aesthetically to technical skills.