What is Arabic Calligraphy?
Arabic calligraphy (also known as Islamic calligraphy) is the artistic activity of handwriting in areas with a similar Islamic cultural history. This art style is based on the Arabic alphabet, which was utilized by all Muslims in their individual languages to symbolize God for a long time since they refused to express God with pictures. Calligraphy is particularly appreciated in Islamic art and has evolved into a key form of aesthetic expression in Islamic civilizations.
The creative practice of handwriting usually referred to as the art of beautiful writing is known as Arabic calligraphy. This kind of calligraphy is also known as Islamic calligraphy. This artistic practice derives from the Arabic script and the alphabet of that language. In the Islamic world, Arabic calligraphy is considered to be one of the most refined forms of visual art. It serves both a purely aesthetic and a practical purpose.
Arabic calligraphy is an aesthetic expression that is used often in Islamic arts, such as the Qur’an, arabesque, and walls in mosques, paintings, and books. In more recent times, Arabic calligraphy is also used in a variety of other designs.
The most well-recognized forms of Arabic calligraphy are those based on Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Arabic.
While some of the Arabic calligraphy scripts, such as Kufi, are written in a more geometric form, others, such as Naskh, are written in a more cursive style.
It is possible to write in calligraphy on a wide variety of materials, including paper, fabrics, metal, ceramic, wood, glass, stone, architecture, digital, and so on.
Arabic calligraphy may be done in a wide variety of various ways. Calligraphy utilizes a variety of writing styles, which are together referred to as scripts. These evolved into formal scripts throughout the course of centuries, which were constructed for a variety of functions and requirements. Each script has its own particular curves and other distinguishing features.
Each screenplay has its own unique aesthetic qualities and adheres to a set of predetermined guidelines. As soon as you get used to recognizing these traits, you will be able to differentiate between the scripts using the information provided.
Thuluth, Deewani, Kufi, Naskh, Riqa, and Taliq are the six primary and distinct calligraphic scripts that are used in Arabic calligraphy. These scripts are sometimes referred to as styles.
The material that is written in Arabic calligraphy may contain lines from the Koran, poetry, names, proverbs, papers intended for royal or court use, tales, greetings, and so on.
The pen or other writing implement used to create the text is what differentiates handwriting from calligraphy. Arabic writing is traditionally done using a reed pen that has been particularly crafted for the purpose. The reed has been aged, treated, and precisely carved in order to properly contain black ink, which does not quickly fade.
Arabic calligraphy, especially when learned in the traditional manner, may be rather challenging due to the numerous distinct Arabic scripts that are used. The most difficult aspect of learning Arabic calligraphy is locating a master calligrapher, also known as a calligrapher with ejaza (this refers to someone who has earned a diploma in Arabic calligraphy and is authorized to teach), who is available to teach you privately and one-on-one. In most cases, however, you will have to share your instructor with other students while you are taking lessons.
Demonstrations are a common method of instruction for these sessions. This means that you will see the instructor calligrapher while he writes, and then you will practice writing on your own during lessons either in the classroom or at home.
The whole process may take a significant amount of time to accomplish, but the exact length of time required can vary depending on factors such as the amount of time you dedicate to practice, the accessibility of a teacher, and your innate degree of talent.
The Arabic script that has been standardized for use in the writing of the Arabic language is known as the Arabic alphabet or the abjad. The Arabic alphabet is considered to be an abjad due to the fact that letters typically represent consonants (a type of writing system where each symbol always or usually stands for a consonant, leaving the reader to supply the appropriate vowel).
After the Latin alphabet, the Arabic alphabet is the second most extensively used alphabet in the world. The Latin alphabet is the most common. The Arabic alphabet originated from the Aramaic system used by the Nabataeans. Because the Aramaic language has fewer consonants than Arabic does, new letters were added to the Arabic alphabet in the seventh century by adding dots to existing letters in order to eliminate confusion caused by the difference in the number of consonants between the two languages.
Arabic is a right-to-left language, meaning that words and phrases are written and read in that order. There are 28 different letters in the Arabic alphabet. There is no concept of upper or lower case characters in the Arabic script.
The numbers are written from left to right, and the words written in the Arabic script are written in horizontal lines from right to left. Only cursive writing is used for the Arabic language (cannot be written with unconnected, separated Arabic letters).
Because of the versatility of its letter forms, the Arabic alphabet is especially well-suited for creative expression. The Arabic alphabet consists of 22 letters, each of which may take one of four different forms. Which configuration is utilized for a given letter depends on its position within a word. When composing a word using the Arabic alphabet, the letters are linked to each other, and the strokes that connect the characters may be made longer or shorter based on the requirements of the composition. Arabic calligraphy compositions often include creative play, flexibility, and change because of the qualities of the characters in the Arabic script.
The letters P, V, and C do not exist in the Arabic alphabet, and spoken Arabic does not use those letters’ sounds.
If you know how to read the Arabic alphabet, you should also be able to read calligraphy written in the Arabic script. The letters of the Arabic alphabet are not only beautiful in and of themselves, but also convey a meaning when they are ordered into words using the Arabic language. It only takes some time and effort to become better at it.
The following are the two most common varieties of spoken and written Arabic, both of which are written using the Arabic alphabet:
- Classical Arabic – Arabic in its classical form is the language used for the Qur’an and other works of Arabic literature. It varies mostly from Modern Standard Arabic in terms of style and vocabulary, with some of the words being somewhat old-fashioned.
- Modern Standard Arabic – The language that is understandable by all speakers of Arabic is known as Modern Standard Arabic. It is the universal language of the Arabic-speaking world. It is the language that is used in the great majority of written content as well as formal television broadcasts, lectures, and other types of presentations.
The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters. All of the letters in Arabic are consonants. The same 18 fundamental Arabic letter forms are shared by all Arabic letters.
Cursive Arabic letters are written from right to left. Arabic letters have different shapes based on where they occur in a word (at the beginning, middle, or end) or as an independent letter.
There are 22 Arabic letters that have all four forms: isolated, initial, medial, and final. These 22 Arabic characters may form connections to the left and right.
Six Arabic letters are outliers, with just two forms: isolated and final. These six Arabic characters are not linked to the left. The Arabic letters Alif, Daal, Thaa, Raa, Zayn, and Waw are the only ones that do not link to the left. These Arabic letters have just two forms: isolated and final. These Arabic letters do not have an initial or medial form.
In both handwritten and printed Arabic, letters that may be connected are always joined.
For any Arabic letter that follows Alif, Daal, Thaa, Raa, Zaayn, and Waw in a written word, a writer must use either its Isolated form (if that letter represents the end of the written word) or its Initial form (in case, if that letter is further on combined with another letter).
When writing additional Arabic letters of the word, always leave a little empty space after Alif, Daal, Thaa, Raa, Zaayn, and Waw.
Some Arabic letters are equivalent, but only within the confines of their fundamental form. The sole variation between them is the location and amount of dots used to differentiate them above or under the fundamental design.
Dots above and below the Arabic letter aid in distinguishing various Arabic letters with the same fundamental form.
Sets of similar Arabic letters are:
- Baa, Taa, Thaa
- Jiim, Ha, Khaa
- Daal, (Th)aal
- Raa’, Zaayn
- Siin, Shiin
- Saad, Daad
- Taa’, (Th)aa’
- ‘Ayn, Ghayn
When writing an Arabic letter with a dot or multiple dots, the general guideline is to first complete the letter’s basic form before adding a dot or dots. Arabic letters are distinguished by dots. The location of the dot or dots relies on the design and composition of the letter in a word, but a writer must follow fundamental guidelines of its placement, which might be above, under, or within the basic form of the letter. More skilled writers may occasionally add the dots while creating the letter’s fundamental form.
Because the letter P and its sound are not used in the Arabic spoken world, the Arabic alphabet lacks the letter P.
If a writer has a term that includes the letter P (for example, a personal name), the Arabic letter Baa’ must be used to replace the letter P’s sound.
Because the letter V and its sound are not used in the Arabic spoken world, the Arabic alphabet lacks a letter V. If a writer has a term that includes the letter V (for example, a personal name), an Arabic letter Faa’ with three dots (originally Faa’ had just one dot) must be used to replace the sound of the letter V.
Because the letter C and its sound are not used in the Arabic spoken world, the Arabic alphabet lacks a letter C. If a writer has a term that includes the letter C (for example, a personal name), a combination of the Arabic letters Taa’ and Siin must be employed to replace the letter C’s sound.
Arabic calligraphy fonts are not the same as Arabic fonts in the alphabet. Arabic fonts are developed from typography, but calligraphy fonts are cutting-edge technology.
The artistic technique of handwriting known as Arabic calligraphy, sometimes known as Islamic calligraphy, is also known as the art of beautiful writing. The Arabic script, calligraphy typefaces, and Arabic alphabet are the foundations of this art form. In the Islamic world, Arabic calligraphy is regarded as one of the greatest forms of visual art. It serves both an aesthetic and a utilitarian purpose.
Many new designers are motivated by the language’s rich legacy, and there is a developing school of Arabic-type design and calligraphy committed to the preservation and development of the Arabic alphabet and calligraphy fonts.
The complexity of word shapes, which can cause technical and legibility difficulties, curvy letters that can appear pixelated when in low resolution, and a scarcity of books, references, or places to study Arabic type design and calligraphy fonts are the main challenges for calligraphy fonts in different calligraphy styles. The digital piracy of Arabic and calligraphy typefaces in the area is also an issue, discouraging individuals from pursuing a profession in type design or as a master of calligraphy.
There are several calligraphy font styles in Arabic calligraphy. Scripts are the many writing styles used in calligraphy. These evolved over the ages into formal scripts for a variety of reasons and uses. Each script has different calligraphy font forms and aesthetic traits, as well as certain rules. Once you’ve learned to distinguish these qualities in calligraphy fonts, you’ll be able to tell the scripts apart.
The calligraphy fonts in Arabic calligraphy use a variety of scripts. Thuluth, Deewani, Kufi, Naskh, Riqa, and Taliq are the six primary and distinct calligraphic scripts (or styles) used in Arabic calligraphy. Some Arabic calligraphy scripts, such as Kufi, are more geometric in nature, while others, such as Naskh, are more cursive in nature. The simplest method to start reading calligraphy is to get acquainted with how the Arabic letter forms look in each of the many scripts.
Some Arabic calligraphy fonts feature just one, occasionally two, or sometimes three alternative designs of their Isolated form. The decision of which calligraphy font design to choose is entirely up to the writer. Choosing the proper design of calligraphy fonts is often dependent on the composition of the Arabic letters in a word.
Please be patient. Deciphering a calligraphy font composition might take years at times. Meanwhile, you may appreciate its aesthetic value. A certain level of uncertainty is part of what makes this art form so enjoyable.