Quranic Calligraphy for Beginners

When I was a teenager, I began writing my first Quran with a lot of imagination and zeal, and that was the beginning of my journey into the world of calligraphy.

My primary area of expertise is in blending the traditional and modern writing styles seen in different scripts. Calligraphy is a kind of art that is not only pleasing to the sight but also communicates a powerful meaning to the viewer. It is mostly dependent on the persuasive ability of words.

The message is just as vital as what you see, and the influence it has long after it has been viewed will remain with you forever. The Arabic alphabet is one of the world’s oldest and most complex writing systems, and it is also one of the most widely used.

The Quran is the backbone of Islam. This Sacred Book of ALLAH depends on all revelation
for Islamic call, state, society and the civilization of the Muslim world. It is the last Divine
revelation, which was sent down to Prophet Muhammad, the Khatamun Nabeen, may
ALLAH exalt their mention. His task was to convey the message of worshipping the One
GOD, ALLAH, without ascribing any partners to Him. The Noble Quran, which is the source
of guidance and mercy to mankind, is divided into one hundred and fourteen (114) Soorahs
(chapters) of varying lengths. Ninety-three chapters were revealed in Makkah, while the
remaining twenty-one were revealed in Madeenah.

The first revelation that the Prophet received was Soorat Al-‘Alaq, which was in Makkah
where Soorat An-Najm later became the first to be recited openly to the people. In
Madeenah, Soorat Al-Mutaffifeen was the first one revealed after the Hijrah (migration).
The last verse sent down to the Prophet was the saying of ALLAH which means: “…This
the day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have
approved for you Islam as religion…” [Quran: 5:3]

ALLAH will forever preserve the Quran against all attempts to destroy or corrupt it. Being
guarded by ALLAH, it will always remain pure. There does not exist a single copy with any
variation from the recognized text.

Any attempt of alteration has resulted in failure.

Upon the command of the Prophet, his Companions would write down what was
revealed in the Noble Quran. They used, for this purpose, palm branches stripped of leaves,
parchments, shoulder bones, stone tablets, etc. About forty people were involved in this
task. Among them was Zayd Ibn Thaabit who showed his work to the Prophet.
Thus, the Quran was correctly arranged during the Prophet’s life, but it was not yet
compiled into one book. In the meantime, most of the Prophet’s Companions memorized
the Quran.

When Abu Bakr became Caliph after the Prophet died, a large number of the
Companions were killed during the War of Apostasy. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab went to the
Caliph and discussed the idea of compiling the Quran into one volume. He was disturbed, as
most of those who memorized it had died. Then, Abu Bakr called for Zayd and
commissioned him to collect the Quran into one book, which became known as the ‘Mushaf.’
After Zayd accomplished this great task and organized the Quran into one book, he
submitted the precious collection to Abu Bakr who kept it in his possession until the
end of his life. During the caliphate of ‘Umar it was kept with his daughter Hafsah
who was also a wife of the Prophet.

During the Caliphate of ‘Uthmaan Islam reached many countries, and readers began to
recite the Quran in different ways (dialects). ‘Uthmaan then had various copies made
and sent them out to the different Muslim lands, lest these dialects would cause alterations
to the Quran, and kept the original copy with Hafsah. Thus, the Quran remained
preserved and the Caliph was very much pleased with his achievement.

Today, every copy of the Quran conforms with the standard copy of ‘Uthmaan.

These are some examples from my collection of handwritten Qurans from the past, which are written in a wide variety of beautiful forms of the Arabic alphabet. For example, in Behari Script, Nasakh, thulus, and Jidd, amongst other writing systems. I really hope that you take as much pleasure in looking at these as I do.

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