What good is it to learn calligraphy?


is considered the queen of the arts in Islam, the art par excellence, the invention of which is attributed to the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muḥammad, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib. The names of the great calligraphers were handed down from the beginning, and at court K. was considered an art that could even be practiced by rulers. K. obviously already had it in the earliest Islam. Time was given for official inscriptions and for Koran manuscripts. The Quran fragments of the Sana'a mosque that are in the umayyad. Dated from the 7th to 8th centuries, show an exquisite, finely balanced script in the so-called Kūfī style. At the beginning of the 11th century, six fonts were common, which the masters also used for the Koran. A distinction must be made between the succinct script, usually a so-called kūfī, and the cursive script, which has also been used for Koran copies since the 11th century. The development of fixed rules of proportion for the K., which are based on a point system, are attributed to Yāqūt Mustaʿṣimī (d. 1298). Even in later times, the kūfī was regarded as “holy scripture” and was often used for Koran inscriptions in mosques. Each dynasty represented its own style in the K., which thus an iconograph. Can earn salary. Today v. a. the writing of the Palestinians through a specific style, which at the same time has to be understood as a political manifesto. (Ban on images, Arabic script)

Kühnel, E .: Islamic Writing, 1972. - Schimmel, A .: Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, 1984.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Finster, University of Bamberg, Islamic Art and Archeology

Source: Elger, Ralf / Friederike Stolleis (eds.): Kleines Islam-Lexikon. History - everyday life - culture. Munich: 6th, updated and expanded edition 2018.