Styles of writing Islamic art - Jinz Haiggh Blog

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Styles of writing Islamic art

Have you been searching for Islamic art for sale online? Have you been contemplating buying Islamic art for home? In that case, it would benefit you if you learn briefly about the various fonts of Islamic calligraphy, the art of writing the verses of the Quran, which is the primary focus of Islamic art. Each style originated in a particular place, at a particular point of time, and has its own rules for writing. Below we look at the different styles of Islamic calligraphy:

1.      Kufic: This is the oldest style, which came into being in the 7th century AD in Kufa, a town in present-day Iraq. It is believed to be the first style in which the Quran was transcribed. At that time, the Arabic script had no diacritical marks or symbols for vowel sounds. With time, as non-Arab people began converting to Islam and didn’t know the language of the Quran, diacritical marks were introduced. In Kufic font, letters have very long or very short horizontal strokes that are too long or too short, and the round characters have little counters.

The style diversified into different forms like floral, foliated, plaited or interlaced, bordered, and squared Kufic.

Around the 10th century, the use of Kufic gave way to the new more legible font, Naskh in transcribing the Quran. But it continued to be used for decorative purposes like for inscription on ceramic plates.

2.      Naskh: This cursive style offered both ease of reading and writing, thus becoming popular. Even today, several centuries from then, it still is used in transcribing the Quran, and in printing newspapers, periodicals, official decrees and private correspondence.

3.      Thuluth: Thuluthis a stylish font used for purposes of art. ‘Thuluth’ is Arabic for ‘one third’. In this font, one-third of the letters are straight.It bears a grand and majestic look because of the use of longvertical lines, broad spacing and emphatic dots and diacritical marks. Its striking appearance renders it perfect for ornate use. It adorns the walls and ceilings of several monuments, and people also use it for Islamic art for home.

4.      Nast’aliq: This regional style took off in Persia, and is used for both religion as well as non-religious uses like penning court papers. The word ta'liq means “hanging”, and refers to the slightly tilted appearance of the font as the letters slope right to left.

5.      Diwani: This style developed during the rule of the Ottoman sultanate around 16th century AD. It is ahighly elaborate and intricate font – the letters are slanted, and the narrow spaces between them are densely filled with decorative dots. The Diwani script is not easy to read and it was used in penning confidential documents of the court. These days, because of its extreme decorativeness, Diwani is quite fit to be used for the purpose of Islamic art for home, and you will most probably see several artworks bearing this very stylish script in stores that sell Islamic art for sale online.
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