Styles of Arabic/Islamic calligraphy

Islamic calligraphy is a highly fine, sophisticated, evolved form of art, which has a rich past covereing epochs and different geographical territories. A major proof of the development of Islamic calligraphy is the branching out of different fonts of transcribing the Arabic script. Each style came up in a particular place, at a particular time, and comes with its own set of rules of writing. If you are looking for calligraphy art for sale or thinking to buy Islamic calligraphy online, it would be of help to you to understand the different styles of writing Arabic. Given below are the popular styles:

  1. Kufic: This early fontoriginated in the 7thcentury in Kufa, Iraq. It is believed to be among the first fonts in which the Quran was transcribed. At that time, the Arabic script had no diacritical marks. In the later stages, as non-Arabs began converting to Islam and were not familiar with Arabic language, diacritical marks and vowels symbols were introduced in the script. The Kufic font is characterised by very long or very short horizontal strokes and round characters with tiny counters.

The style evolved into floral, foliated, plaited or interlaced, bordered, and squared varieties but faded into disuse for writing the Quran in the 10th century, with the emergence of the more readable font, Naskh. It, however, continued to be used for ornate purposes such as in decorating ceramic artworks.

  1. Naskh: This cursive font gained popularity on account of the ease of reading and writing it offered. Even today, it is used in writing the Quran. It formed the basis of the modern Arabic script, and continues to be used in newspapers, periodicals, official decrees and private correspondence.


  1. Thuluth: Thuluth, in Arabic, stands for ‘one third’. In this font, one-thirds of the letters are straight. The font looks very majestic due to the long, vertical lines, broad spacing and emphatic dots, diacritical marks and symbols used to indicate vowel sounds. On account of its grand style, Thuluth font is used for decorative purposes such as adorning the walls and ceilings of many monuments and buildings, like the Taj Mahal in India. People also prefer Thluth calligraphy for Islamic wall décor in their homes.


  1. Nast’aliq: This font came about in Persia and was also used for non-religious purposes like penning court papers. The word ta’liq means “hanging”, and indicates the left-sloping tendency of characters which gives the overall script a hanging look. It is also used for writing Persian and Urdu languages.


  1. Diwani: This style was developed under the rulership of the Ottoman sultans in the 16th It is a very decorative form of writing – the letters are slanted, and the slim spaces in between are densely filled with ornate dots – and is thus perfect for calligraphy art for sale.The Diwanifont is not easy to read and was used in penning secret papers of the court. In current times, its decorativeness makes it the preferred choice for those wanting to buy Islamic calligraphy online.

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