Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Is Islamic Calligraphy the Same As Arabic Calligraphy?

By Houriyah Abdul-Rahman Islam began in the year 610AD, when the Quran was revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (PBAH). This beautiful religion spread worldwide within some time. Islamic calligraphy is the core of Islamic art, and it helps to preserve the beautiful words of the Qur'an. The Arabic script is used in Islamic calligraphy today, and was developed from early Aramaic script. Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing and it is appreciated by so many people. Since the existence of writing, calligraphy has always been practiced. Even though calligraphy technology, tools and materials developed, many of the old calligraphy technology, tools and materials are being followed and practiced today. In most countries, cultures and religions, calligraphy is considered the purest of art forms. Islam does not allow the drawing of living things, unless it's for an educational purpose, e.g. drawing of an eye that teaches people how the eye works. Many Arabic calligraphers and artists make calligraphic letters that represent living beings. This art is then not Islamic art, but instead Arabic art. This is because the calligrapher designs the Arabic letters to look like living beings (humans and/or animals). If a calligrapher intends to produce Islamic art or Islamic calligraphy, and does not draw living beings, then it is therefore Islamic art or Islamic calligraphy. But if a calligrapher does not intend to produce Islamic art or Islamic calligraphy, and draws living beings with Arabic letter forms, then this art is purely Arabic art or Arabic calligraphy.

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