Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hastoneest Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad: Calligraphy with the Khattats of Pakistan

Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad

Registrations Open
  Three month basic; twice a week
with the khattats of Pakistan
 www, or email

The Art of Calligraphy & the Pen Strokes of the Quran 

From its simple early examples of the 5th and 6th century A.D., the Arabic alphabet developed rapidly after the rise of Islam in the 7th century into a beautiful form of art.

The main two families of calligraphic styles were the "dry styles", generally called the Kufic, and the "moist styles," soft cursive styles, which include Naskhi, Thuluth, Nastaliq and many others.

Kufic reached perfection in the second half of the 8th century. It superseded other earlier attempts of improvement of Arabic calligraphy, and became the only script used for copying the Holy Quran for the next three hundred years.

Abu Ali Muhammad Ibn Muqlah (d. 940), along with his brother, became accomplished calligraphers in Baghdad in an early age. Ibn Muqlah is credited with developing the first script to obey strict proportional rules. His system utilized the dot as a measuring unit for line proportions, and a circle with a diameter equals to the Alif's height as a measuring unit for letter proportions. Ibn Muqlah's system became a powerful tool in the development and standardization of cursive scripts, and his calligraphic work elevated the previous cursive styles into a place of prominence, and made them acceptable as worthy of writing the Quran.

Cursive scripts coexisted with Kufic and date back to before Islam, but in the early stages of their development they lacked discipline and elegance. Court requirements for correspondence and record keeping resulted in many developments to the cursive scripts, and several styles were devised to fulfill these needs.

When the cursive styles were becoming popular and refined in the 10th century, Kufic responded by overemphasizing many qualities of the cursive scripts in a geometrical style called 'Eastern Kufic,' where slender vertical strokes and oblique strokes animate the more rigid early Kufic. This style was mainly a book calligraphy rather than architectural calligraphy style, but was very popular on ceramics.

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