Every civilization has grown on the basis of some kind of scripture. Sacred words, flowing into the writing, acquire a material appearance. Therefore, each civilization sought to decorate its writing.
The writing of Ancient Egypt, China, India, Ancient Rome and the Islamic world appeared in this way. In some cases, the writing became sacred, the inheritance of the chosen people, as, for example, in Ancient Egypt. The hieroglyphic writing of Ancient Egypt consists of symbols. The word “hieroglyph” itself means a sacred writing.
The Chinese writing is not only a writing to read, but also to delight the eye. Any phenomenon of Chinese culture is reflected in the writing, a kind of snapshot of life in it. The art of Chinese writing is the art of applying a brush. The brush seems to flow on paper in a natural way, like water on the ground. Therefore, Chinese writing is like a trace of the dancing nature that it left on paper.
There are few civilizations in the world based on the original calligraphic tradition. These are countries such as India, East Asia, especially China and Japan and, in part, Korea. And, of course, there is the greatest Islamic written tradition. In none of the above civilizations did the letter have such importance and did not reach such heights as it has reached in the Islamic world. The letter can be called the heart of Islamic art. Writing in Islam is an art that has a deep meaning. First of all, it is an inextricable trinity of artistic graphics, divine meaning and subtle aesthetics. Even those who cannot read Arabic script get aesthetic pleasure from contemplating the beautiful lines of perfect writing.
Islamic civilization is a civilization of writing. Without it, it is impossible to imagine the world of Islam. The letter permeated and permeates Islamic society in all its planes: from the educational system to the palaces of rulers, from official correspondence, to the works of poets and household records – it is found everywhere: in squares, in houses, in palaces, mosques, springs, mausoleums, gravestones , in notebooks, books, – a writing everywhere and before everyone’s eyes.
Islamic writing developed from Andalusia in Spain to Bukhara in Turkestan and Delhi in India, but it reached the heights of perfection in the heart of the Ottoman Empire – Istanbul thanks to the tradition of calligraphic rewriting of the Holy Quran. Without the Qur’an, an Islamic written tradition is simply impossible to imagine. Scripture, God’s Word underlies the written culture of Islamic civilization.
All the components, elements and means of calligraphic writing have their own philosophy: paper, ink, and kalam. Kalam – is a means by which the Holy Quran, which began with the command “Read!” found its visual appearance. Not just that the Almighty in the Qur’an swears by kalam! He is compared to the herald of God’s word. After making the reed kalam, it should be “uncovered”, “voiced.”
At the same time, a crunch of torn longitudinal fibers of the reed stem is heard. So kalam gains its voice. It is like a rose arising from a bud – Kalam opens his mouth and begins to speak. There is a comparison of kalam with a talking prophet, – in the image of an opened rose, surrounded by unopened buds – his companions listening to him. When the master splits the tip of the feces, it is as if given the right to speak. An experienced calligrapher with a few movements of the brush can cause an emotional image of the transmitted object, convey its fleeting sensation and even the special “aroma” of time, with a slight hint of creating an associative connection connecting the calligraphic text to a whole chain of simultaneous parallels.
The mastery of calligraphy is not only professional mastery, but also the path of spiritual growth of the master hattat, which lasts his whole life. And Kalam, which is the standard-bearer of Revelation, since it is he who displays the blessed letters and sacred words on paper, is not only a means of writing, but also a means of purifying the soul and body of the master hattat. The status of his mastery and everything connected with him is not only high, but also sacred, so the Hattat does not even throw out glasses left after making kalam, but collects them throughout his life in a special container. And after the death of the Hattat at the stake, water is heated from the eyeglasses to wash his body before the disciples and loved ones take him to the last earthly journey.
Why does Arabic calligraphy still exist?
The existence of Arabic calligraphy can be explained by the fact that this writing skill is directly related to the work of the brain, as well as to the training in us of concentration and organization. Since today, handwritten texts are increasingly being replaced by technically typed ones: from SMS and electronic notebooks to wish stickers in greeting cards, calligraphic writing is rarely used. Arabic calligraphy is a writing that will surely remain masterly handwritten. Its intricate interaction of lines, strokes and dots forming letters and words invariably attract attention. Its harmony is universally recognized, and not only by those who know the Arabic language.
According to the hadis of the Prophet, the one who can beautifully rewrite the Koran, will become the owner of Paradise. This required a certain spiritual development from the calligrapher. After all, everything that was connected with the writing of the Holy Book – from intention to diligence, was carried out in the Name of Allah and became a matter important for both worlds. There is no doubt that the masters treated their work as an ibad (Adoration of the Creator), i.e. seriously and reverently.
Arabic writing in the form of calligraphy in the modern world can be found, in most cases, on metal and decorative trays, hanging plates and picture clocks, jugs, decorative panels and other types of oriental interior items. You can find all these and other items on this site.
In calligraphy, as in music: the beginning is the application of the brush, the movement is development, and the ending is completion, the final separation of the brush. Participating in the execution of a graphic element, in transitions from element to element, in the construction of a hieroglyph or letters, in transitions from sign to sign, the line moves, either quickly or slowly; either speeding up or slowing down..