The Significance of Islamic Calligraphy in the Muslim Culture

1779 Words 8 Pages
Abstract

Although it could be considered an insignificant part of society, Islamic calligraphy is crucial to its culture because of its role in religion and architecture, and its help in creating unity among Muslims. Calligraphy's function in religion is mainly due to the Muslim forbiddance of the "representation of living beings" (Schimmel, Islamic 11) in art. In architecture calligraphy is used to decorate the interior and exterior of buildings to help remind citizens of the purpose of the architecture: to glorify God. Lastly, calligraphy helps to unite Muslims because everyone must learn the Arabic language to participate in prayers and recitations.

Introduction

Islamic calligraphy is considered to have developed into an art
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(12). Ancient Arabic scripts were eventually fused into one type called Kufic. It was once the "most commonly used form," but has evolved into six basic scripts now considered the most commonly used among Arabic handwritten texts (Piotrovsky 28). The many different styles and types of handwriting contribute to the innumerable designs and artistic decorations that have been created through calligraphy. Counter Argument

For many western civilizations and religions, handwriting as an art form is not significant, neither culturally or historically. Many western cultures owe their knowledge of the past to written histories and although a good deal can be learned by studying the historical evolution of written language, these cultures have a limited appreciation for written art. Calligraphy is not only unappreciated in western cultures, it is not even considered a serious art form. These unconsciously ingrained cultural beliefs make it difficult for non-Islamic individuals to understand the value of calligraphy in Islam and its architecture. Not only is calligraphy an integral and sacred part of Islam, it has created unity among Muslims all over the world and continues to grow as a contemporary art form.

Analysis

Islamic calligraphy is important because of its direct relationship with the Islamic religion. According to many direct quotations

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