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Types of Arabic Calligraphy

Types of Arabic Calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy has become one of the most renowned forms of Islamic art over the past centuries. People love and admire this art but are unaware of the types of Arabic calligraphy. It is worth mentioning that the types of Arabic calligraphy took their known names from the names of people, cities or pens in which they were written.

Arabic calligraphy types overlap with each other and each type has multiple writing techniques. It became an art in which great calligraphers master as well as a way of writing on business documents and other important documents. The most important and famous types of Arabic calligraphy are as follows:


Kufi Calligraphy:

Used to copy the Quran for five centuries, it is one of the oldest types of calligraphy. It is derived from the Nabataean calligraphy attributed to the Nabateans and was widespread in the north of the Arabian Peninsula and the mountains of Horan. Its unique style is the angular geometric component, which made it popular in stone carvings and Islamic architecture.


Riq’a Calligraphy:


This type of Arabic calligraphy is used in daily writings, and it is one of the easiest types of Arabic calligraphy. It is characterized by its integrity and beauty, ease of writing and reading, and its distance from complexity. “Riqa‘” is derived from the Arabic noun, ruq’a, meaning “a piece of cloth or patch.” The script was named riq’a because it was often written on small pieces of paper.

Naskh Calligraphy:

This type of Arabic font is considered the closest to Thuluth calligraphy. It was originally used for copying the Quran but later became a font for printing. It is a type of beautiful Arabic calligraphy, and many Arabic manuscripts have been copied in it. Naskhi script is very popular in the Arab business world because of it being legible and because of proportionality between its letters.


Thuluth Calligraphy:


Thuluth is one of the most beautiful types of Arabic calligraphy written in the form of cursive script. ‘Thuluth’ comes from the Arabic word meaning ‘one-third’ and derived its meaning from the one-third slope of the letters. It is most difficult to write, and it is one of the types of creative Arabic calligraphy that needs skill in writing. This type of calligraphy needs to be mastered according to the rules, and commitment while writing it because it needs a lot of control. You will find this script on mosques and building decorations.


Persian Calligraphy:


This type of Arabic calligraphy appeared in Persia, in the seventh century of Hijrah, and it is one of the beautiful calligraphies that is characterized by clarity, ease and, non-complexity.

Ijazah Calligraphy:

This type of Arabic calligraphy is called the Rihani Calligraphy, and it is called the Ijazah or signature font because it is used to sign school certificates and written licenses. It is simple and easy to read.


Diwani Calligraphy:


One of the types of Arabic fonts invented by the Ottomans and the first to define its scales and lay down its rules is the calligrapher Ibrahim Muneef. The Diwani Calligraphy was formally known after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih. Diwani calligraphy is a flexible and soft form of calligraphy and is also characterized by being decorative and having extreme stylization.

Tughra Calligraphy:

It is a type of Arabic calligraphy that is written in the thuluth script in particular, and it was written on Islamic money and royal orders. The word tughra means: The wing of that bird remained.


Moroccan Calligraphy:

This type of Arabic calligraphy appeared in the countries of Andalusia and Morocco. It is commonly used in writing the Qur’an and Al-Ma’kateb. It is close to the Thuluth and the Naskh Calligraphy.