Remember that time you entered a Muslim home, and instantly your eyes were attracted to a framed art made of Arabic characters? You know that the art piece has a significant value because you have seen it in many other Muslim homes. It functions as a statement piece hung on an empty wall, and it comes in many shapes, designs, and sizes.
In some places, the writing is simple, and you feel a sense of achievement when you are able to read it. “Aha! that says bismillahirrahmanirrahim.” In other instances, the letters are intertwined in confusing complexity that they leave you hopeless in your attempt to decipher the text.
Perhaps you may have also encountered an artwork so brilliant that you were overwhelmed by its ingenuity, and you began to wonder, What is this writing? Why do Muslims choose to have such artwork in their homes?
Islamic calligraphy around us
The writing you saw is indeed a form of Islamic calligraphy.
In the Islamic world, calligraphy can be seen in many places and occasions. It is present as we connect with God in the form of written Quranic verses. Through the efforts of the calligraphers who directed their focus, time, and energy towards the legibility of the Quranic text, we can now read the words in the Quran with much ease.
Islamic calligraphy is also present as we celebrate special occasions, such as Eid and weddings. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to receive wedding invitations with the bride’s and groom’s names written in fine Arabic scripts.
As you most likely have observed, Islamic calligraphy often adorns our architectural landscape too. It is an integral element in the design and the visual aesthetics of many homes and buildings.
An art that enriches lives
Apart from elevating our home’s aesthetics, Islamic calligraphy can add joy, meaning, and colour to our everyday life in so many varied ways.
As a home decoration, Islamic calligraphy can function as a talking point with family members to discuss what makes the art beautiful and what it means in our lives.
As a written text, it becomes a medium that connects one with God. (Explore our Artwork of the Month to see how calligraphy can inspire us to face life’s challenges with faith and positivity.)
As an art form, it produces many generations of master calligraphers whose lives revolve around preserving this sacred art.
Delve deeper into the world of Islamic calligraphy, and you will soon recognise that these beautiful writings possess the ability to enrich your life in many unique ways.