Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy

CalligraphyQalam.com uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in the traditional art forms of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

This Koranic fragment includes surahs 101-104, some of the shortest and final chapters of the Koran. The chapter headings include the total number of verses and are written in gold thuluth script on a blue and red background. The calligraphy used for the verses is masahif, a cursive script that is a smaller and less stiff version than muhaqqaq. Its name, which means "codices" or "volumes," reflects its common use for copying the Qur'an.

Calligrapher unknown. 15th century. 21.5 x 29.4 cm. Muhaqqaq and masahif script. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, African and Middle Eastern Division.

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