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.

The top of this hilye (description of the Prophet Muhammad) features the bismillah, written in Thuluth. The central feature, circling around the name of the Prophet, appears to be a quintuple 'Ali, but is in fact a five-fold repetition of the phrase, "Inna Allah ala kull shay qadir," meaning "For God hath power over all things."

Turkey. 1905-1905 A.D. 44.2 x 36.5 cm. Thuluth, naskh and riqa' scripts. Courtesy of the Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art.

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