The art of Arabic script calligraphy has been passed down from master to student for centuries. A master calligrapher is someone who has achieved a high level of skill in one or more scripts. He has also received a certificate or license (ijaza) verifying this skill.
There have been countless master calligraphers throughout history. Starting in the early 7th century with ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (600-661), the fourth caliph of Islam, we can trace the transmission of calligraphic skills to the present day through a living “chain” of calligraphers. Masters taught students, who then became masters and taught others. Different schools developed within this chain, each of which was founded by a leading and innovative calligrapher and was followed by others who refined and clarified the founder’s work.
To the right you will find a list of several key calligraphers whose work has played a central role in the development of this art form.
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Interview with Elinor Aishah Holland
This video is an interview with NY-based calligrapher Elinor Aishah Holland about how she became a calligrapher and the importance of calligraphy. Ms. Holland is a teacher of calligraphy in the Latin and Arabic scripts.