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

CalligraphyQalam.com uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

Calligraphy & Islam

Arabic script calligraphy began as a spiritual art—a vehicle through which to remember and contemplate God. It was first developed to write the Koran, the holy book of Islam. Because this book was sacred, special care was taken in its transcription, and the art of calligraphy (“beautiful writing”) developed as a result. Calligraphy is one of the most revered and respected forms of visual art in the Islamic world.

Waterfountain with the inscription, 'Always remember God'

Waterfountain inscription found in Damascus, Syria. Photograph by Elisabeth Kvernen.

The Islamic context of calligraphy

This video gives an overview of how the religion of Islam has influenced the art of Arabic script calligraphy.