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

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Tawqi‘


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Riqa‘


(Pronounced “tao-kee”; Turkish–Tevki‘;
Persian–Toqi‘)

Meaning

  • “Tawqi‘ ” is derived from the Arabic verb, waqa’a, meaning “to sign,” because it was regularly used to write the signature on a ruler’s decrees

Uses

  • Most often used for scrolls, diplomas, royal documents and calligraphic tours de force
  • Used in ancient Persia for writing the final colophon of a book, showing the date and place of writing

Companion script

  • Tawqi‘ is most often written in conjunction with riqa‘, which is a smaller version of the same script

Timeline

  • Developed in the 10th century
  • Refined by Seyh Hamdullah in the 15th century
  • Gradually replaced by Divani in the 19th century
  • Mostly obsolete today

Distinctive characteristics

  • A smaller variant of thuluth, its letters are somewhat more compressed and rounded
  • Letters that don’t connect on the left are often connected in this script (unauthorized ligatures), allowing it to be written with speed
  • Features proportionally shorter ascending strokes and shorter, more deeply curved horizontal strokes
Tawqi' image

Tawqi' script.

Tawqi' image

Tawqi' script.

Tawqi' image

Tawqi' script.

(Pronounced “rik-ah”; Turkish–Rika‘)

Meaning

  • “Riqa‘ ” is derived from the Arabic noun, ruq’a, meaning “a patch or piece of cloth.” The script was named thus because it was often written on small pieces of paper to petition royalty

Uses

  • In its early development, riqa‘ was used for writing letters, epics, stories and personal correspondence
  • Used for official correspondence and documents
  • Used for writing the final colophon of a book, showing the date and place of writing

Companion script

  • Tawqi‘ is the larger script often used in conjunction with riqa‘

Timeline

  • Developed in the 10th century
  • Refined by Seyh Hamdullah in the 15th century
  • Now obsolete, but it evolved into the Ottoman script called ijaza (Turkish– Icaze)

Distinctive characteristics

  • Small version of tawqi‘
  • Features rounded letter shapes
  • Letters that don’t connect on the left are often connected in this script (unauthorized ligatures)
Riqa' image

Riqa' script.

Riqa' image

Riqa' script.

Riqa' image

Riqa' script.