In Islan, letters and words, written or spoken, have, in their shape, size, music and colour, a central role in the conveying of messages and priciples of Arabic culture and religion. This movement emerged because, unlike other religions, from its beginning, muslim leaders discouraged the use of figural images, fearing they might have idolatry purposes. Consequently, calligraphy and language graphic signs gained importance in conveying the feelings in Qur’an's messages.
Arabic alphabet, according to recent studies, is a member of the Semitic alphabetical scripts, in which the consonants are highlighted and the writing of vowels is optional, particularly the North Semitic group, that developed at around 1700 BC in Palestine and Syria (where the Hebrew and Phoenician alphabets were originated). In northwest of Arabia, this writing has prevailed (the same alphabet would be adapted by the Greek, who introduced vowels to it and specialized it until it took the shape of Archaic Roman, Ocidental writing's ancestor) and connecting with Nabataean writing, from where Aramaic language derives from. This calligraphy developed in the 5th century, between Arabic tribes in Al-Hira and Anbar and was popularized by the Quraysh aristocracy, prophet Maometh's tribe.
Like every other Semitic writing, Arabic writing is done from right to left and consists of 17 distinct letter shapes that, by placing dots above or below each of them, create the 28 letters in the official alphabet. There are also other symbols that correspond to the vowels, because their suppression created some confusion among the countries to where Arabic was spread. A flowing continuum of ascending verticals, descending curves, and temperate horizontals, allows for a measured balance between movement and static, originating endless possibilities and variations within its main calligraphic styles: Deewani, Kufi, Naskh, Riqa, Taliq e Thuluth.
The materials used for writing depend on the purpose of the writing, but they are usually done with a qalam, a sort of pen made from dried reed, that is dipped in paint. However, you can also find artwork sculpted in stone, coins, medals, fabric, paintings and plates.
The drawing of the letters makes Arabic writing peculiar and elegant, while focusing on the words themselves and incentivating the artistic use of the alphabet with paintings, tapestries and plates - the construction of words has become an art. An art that symbolizes unity, beauty, culture and power, it brings those who speak the language and muslims around the world together, while embodying beauty and allying artistic values with academic knowledge of a culture where words transcend the object they represent.
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