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“Today, across the broad geographical tapestry of Muslim peoples and Islamic cultures, like flowering branches on an ancient tree, architects, artists, writers, and thinkers are increasingly involved in the rebirth of their great historical heritage. In their work, as in the intermingling of spirits in Al Hallaj's mystical poem, or in the swirling together of colors in the ancient art of ebru , two essential attributes of art, tradition and innovation, are being integrated anew in fresh expressions of beauty and meaning.

Great calligraphy, like great music, is the product of intense learning and arduous discipline, coupled with the continual practice necessary for absolute physical mastery over the qalam , the reed pen that the scholar Qadi Ahmad saw as a symbol of the means by which knowledge of The Divine reached mankind”.

Walter Denny, Ebru Art (2001)

“Arabian calligraphy was destined to become a major art, indeed the principal art for centuries. Not until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries did painting catch up with it...Its own inherent plastic qualities are conducive to setting up rhythms through repetitions... If proof is needed that Arabian calligraphy possesses aesthetic qualities independent of meanings expressed, there is the fact that it was used purely as decoration in Byzantine works, in early Italian paintings, and even on the facades of medieval French churches, as at Le Puy; the characters are generally only pseudo-Arabic, which is good evidence that the artists who devised these inscriptions were responsive to the beauty of the pure forms of Arabian calligraphy”.

A. Papadopoulo, Islam and Muslim Art (1979)

“It has been well said that what will remain of the Arabs in the end is to be found, firstly, in the Qur'an, secondly in pre-Islamic poetry and, finally, in calligraphy and architecture... The Arab calligraphers considered that their art was the geometry of the soul expressed through the body- a metaphor that can be taken literally and concretely with the literal design of its inspiring spirit. This metaphor refers back to an established language of love”.

Abdelkebir Khatibi, The Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy (2001)

“Once the Arabs recognized the necessity to commit their language to writing, they surpassed the world in the art of beautifying their script. They produced in a relatively short time an astonishing calligraphic development, transferring the Arabic script into an artistic medium that best reflected their genius and attracted their best artistic talents”.

Y.H. Safadi, Islamic Calligraphy (1992)

“Arabic Script is the central form of Islam's arts and was the first and is the foremost of its characteristic modes of visual expression. It is basic to Islamic culture, and the shapes and characters of its alphabet have permeated every level of society... The reasons for the chronological, social, and geographic pervasiveness of the calligraphic arts lie in the central fact of Islamic culture- the Qura'n”.

Anthony Welch, Calligraphy in the Arts of the Muslim World (1979)

“Islamic art is a world of irresistible fascination in which we strive for a better understanding of the objects and of the people who made them”

Professor Barbara Brend, Islamic Art (1992)

“It can be said without fear of exaggeration that nothing has typified the aesthetic sense of the Muslim peoples as much as the Arabic script. One needs to be familiar with its forms and styles in order to follow the full sweep of the art, particularly in architectural ornamentation which is frequently dominated by epigraphy”.

T. Burckhardt, Arts of Islam (1976)

“By dematerializing the visible world and by substituting artificial principles of composition for natural forms, Muslim art succeeded in achieving something remarkably contemporary. It o any one motif”.

Professor Oleg Graber, Architecture and Art (1975)

 


©Copyright 2005, M.J. Alhabeeb. The images and text in this website are just for view. They may not be borrowed or reproduced, in whole or in part, and in any form or shape, without a written, signed, and registered permission from the author.