Ramadan in UAE: Calligraphy offers baraka (holy blessings) to recipient – News
The pursuit of art forms connects the seeker and practitioner not only to the scriptures, but also provides additional means of contemplation, memorization of Quranic passages, and oral recitation.
Calligraphy is an important art form in the Islamic world. The Quran, written in elegant scriptures, represents the divine word of Allah – or God – that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received directly from Allah during his visions.
The art form has always been an important part of Islamic arts, allowing its practitioners to train the soul to be patient with all the little details and to draw every line in a soul-filling way.
As worshipers embrace the spirit of Ramadan, we speak to artists based in the United Arab Emirates, who dedicate the holy month to the pursuit of Arabic calligraphy.
Currently, many artists in the Arab world and around the world are working to further elevate Islamic and Arab art, based on time-honoured work by historical artists, philanthropists and scholars.
Abda Fayyaz, a Pakistani artist, who has been actively practicing calligraphy for ten years, says, “I am proud to be one of these young artists, representing a fusion of modern and contemporary art and traditional techniques.
The first thing God created was the pen
It should be noted, for example, that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is said to have said: “The first thing that God created was the pen”. Islamic calligraphy is the practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based on the alphabet in lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. It includes Arabic calligraphy, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy. Calligraphy has been explored in Sufism to claim that every Arabic alphabet is linked with divine value. In a spiritual sense, calligraphy provided an additional means of contemplation. Sabah Anees, an Indian artist, with 24 years of experience as an artist, suggests that the art form dates back to the 6th century and that calligraphy is the most valued and fundamental element of Islamic art. . “Arabic calligraphy has been recognized since the Ottoman Empire. Arabic calligraphy would mean any calligraphy in the Arabic language. For Arabic speaking countries, it can be a poem. But for a non-Arabic country, it is mainly Quran verses or of prayers. written on the canvas in an artistic way,” says Mahfuzur Rahman, a Bangladeshi Rahman artist who has been pursuing artistic pursuits since 2015.
Practicing calligraphy is akin to offering prayers during Ramadan
Rahman has been practicing calligraphy for nearly five years. He says, “Ramadan is the most important month for every Muslim. It is a month where our wishes come true as the forgiveness of our sins. I will try to create a minimum of 5-7 pieces of calligraphy during the holy month.”
Anees adds: “As a Muslim, the practice of Arabic calligraphy holds a special place in my heart. When I create a work, I have the impression of offering prayers. At other times, it’s like meditation, which calms my soul.
Fayyaz adds, “Ramadan is the holiest month and for many, cultivating mastery of Quranic calligraphic expressions is a method of Islamic spirituality that opens up hidden dimensions of the universe. This spiritual art would connect the seeker and practitioner not only to the scriptures, but also provide additional means of contemplation, in addition to memorizing Quranic passages and oral recitation.
Why is it a popular art form?
According to Anees, the main reason for the popularity of Arabic calligraphy is its symmetry, “Having a perfect balance of points, edges, curves and dots, Arabic lettering and writing constitute perfect components.” For writing, the calligrapher has the choice between cross-cut bamboo sticks, a double pencil, an angled brush or a felt pen.
Quranic verses on the canvas
Anees adds how a few particular verses and surahs from the Quran hold a powerful and strong place in her life: “I feel a strong connection with them and they comfort me when I recite them. I would express them on a canvas.” Rahman says his work focuses on mentioning the greatness of Allah and he is keen on taking the beautiful verses from the Quran that speak of His greatness and bounty. He adds: “You have to remember that if a Muslim reads a single word of the Quran, Allah gives him ten times more bounties. During Ramadan, it is 700 bounties for one word. So this is a service we give back to ourselves as practitioners of the art form.” All works of Fayyaz are based on the first Arabic script alphabet “Alif” and the sacred name “Allah”. “…and He (Allah) is with you wherever you are…” (Sura Hadid, Al Quran (57):4). “The Alif alphabet and the word Allah are so endless that I don’t think my life’s work will be enough to interpret them or even scratch the surface,” she says.
Anees’ style of calligraphy is freestyle. She informs that there are nearly 500 Arabic calligraphy fonts, including the A Thuluth font, one of the most fascinating and difficult fonts to perfect in terms of design and implementation. Others include Farsi, Kufi, Diwani, Ruq’a’, Alnaskh, and more. Anees plans to create a minimum of ten artworks during this month, “Each one would help me work on my relationship with Allah.” Most people specialize in a maximum of two to three styles. Rahman specializes in Kufic and Sunbuli Khaat styles.
“The medium for me is mainly ink or watercolor on paper, acrylic or oil on canvas,” he adds.
Connection to the past and the future (WITH PIC)
At 5 meters tall, the sculpture on the Address Beach Resort’s lobby terrace, The Sail, a work by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej, features calligraphy, incorporating quotes from HH. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. “The future will be for those who can imagine it, design it and implement it, the future does not wait for the future, but can be designed and built today.”
Calligraphy as 3D, 4D sculptures
Kalimat Art Gallery explores another side of the world of calligraphy, a world where Arabic calligraphy was born in 3D, 4D sculptures and wall sculptures. Visitors can witness Arabic calligraphy in this exciting exhibition featuring a combination of artists, who have collaborated to create unique works of art, each inspired by a different story.
Until April 30, Gallery 2, Foundry, Downtown Dubai Boulevard
What is calligraffiti?
Islamic and/or Arabic calligraphy developed from two major styles: Kufic and Naskh. There are several variations of each, as well as region-specific styles. Arabic or Persian calligraphy has also been incorporated into modern art, beginning with the postcolonial period in the Middle East, as well as the more recent style of calligraffiti, that is, an art form that combines calligraphy, typography and graffiti.
The field of Islamic art includes a range of visual arts produced from the seventh century by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, who lived in territories inhabited or ruled by culturally Islamic populations. It is not limited to religious art but rather extends to a range of fields including architecture, calligraphy, painting, glass, ceramics, textiles, etc.