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Calligraphy is the music of eye. while the composition of notes makes a symphony, the composition of letters in calligraphy create a harmony which I named it “Eye Music”. This book is about  “Kufic Old” or “Kufic simple” Calligraphy, a practical aspect in new method which could be written by Traditional Qalam & Ink, pencil, pen, roller pen, metal-nip pen, … Of course, I don’t discuss about the history of Kufic calligraphy, the different types of this calligraphy in this book and I wish to write an independent book on. What we all know is that the issue of transcribing and calligraphy started with the need to script the Holy Quran. The Surat 58 of Holy Quran named “al-Qalam” which means Pen. In this Surat, God Swearing to Pen and what it writes. “Nūn, By the pen and what they inscribe” 

(نٓۚ وَٱلۡقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسۡطُرُونَ).


One of the earliest scripts is the Kufic or Kufi script, which is thought to have started in the city of Hira, a city near Kufa, located less than 30 miles south of ancient Babylon in Iraq. Kufa attained intellectual pre-eminence during the first decades of Islam and became later the northern political capital of Ali (d.661), the holy prophet’s cousin, son in law, the first Imam Shi’ite and the fourth of the rightly Guided Caliphs. Imam Ali is generally believed to be the best scribe in Kufic script. Opinions about the true origins of the Kufic script are divided: some believe it stemmed from the Jazm script (an ancient script derived from Nabati script), was called Mashq (from Arabic root word Mashaqa, to extend or stretch). This writing style was invented by the early Muslims in Mecca and Medina, exclusively for scribing the Quran and other Islamic religious texts. Some other scholars argued that the Kufi style was independently invented in Iraq because it was influenced by the Syriac ʾEsṭrangēlā script, one of the Aramaic scripts presumably used in writing Arabic in Iraq before Islam. The ʾEsṭrangēlā script used for Arabic is usually referred to as the Karshuni script. “The first of the Arab scripts was the script of Makkah, the next of al-Madīnah, then of al-Baṣrah, then of al-Kūfah. For the Alifs of the scripts of Makkah and al-Madīnah, there is a turning of the hand to the right and lengthening of strokes, one form having a slight slant.” Ibn al-Nadīm (d.999CE)

Kufic Characters

Letters in square Kufic are in the form of a square or a rectangle. This rakish script utilizes strong, short strokes for every letter. There is a squarish part to every letter as well. The Kufic script was originally void of dots and diacritics and was called “Old Kufic”. This made the reading in this script almost impossible for the non-Arabs, so attempts were made to improve this script: the first to make an attempt in the improvement of this script was Abul-Aswad Do’eli who upon suggestions by Imam Ali modified the Kufic script by adding round dots to certain letters, two of his students; Yahyā and Nāssr added round diacritics to the dotted letters. The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight letters and each of the letters may have up to four different forms. All the letters are strictly speaking consonants, and unlike the Roman alphabet used for English and most European languages Arabic writing goes from right to left. Although some sources counted lām-alif 

(لا ) a twenty-ninth letterform which is the result of the joining of two existing forms lām & Alif. This should not therefore be counted as a new letterform. There is also little known about the types of scripts used in copying the first Qurans; Ibn-e Nadim believes the first Arabic scripts were respectively: Makki, Madani, Basri and Kufic. The order of the script-types reflects the priority and order in which the Quran was revealed to the prophet and also the city to which the caliphate moved, i.e. from Mecca to Madinna and Kufa. Muslims originally named their scripts after the name of the cities.