The history of Arabic calligraphy

A. Kufic Calligraphy

Kufic Calligraphy

Originating in the city of Kufac, Kufic khatt was the only script used to copy the Holy Quran between the 8th and 10th century. 


B. Naskh


Naskh, which directly translates to copying, was a more legible style of calligraphy developed in 10th century Turkey. 

Pioneered by Ibn Muqla, Naskh was a hallmark in Islamic calligraphy. By using the alef as anx-height that all other characters were proportional to, Ibn Muqla solidified Naskhas as standard in Quranic scripture


C. Thuluth

A more extravagant style of calligraphy, Thuluth was mainly used for titles and on architectural monuments. This style can be commonly found today engraved on glass panels and mosque ceilings. 


D. Muhaqqaq

More informal than previous styles, Muhaqqaq was considered challenging to execute and was mainly only used in short phrases. 

The Basmallah phrase has almost constantly been written in Muhaqqaq style since the 18th century.


E. Nastaliq


A cursive style developed in 14th century Iran, Nastaliq was where calligraphy parted ways with theology. It picked up right from where Naksh stopped, utilizing steeped lines coupled with concise vertical strokes and broad horizontal strokes.