Another winter season approaches. But with everything that has happened in 2020, few expect it to be a normal winter. Or a normal spring. Or a normal anything. How does one find strength in this environment? Of course, from the same eternal source that has always lifted humanity’s spirits in the darkest of times.
God. Faith. Belief.
In Islam, as in every other religion, the expression of that faith and belief takes many forms, beyond the mainstay pillars, principles and rituals. In Islam, calligraphy is an ancient and revered art form, an expression of faith and devotion.
Art, like Nature, continuously evolves. If you google Islamic calligraphy, you’ll find an abundance of material investigating the origins, and the evolution of the Arabic alphabet in written form. Being the most accepted from of hand-drawn art in Islam, the variations in Arabic calligraphy are a sight to behold. The devotees of the faith find solace in writing out the verses of the Quran in ornate and flowing forms, represented by the Persian Nastaliq script, or in the extraordinarily precise geometric shapes of the Kufic script, born in the city of Kufa, Iraq.
The Quranic verses expressed in written artistic forms have evolved in Islamic calligraphy throughout the ages. And the evolution continues. Keeping up with the times, a number of Muslim artists are have been expressing the word of God in graffiti style, using unique, bold forms and colors to express their version of the verses in the Quran, bringing a new vibrancy to Islamic calligraphy. It is a new style that seems to be directed to the younger generation, but appeals to all ages.
As I was browsing through Artizara’s Islamic gifts collection, my daughter was peering over my shoulder. She pointed to one of the mugs and asked me what it said.
“It’s Arabic calligraphy” I said.
“I know that!” she exclaimed. “What does it say?”.
“It says ‘Heaven is under the feet of your Mother’” I answered.
She paused for a moment. “I like it. It does not look like Arabic calligraphy.”
“Do you like it?” I inquired..
“Yes. Can I get one?”
“Of course”, I replied. “Why do you want this one?”
“Well, I like the colors. And the design. And that I will think about Mama whenever I drink tea or coffee from it.”