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In the name of Allah, A Bismillah. In the form of a bird appearing to drink . Iran, second half of the 19th century .

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In the form of a bird appearing to drink

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In the name of Allah, A Bismillah

In the form of a bird appearing to drink


Iran, second half of the 19th century

Gulzar is defined by Safadi (1979) in Islamic Calligraphy as the technique of filling the area within the outlines of relatively large letters with various ornamental devices, including floral designs, geometric patterns, hunting scenes, portraits, small script, and other motifs. Gulzar is often used in composite calligraphy where it is also surrounded by other decorative units and calligraphic panels.


Zoomorphic Calligraphic Type

In zoomorphic calligraphy, the words are manipulated and structured into the shape of a human figure, a bird, an animal, or an object. Safadi notes that Thuluth, Naskh, and Nasta'liq scripts are extensively applied to create such calligraphic compositions.


Ottoman Turkey, Istanbul, 1845 AD

Tughra is a unique calligraphic device that is used as a royal seal. The nishanghi or tughrakesh is the only scribe specialized in writing Tughra. The emblems became quite ornate and were particularly favored by Ottoman officialdom.


Page from a manuscript of the Qur’an

Tunisia, probably Qairawan, early tenth century Gold and red ink on parchment dyed blue


Two leaves from a manuscript of the Qur’an

Abbasid caliphate, ninth to tenth century Ink and gold on parchment


Ta'liq Script

An Ottoman manuscript


A Bismillah

By al-Qandusi, from his remarkable 12-volume Qur'an (completed 1849)


Thuluth Script

Collage. Arches surrounding inscriptions of thuluth script. Extract from the Dakhira of the Sharqawa


Kufic Lettering

Alternation and juxtapositioning of a supple, cursive style with rigid, angular kufic lettering. The combination of stylized floral ornamentation, geometric interlacing and the richness of the polychrome treatment highlight the individual words and invocations.


Andalusian maghribi script

Fragment of a page from the Qur'an, copied on colored silk.


Sumbuli script

Signature by 'Arif Hikmat


A Bird

Bringing a message to the mystic Abdelqadar Jilali, known as the 'White Hawk'. Calligram in relief on an unidentifiable ground.


Maghribi script

The double letter lam and alif


Maghribi Kufic

With diacriticals in red, written on gazelle skin


The opening of the Surah Maryam

From al-Qandusi's Qur'an


The name of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)

In mirror images, by Subail Anwar, Istanbul


Jilli diwani

A larger version of diwani.Composition by Muhammad 'izzat al-Karkuki



Star on the threshold, 1984