The Art of Learning Arabic Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide

Arabic calligraphy is an artistic style related to the art of Arabic writing. It is one of the steps to learn and master the Arabic language. There are many Arabic fonts, but it is not necessary to learn them all. You can learn only one type that you like the way it is written and you feel that it is easy for you. There are many methods that help you learn Arabic calligraphy, so do not worry, it is not difficult or complicated. You can learn Arabic calligraphy and master it even when Arabic is not your mother tongue with learning and training. In order for us to help you learn Arabic calligraphy, we have conducted comprehensive research to provide you with the most important information and tips about Learning Arabic Calligraphy.

Learning Arabic Calligraphy

Definition of Calligraphy

Calligraphy is drawings and literal forms that indicate words that express the meanings and feelings in the human psyche. And there is no higher honor for the knowledge of calligraphy than that God Almighty taught it to mankind and endowed Him with that upon His servants. He, may He be exalted, said:

Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen.

3,4 Al-‘Alaq.

History of Arabic Calligraphy

It was said that our master Ismail, peace be upon him, was the first to write the Arabic calligraphy – as Ibn Abbas said – and he said that it was connected until his son separated it. And it was said: Maramer bin Marra, and Aslam bin Jadrah, and are from the people of Anbar, and it was said: The first to write in Arabic was Harb bin Umayyah bin Abd Shams, he learned from the people of Al-Hirah, and the people of Al-Hirah learned from the people of Anbar.

Ibn Duraid says in his book: On the Authority of Awana, he said: The first to write in this handwriting of ours was Al-Jazm Maramer bin Murra, and Aslam bin Jarrah Al-Tayyan, then the people of Al-Anbar taught him, so Bishr bin Abdul-Malik, the brother of Akider bin Abdul-Malik Al-Kindi, the owner of Dumat Al-Jandal. Then he went out to Mecca and got married to Al-Sahba bint Harb bin Umayyah, the sister of Abu Sufyan, so he taught a group of the people of Makkah, so many people write in Makkah.

There is no accurate information about the forms of Arabic calligraphy before Islam, but historians believe that the lines circulating at the dawn of Islam were the lines of Al-Hiri, Al-Anbari Al-Maliki, Al-Kufi, Al-Madani, and Al-Basri.

The Arabic language differed from one tribe to another before the advent of Islam, but when Islam came and the Holy Quran was revealed, the dialects unified as the Holy Quran was revealed in the Quraish dialect.

When the Prophet Muhammad – may God bless him and grant him peace – built a mosque in Medina, he commissioned a number of companions to learn Arabic writing, and this is how the development of Arabic calligraphy began to this day. Islam had a great advantage over the Arabic language and its development. The revelation of the Noble Quran and its provision in the Arabic script led to its spread in many countries around the world.

Basic Scripts and Techniques

When the Islamic religion spread outside the countries of the Arabian Peninsula and many peoples, with different hobbies, entered the Islamic religion. The Arabic language and its writing became the most widely used. A kind of intellectual diversity occurred, and innovation and development of different forms of Arabic calligraphy began, and schools specialized in teaching calligraphy arts began.

Among the types of Arabic calligraphy are the following:

Kufic calligraphy

One of the oldest Arabic scripts used for writing. It is derived from the ancient Nabataean script that was widespread in the Arabian Peninsula and Hauran region. It was called the Kufic script because it was widely used by the people of Iraq, and it moved from Kufa to other regions. It usually tends to squareness and geometry.

Kufic calligraphy

Weighted line

This line appeared in the Levant after the Arabization of the collections during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. It was given this name because it relies on the instrument and the ruler in its drawing and writing. It is taken according to the principle of measuring the width of the writing instrument.

Almansoob line

A font whose bases have been established on relative grounds, where the character of the letter is formed in it away from the stereotypical geometric composition. In contrast to the weighted line.

It has special standard lineages, and the number of its pens is 24. Six types of calligraphy were formed: Al-Thuluth, Al-Raqqa by the minister Abu Ali Muhammad bin Muqla, then his brother Abu Abdullah Al-Hassan, Al-Rayhan, Al-Tawqi’, Al-Muhaqqaq, and Al-Badi’.

Alraqe script 

It is one of the most used fonts in daily life, characterized by its beauty and strength at the same time, speed when writing, and ease of understanding and reading. It used to write on old parchments, and it is published in all Arab countries. This line is used to write Quranic verses. Writing headlines for newspapers, magazines, and books.

Naskh script 

Its basics were created by the minister Ibn Muqla. The Naskh script is a descendant of the Thuluth script, specifically in terms of its connection to the script and its writing. Naskh calligraphy is characterized by its beauty, accuracy, and clarity of letters. It was given this name due to its frequent use in the process of copying and transferring books and documents due to the clarity and largeness of its letters, and the beauty of its appearance.

Persian line

This line appeared in the ninth century AH, and it was given this name because it appeared in Persia. It is characterized by its beauty due to the decoration in it, the circular letters, the turns, and the curves.

It is also characterized by the accuracy of its letters

Clarity and ease. It is a simple, graceful line, not complicated.

Diwani line

It was invented by the Turks, and it is a soft, flexible line, and easy to use. Where it is distinguished by the roundness of its letters, as all its letters are curved, and the Diwani font is characterized by the flexibility of the convergence and adhesion of letters. The Diwani line was adopted as the official line of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 857 AH. It was named after the government bureaus in which it was written.

Tools and Materials Required For Learning Arabic Calligraphy

Since ancient times, calligraphers have used many tools and means to write Arabic calligraphy, the most important of which are paper, ink, and reeds.

The Reed 

The reed was used as a writing tool, as it is a plant with an inner cavity from which pens were made. Where the scissors are sharpened with precision until they turn into a pen and can be written with.

Types of writing pens

A good pen is one of the most important factors in writing Arabic calligraphy, as the quality of writing depends on the quality of the pen and its proper grip. There are many types of writing pens

Which differs in its properties from hardness, softness, or impregnation to ink.

Ibn Muqla, one of the famous Arabic calligraphers in the Abbasid era, said: “The best pens are those whose length is from sixteen to twelve fingers, and their fullness is between the thickness of the index finger to the little finger, and this is a comprehensive description of all different types of pens.”

Kinds of ink

Good ink is also an important factor in writing Arabic calligraphy. Good ink has a fluidity suitable for good writing. Where it should not be too light or too thick so that the writing is accurate and not distorted. Expert calligraphers dilute the thick ink with a few drops of tea or water and stir it gradually to get the right density for writing.

There are two types of inks which are ready and manual inks. There are many types of ready-made inks, the best of which are the original Japanese Daiso ink, the English calligraphy inks for colors, and the German Shemank inks. As for the manual inks, they are Arabic ink, which is made from black soot or soot with distilled water and Arabic gum.

Writing paper

Writing a paper may be rough or smooth. But the smoother the better. Therefore, it is preferable to choose smooth, glossy paper if writing requires high accuracy and quality. The best types of paper include coche paper or pandacott paper, which is used for book covers.

There is another type of cushion that is not glossy and is called matte cushion or stretch cushion. It is preferable to use it when a font is desired to be written with extreme accuracy, as experienced calligraphers use it when they design fonts for printing presses and publishing houses.

Proper Posture and Hand Positioning

You need to be comfortable in order to write correctly, so you should choose a pose that makes your body and back comfortable. A flat surface table should also be chosen. Then choose a suitable chair, making sure that its height is commensurate with the height of the table. If the chair is low, you will have to raise your arm tiringly. The same thing, if the chair is high, you will resort to bending your back, which leads to back pain.

Setting Up Your Workspace

Keep your arm positioned correctly on the table. The arm should not be close to your body as this will restrict the movement of the wrist, so practice this position and it will help you master writing in beautiful handwriting. Then put the paper and make the place writing directly under the pen, and in order to remain in the correct position, do not move your hand, but rather move the paper when you want to go down to the lower lines.

How to Hold the Pen or Brush?

You should hold the pen correctly so that you do not get tired quickly when writing. The correct way to hold the pen so that you can write for a long time without feeling tired and in hand pain is to place the pen between your three fingers, the thumb, forefinger, and middle so that the fingers are in a relaxed and unbent position. Do not press the pen with one of your fingers, as if you are holding a feather to draw. If this method is difficult at first, try to practice it, and it will become easy and comfortable with time.

Determining Line Weight and Direction

It is well known that Arabic writing is written from right to left, and not vice versa, as in Latin languages. So review the line that you want to write, find out how the word was drawn in which it was written, then draw the words and repeat this process on more than one sheet of paper in a successive manner to reach proper writing.

Practice Exercises

Try to set aside time to practice what you learned from Arabic calligraphy. In order to prove the method of writing in your mind, the abundance of training will help you to improve your writing level and make you know your weaknesses, which will make you avoid them later.

Points to Remember While Writing

Bring a notepad and take notes on the most important steps of Arabic writing. in addition to the errors that you frequently encounter. Then review these points before you start writing, this will help you a lot in improving your writing and reaching mastery.

Where to Find Inspiration and Resources

You can use YouTube channels where you will find videos that help you learn Arabic calligraphy. You can also use mobile applications that teach Arabic fonts. They are good ways to practice writing Arabic calligraphy by watching how sentences and letters are written in a specific font several times. And knowing the drawing of the line, clarifying the method through which it was drawn, and clarifying the movement of the hand while writing the line.

Joining a Calligraphy Club or Class

You can join training academies specialized in teaching calligraphy, Whether real or virtual online. As they help you to master calligraphy writing easily. It gives you the opportunity to practice writing Arabic calligraphy with trainers specialized in teaching calligraphy of all kinds.

Tips for Perfecting Your Skill

Read a lot in Arabic, as this will help you to form a visual assessment of the shape of the Arabic calligraphy and fix it in your mind. Write down what you learned immediately after you have finished learning it, and do not delay practicing it. Where the method of drawing speech will be present in your mind, which makes it easier for you to apply it.

Do not get bored if you find it difficult to write Arabic calligraphy, it will be temporary, but with training and practice, things will become easier.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

You can seek the help of one of the teachers and experts in the field of Arabic calligraphy if you want to inquire about something or encounter a problem. You can also search on the Internet, you will find tremendous information on how to learn Arabic calligraphy and everything related to it in detail.

You can benefit from the best Arabic Course free trial and join our online classes with native Arabic tutors.


We covered it in this article talking about the Art of Learning Arabic Calligraphy. We showed a quick definition of Calligraphy, the History of Arabic Calligraphy Basic Scripts and Techniques. We also discussed some important tips about writing Arabic calligraphy such as Tools and Materials Required, Proper Posture and Hand Positioning, Setting Up Your Workspace, and How to Hold the Pen or Brush? and so on. We hope our words benefit you.

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