Islamic Calligraphy and the Description of the Prophet

Avatar wiseinstitute | October 1, 2018

Islamic Calligraphy

In this lecture Professor Muhammad Zakariya of John Carroll University speaks on Islamic and Arabic Calligraphy and the Hilye of Prophet Muhammed. He starts off by noticing that Arabic along with Ottoman Turkish and Persian are written from the left to the right in a smooth manner. The reasoning or purpose of writing in such manner originates from practicality and eligibility rather than aesthetics and appearance. Although this was the case, these writings gradually started transforming into a form of art in Saudi area, Syria-Palestine area, and Iraq-Baghdad area. It also continued into China and which resulted in a mix of Islamic-Chinese artistic concepts.

Dr. Zakariya proceeds by explaining the form of calligraphy known as Hilye by defining it within its context. He describes important characteristics of the Hilye and its main functions of depicting or describing the physical and non-physical attributes of the Prophet Muhammed. These Hilye’s would be easy to memorize making it transferable generations through generations. Although most Hilye’s are written of the Prophet Muhammed, not all of them are. Dr. Zakariya continues and finishes his lecture with a Q&A session.


Written by wiseinstitute


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