- Subject: Arabic Calligraphy
- Course Format: Online
- Instructor: Farzana Razzaque Hoca
About The Course
The Arabic Calligraphy Appreciation course is six weeks long. It introduces the student to an awareness of the world of calligraphy and the discipline required in learning to be a calligrapher.
While this course is not on the path to Ijaza (certification) in Arabic calligraphy, it is a way to take an intellectual and hands-on look at how Arabic calligraphy is taught formally. The most important aspect of this class is understanding the anatomy of letters in the Thuluth script by writing them and analyzing the works of some famous calligraphers. The Islamic arts are transmitted through the Ijaza system, and a rigorous methodology has preserved calligraphy for over 1000 years. This course creates an awareness and appreciation of this tradition. Our teacher, Farzana Razzaque, is a calligrapher and artist training in the Osmanli (Ottoman) tradition of the Naskh and Thuluth scripts. Students are expected to allocate approximately 4 hours per week to practice, prepare their lessons for submission, and attend live online classes.
Farzana Razzaque will explore a brief history of Arabic calligraphy and proceed with interactive and hands-on classes that allow students to experience the world of calligraphy. Students will learn how to hold a bamboo pen (qalam), ink, and prepare an inkpot. An artistic approach will be taken for those who enjoy the creative aspects of calligraphy.
The Divinely inspired purpose of calligraphy is not only learning the mechanics of writing the letters, which are based on philosophical and spiritual understandings but is also a means of disciplining the nafs. It is considered an Islamic science (akin to fiqh and Tafseer) because it preserves the written Word of Allah, and it is a means of purification of the nafs. There are many texts on the subject written by present and past scholars. Understanding the intentions of the scholars who developed and preserved this Islamic science helps refine one’s intention before embarking on the calligraphic path. May Allah Grant Tawfiq to all of your endeavors.
Classes will be conducted online using Zoom, and Whatsapp will be used for communication, sharing, and homework.
- Bamboo/reed qalam in sizes: 2mm, 3mm, and/or 5mm
- Arabic calligraphy paper (glossy laser printer paper if not available)
- Ink, lika, and inkwell
- Leather hand rest (other materials are also acceptable)
- Knife for sharpening the qalam (kalem terash, olfa cutters or olfa heavy duty cutters)
- Maqta’: for cutting the nib of the qalam. Scissors can be used as well.
- Fine sandpaper
- Color pencils/paint (as per students’ creative wishes)Alternative Materials:
- Chisel tip marker
- glossy laser printer paper
- Week 1: Brief History, Symbolism of Arabic Calligraphy. Introduction to writing rules and materials.
- Week 2: Writing and understanding the “Rabbi Yassir” line in the Thuluth script.
- Week 3: Writing the Arabic alphabet (ا-د), analyzing a calligraphy piece. Create art using Arabic calligraphy.
- Week 4: Writing the Arabic alphabet (ر-ط), analyzing a calligraphy piece. Create art using Arabic calligraphy.
- Week 5: Writing the Arabic alphabet (ل-ع), analyzing a calligraphy piece. Create art using Arabic calligraphy.
- Week 6: Writing the Arabic alphabet (ه-ى), analyzing a calligraphy piece. Create art using Arabic calligraphy.
Farzana Razzaque Hoca has been studying calligraphy and tezhip for over five years. She has received her ijaza, the permission to teach the Thuluth and Naskh scripts in the Ottoman tradition, from her teachers Master Calligraphers Haji Noor Deen Hoca and Ahmet Kutluhan Hoca.
Farzana is also studying tezhip, the art of illumination, with Master Tezhip Artist Fatma Ulusoy Sirajuddin Hoca. The term “Hoca” (pronounced Hoja) is a Turkish word for “Shaikh” used to address the teacher as a form of respect.