Explore Arabic culture and civilization and discover the incredible richness of its history.
The centuries-old Arabic language (the holy language of the Quran and Islam), and its calligraphy have always fascinated the uninitiated.
Perhaps you're wondering what exactly it is that a scribe does. How did Chinese art along with Arabic and Japanese calligraphy become an icon of beautiful handwriting?
And today, we just use printers!
Arabic calligraphy, as well as Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, fall somewhere between writing (by hand) and drawing.
From the beginning of time, beautifully written Arabic letters have been used to write poetry and learn the language with elegance. So much so that Arabic calligraphy is now widely considered to be an art form.
Is is possible to learn the Arabic language through Arabic calligraphy?
How might you learn Arabic online for free via calligraphy? Read on to find out more about the ancient art of calligraphy and several ways to learn Arabic for free.
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The Age-old Art of Simple Arabic Calligraphy!
Imagine a kind of poetry that is expressed not only by words, but by the way in which the language is written or drawn. There aren't many languages that incorporate such beautiful and delicate art. Chinese and Japanese calligraphy are some of the rare examples.
Arabic calligraphy is an exceptionally precise and sophisticated art that leaves no room for improvisation. Each Arabic letter must be drawn according to a strict order and with an emphasis on brush position. Each sign must be finished with the point of the brush (or qalam).
Of course, such a meticulous script as that of the Arabic alphabet has a long history. We must go back many centuries to find the origin of the first Arabic letters, to 512AD to be exact, to the inscription of Zabad found in the Syrian desert in the Middle East. Arabic, the sacred language of the prophet of Allah, the Quran, and Islam, is a derivation of Aramaic and Nabataean and was used principally for writing. Arabic was the language of poets and is referred to as literal (or literary) Arabic as opposed to dialectical Arabic (local dialects derived from literal Arabic).
Calligraphy has a long history, and it has long been used throughout Islamic culture and in Islamic art. The role of Arabic script in the Holy Quran means that calligraphy has unimaginable importance in the Islamic world.
Ever since the Prophet Muhammad scribed the Quran as told by Allah, Arabic writing and Islamic calligraphy have been enshrined together in every Arabic text and manuscript.
Calligraphy is now seen in parchment art using the qalam and taught in modern courses for those who want to learn calligraphy.
Calligraphic letters and writing adds such beauty to the already beautiful Eastern texts. For those seeking to learn the Arabic language and its calligraphy for free, remember that you are learning a language with a rich history, a language that is above all literary and meant to be written.
Learn to Write Arabic Calligraphy for Free
Tracing Arabic letters with a brush (or a qalam, a sharpened reed used for writing) has links to painting and drawing. For some, the act is almost mystical. Don't forget that Arabic (literary Arabic to be specific) is the sacred language of Muslims and the Quran (as well as Islam). In fact, some students may consider learning Arabic for free through calligraphy for religious reasons.
Are you eager to use calligraphy to get a quick start on your Arabic instruction? Calligraphy isn't a set of random strokes, and you should know that there are several types of calligraphy used to write the Arabic language. Here are the 4 principal styles:
- Kufic style (or Hiri): Kufic calligraphy is commonly used in Arabic countries such as Syria and Iraq. Its letters and lines are simple and rather vertical. The kufric style is, therefore, quite suitable for learning Arabic quickly.
- Diwani syle: Diwani calligraphy is written with more curves.
- Farsi syle: Farsi calligraphy originates from a lovely Persian script marked by a move away from angular letters toward a softer style.
- Nastalik style: Nastalik calligraphy resembles the Persian style, but is used with the Arabic alphabet. It is quite elegant, but also considered archaic among Arabs due to the difficulty with which it is deciphered.
You are now ready to choose the style of calligraphy with which you would like to take Arabic lessons with an Arabic teacher. Likewise, for those seeking to learn Arabic for free through calligraphy, browse YouTube. Numerous tutorials are available to help you learn to read Kufi, Diwani, Farsi, or Nastalik calligraphy.
Online Calligraphy Courses for Free Language Learning
You've probably already searched for "free Arabic", "easy Arabic", "Arabic online", or "beginning Arabic" when looking for free Arabic courses that incorporate calligraphy (courses for learning grammar, pronouns, verbs, vocabulary, the alphabet, translation, pronunciation, vowels, etc.).
Or, perhaps you've decided to trust in an expert calligrapher, a native Arabic teacher who specializes in literary Arabic (not dialectical Arabic)?
Why not opt for Arabic or other language courses?
If English is your native language and you have no experience with Arabic, learning this foreign language with the help of a tutor is clearly the best way to progress rapidly for all beginners.
But, if you prefer to take Arabic language courses online at no charge, you certainly have that option!
There's no need for an Arabic teacher if you opt for the following websites.
- Firdaous.com offers interesting lessons and a great introduction to the Arabic language. Learn the secrets of drawing curves and lines. Find out how to write your name in Arabic. Study the history of the art of calligraphy on calligraphycourse.com. This site offers detailed thorough instruction in the art of calligraphy, including quotes, proverbs, calligraphy art, and cursive writing.
- Browse YouTube to find videos and podcasts with which to learn Arabic for free online. There are many video tutorials available online for English speakers and students just like you. Learn to draw the magnificently beautiful letters of the Arabic alphabet and learn to read them too (you may even need an Arabic keyboard!).
Arabic Calligraphy: A Beautiful Art Form and a Useful Tool for Learning Arabic
The Arab world has a rich history which has given birth to an even richer culture. From Ancient Egypt to the Ottoman Empire, the influences and inputs have come from far and wide.
Arabic calligraphy itself is just one example of the Islamic arts; architecture and ceramics are others.
But this form of writing the written word is not just a decorative form of artistic expression.
Arabic calligraphy carries great importance in the Muslim world due to its links to the Quran, and for anyone who wants to learn Arabic, calligraphy will provide the vehicle to read and write Arabic.
So by all means appreciate the aesthetic appeal of Arabic calligraphy, but don't underestimate its usefulness in learning the 5th most spoken language in the world. And remember to use all of thew resources for learning Arabic that are available to you.
On a final note, you may find a bit of inspiration among the works of Ghani Alani as you learn Arabic calligraphy.