What do you think of Arabic calligraphy

Arabic calligraphyThe aesthetic side of Islam

Murad Kahraman, the calligraphy master, explains the first steps in this Arabic calligraphy in class. He leads a course at the Institute for Islamic Theology at the University of Osnabrück. It is believed that the origin of this particular art direction goes back to the early days of Islam, says Murad Kahraman:

"There is no concrete evidence as to when the first style was practiced, but it is said around the years 650-660. The fourth Khalif Ali was the first known Hattat, ie hat artist. He practiced the first style in Khufa and therefore named it this first style is also called khufi. "

The Institute for Islamic Theology at the University of Osnabrück is the only university in Germany where students can take courses in Arabic calligraphy. Martin Kellner is a lecturer at the Institute for Islamic Theology. He explains why calligraphy has a special meaning in Islam:

"The interesting thing is that the Arabic script has some parallels with the Arabic language. The Arabic language is simple. It is very eloquent, it is very expressive, it is very elastic, and it is beautiful. This is exactly how the script is. The script exists of 28 letters. It is easy to learn. Even a European can learn the Arabic script if he tries in a week. It is beautiful, it is flexible, it is elastic and it expresses a lot. There is no other language in which was created in such a high form of calligraphy, as in Arabic calligraphy. "

Deepen your personal relationship with God

Arabic calligraphy as an art form did not emerge until Islam. It developed out of the Muslims' preoccupation with their holy book, the Koran, and it also has a religious meaning, according to Martin Kellner:

"It's about how man can get to know God and how he can live properly and correctly through his knowledge of God. That is the core of this religion."

And that should also be expressed through calligraphy.

According to Islamic understanding, both creation is full of signs and, on the other hand, the revelations are signs that point us to God. The words with which God reveals himself in the Koran have some properties. They are beautiful in content - for a believing person, beautiful They should be beautiful in their linguistic expression and also in their outward appearance. The writing of this divine word should be beautiful. "

Calligraphy is, so to speak, the aesthetic side of the Islamic religion. By practicing this art, the personal relationship with God should be deepened and the meaning of the individual Koran texts should be thought about. Martin Kellner:

Calligraphy - the aesthetic side of the Islamic religion (Hüseyin Topel) "According to Islamic understanding, the Koran is the speech of God. It is the speech that is in this book. From a Muslim point of view, writing this book is a human work while the speech is on is God's word for the believing Muslim.

One tries to do justice to the beauty of the content with the beautiful writing. "

Muslims in Germany are also interested

It is often assumed that Arabic calligraphy only emerged from the Islamic ban on images. But whether there is actually a general ban on images in Islam is controversial even among Islamic scholars. Martin Kellner believes that this is an overrated debate.

"I believe that this prohibition of images is very often exaggerated and the prohibition of images is also misunderstood. There is a strict prohibition of images in relation to certain spiritual levels. So there is a prohibition on trying to represent God, a relatively broad prohibition, in the attempt of angels There is a prohibition on depicting prophets. But there is no prohibition in general on taking pictures. I believe that fine arts, especially in the Arab culture of the 7th-8th centuries, did not play such a large role that people didn't suddenly have to look for a replacement out of a ban. I think it's more about the fact that the Muslims and especially the Arabs have a very strong relationship with this beauty of the word. "

This aesthetic side of religion then spread through the Orient into the entire Islamic world. And now Muslims in Germany are also interested in it. The demand for such courses is high among the students of Islamic theology at the University of Osnabrück. You evidently recognize a close connection between this art form and theology.

"Calligraphy is associated with a special inner focus and orientation on what is being written. It is something that has meaning for spiritual people, and especially for today's Muslims."

Calligraphy - the aesthetic side of the Islamic religion (Hüseyin Topel)

For the university lecturer Martin Kellner, such courses also serve to highlight an important aspect of the Islamic religion that has often been forgotten today.

"Today we suffer from phenomena that have developed under the name of Islam, in which precisely this inwardness has been lost. From an Islamic point of view, one always tries to create a balance between inwardness and outwardness. Finding this balance again is particularly important for young people important, for this reason some of these projects that have to do with Islamic art are also related to the prevention of extremism. "

"Calligraphy is about deepening"

Because people who deal with Islamic calligraphy should also rediscover the spiritual side of religion. They learn to exercise patience and reflect on the verses in the Quran and reflect on them through their art.

"Calligraphy is about immersion. A calligrapher immerses himself in a verse of the Koran. He works for months to write a single verse beautifully. This immersion is also something that many Muslims lack today. Things are understood very flatly , understood very superficially and therefore in many cases also very ideological. "

It is an artistic creation that can contribute to both religious and personal development.