Divine Proportions: Introduction to Islamic Calligraphy

Islamic Art is intimately tied to the Divine Revelation, fusing truth and beauty as the same. The role of Islamic Art, according to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, is not just to provide a historical understanding of art, but to mold the soul of the artist. Taking the example of calligraphy, we can liken the calligrapher to the reed pen, where one needs to empty themselves just as a hollow pen for the Divine to flow through. The ink itself is a metaphor for the latter. In Islamic origin myth, the first thing that God created was qalam (pen). The writing holds a paramount significance in Islamic cultures. Throughout the centuries, Muslim scribes and calligraphers perfect the art of writing. In premodern Muslim societies, it was elementary learning aimed at grounding students firmly in the art and sciences of letters. The calligraphy was perceived as a spiritual exercise to cultivate perfect proportions within a soul as a reflection of divine unity. In addition to its artistic and spiritual dimensions, calligraphy became an integral aspect of the bureaucratic rationality of Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal courts. Designed as an experimental course for Habib University students, Divine Proportions fuses thought and action, perception, and practice into a single class taught by an anthropologist, Dr. Noman Baig, and a calligrapher, Ustad Kashif Khan. Drawing on ethnographic and traditional learning methods, students will explore writing in a broader context. The students explore the formation of Islam art, the phenomenology of creative practice, iconocity in religious visual culture, and epigraphy on tombstones. Furthermore, the course seeks to inspire students towards beauty – one of the fundamental tenets of Habib University’s core concept of Yohsin. It also fulfills a Liberal Core requirement of Creative Practice.


Calligraphic Letters

Surah Fateha

  • Abeeha Iqbal
  • Alina Baig
  • Asra Asim
  • Eisha Ahmed
  • Eisha Ateeq
  • Imra Rahim Hemani
  • Jannat Zeeshan
  • Maha Shahid
  • Mahnoor Farid Khan
  • Muniza Javed Qazi
  • Naveen Shariff
  • Rameen Irfan
  • Alifiya Fahim Lotia
  • Habab Idrees
  • Sana Khan
  • Luluwa Lokhandwala
  • Shahwaiz Gilani
  • Rida Fatima
  • Sabika Noor Ali
  • Samana Batul
  • Syeda Dua Zehra Zaidi
  • Tanees Abbas
  • Zobia Parvez Sharif
  • Zubia Nadeem