The Journey of Islamic Art Through Traditional and Contemporary Calligraphy Painting


  • Duaa Mohammed Alashari Faculty of Islamic Civilization, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Abd.Rahman Hamzah Faculty of Islamic Civilization, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Nurazmallail Marni Faculty of Islamic Civilization, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia



Islamic painting, Arabic Calligraphy, Islamic Art, Arabic language, contemporary painting


Islamic Art is considered as historical art and it is famous all over the Islamic world. The Islamic calligraphy art started around the time of the revelation of al-Quran. Islamic calligraphy art was famous for adorning the interior and exterior aspects of mosques and some famous Islamic buildings. The aim of this article is to highlight and study the traditional and contemporary Islamic calligraphy painting by well-known calligraphers. Calligraphers have been inspired by the Arabic language and they are expressing this language as a kind of unique art through traditional and contemporary painting. Indeed, this paper will provide a brief history of calligraphy art. Islamic calligraphy painting is expressed in a variety of styles and there are also different modes of traditional Arabic styles of writing. Islamic Calligraphers appreciate this sacred and spiritual art and as they carried on their journey, they began to create their art by adding some inspirational verses of the Quran as well as some historical poems. The most noticeable visible feature related to Islamic calligraphy traditional and contemporary painting has to do with the complex and intricate compositions that involve the overlapping of words integrated into a unique method. Islamic calligraphy painting, through either a traditional or a contemporary method, expresses movement and dynamism through the calligraphic lines. The study reveals that the traditional and contemporary calligraphy paintings are considered as innovative art based on their unique traditional scripts, the intricate contemporary identity of the handwriting and the materials. Calligraphers expressed their artistry, and their ability and creativity by applying the sacred language to create a fabulous and unique tradition which is referred to as contemporary calligraphy painting.

Author Biography

Duaa Mohammed Alashari, Faculty of Islamic Civilization, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Duaa Alashari was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and lived there for many years. Then, she moved to the United States to get her painting MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. She now lives in Savannah. She received her Bachelors of Islamic Art Education from King Abdu Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in May 2007.  Alashari’s work is displayed in King Abdu Aziz University and Arabia Calligraphy Gallery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and in the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.  Alashari’s art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the Islamic decorations, addresses the complex composition of show identity from the unique perspective of personal experience. In much of her work, she returns to her Arabic language and culture, looking back on it as an artist caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space. Her paintings often appropriate Arabic calligraphy and Islamic art tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the beauty of Islamic art. She has worked in numerous media, including painting, glass, metal, and fabric. "In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple images, as artist, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to experience different art from Middle East, and to show them how to identify, understand and appreciate its varied styles and modes.”


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How to Cite

Mohammed Alashari, D., Hamzah, A., & Marni, N. (2020). The Journey of Islamic Art Through Traditional and Contemporary Calligraphy Painting. UMRAN - International Journal of Islamic and Civilizational Studies, 7(3), 1–11.