The Islamic Arts Department at the Grand Mosque held a lecture and a workshop entitled “Principles of Square Kufic Script” presented by Counselor Farid Al-Ali over two and a quarter hours under the auspices of the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, represented by the Grand Mosque Department of Islamic Arts on the occasion of the International Day of the Arabic Language through the Zoom application platform.
On this occasion, Al-Ali spoke about the importance of the Arabic language, and said that it is more widespread in the world, as more than 420 million people speak it, that is, a third of the world’s population, in addition to it being a sacred language, and prayer is not performed without it, as there are more than a billion daily worshipers who speak in prayer.
It is a major language, and its forms and images vary in poetry and prose that captivate hearts. It has prevailed throughout history for many centuries, and has influenced many other languages such as Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, and others. The United Nations adopted the Arabic language in six languages, and its official celebration became annually on December 18.
Al-Ali indicated that the purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the history, cultures and development of the language through programs, activities and events in each country. Al-Ali pointed out that technology and the use of international languages such as English and French, which replaced the Arabic language in daily communication and the academic field, have led to a decrease in the use of the classical Arabic language and the use of the local dialect by every country, so the integrity of the classical Arabic language must be preserved.
Al-Ali referred to the reason for its name in the square Kufic script and the places of its spread, saying: “It was named that because it flourished in Kufa, reached its peak, and spread from Kufa to all parts of the Islamic world. He pointed out that it was used in decorating buildings with bricks and tiles in square shapes, and it was widely used in the Dome of the Rock, and mosaics were used in Iran and Iraq. In the fifteenth century it spread greatly and covered the whole building with designs and inscriptions in square kufic, pointing out that in the sixteenth century, the Safavids reduced the use of square Arabic kufic fonts, and in the eighteenth century it was weak in its use and is no longer desirable to our present time.
Regarding the places of its spread, Al-Ali says: “It spread in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia and did not spread to neighboring countries such as India, Egypt, Syria, and North Africa.”
He mentioned that the nomenclature of the Kufic line is either functional, such as the structural, architectural and makial line, or it is formalistic called the underlined geometric line, the square line, the square, the orthogonal, and the visceral line.
He added that it depends on the square in which this line is formed, and it is not written with a pen or reed, rather it is a line drawn. As for the characteristics of the square Kufic line, al-Ali said its lines are straight, either vertical or horizontal, secondly, all the angles are right, and thirdly, the thickness of the line is equal to the thickness of the space, and fourthly, it depends on the individual numbers in the composition of the letters.
Al-Ali indicated that the lecture includes teaching the participants the principles of letters and writing in Kufic script, and then training them to write words in Kufic script and simulate these words and also develop writing in them, as it is an aesthetic writing and dialogue with writings in this aspect led to writing Kufic script in a beautiful handwriting with aesthetics that do not count. Through the countless square grid, participants were able to present artboards of words and sentences in Kufic script.