Calligraphy – Beautifying the Words of God

A Rich Islamic Heritage

The profound admiration, deep connection, and respect that the Muslim calligraphers have for the Qur’an is reflected in the intricate beautification and ornamentation of the covers and borders. Therefore, for the Muslim calligrapher, there is no greater importance or honour than transmitting the text of the Qur’an through his or her penmanship. The act of devotion requires the embodiment of patience, perseverance, and a lifetime of dedicated practice. Throughout the ages, greatly skilled calligraphers have emerged in dedicating their lives to refining and beautifying the words of God.

“Arabic Calligraphy” has played a significant role in the development of Islam. For many people, Muslim and Non-Muslims alike, the copies of the Qur’an, Gods Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad in the early 7th century epitomize Islamic calligraphy. The expansive use of writing is one of the hallmarks of Islamic Civilisation.

Growing up in South Africa there were not many opportunities to study the Islamic Sacred Arts such as Traditional Arabic Calligraphy according to a curriculum passed down from a chain of calligraphers to receive the ijazah under the Master to Student Apprenticeship. The only opportunities to achieve an ijazah certification was to travel abroad which would require many years of dedicated study. Today we are indeed blessed to have access to Masters and the transmission of knowledge has reached South Africa. We are grateful for the efforts of many pious scholars and artists in our community who managed to keep the spirit of Islamic Arts alive.  

After many years of study, a group of South African students who joined a successful online programme with Deen Arts Foundation in the USA, under strict tutelage of world-renowned masters will now be graduating and receiving ijazah in the Islamic Sacred Arts for the first time in South Africa. An ijazah is a license authorizing its holder to transmit a specific text or subject issued by someone already possessing such authority.

To celebrate this wonderful achievement, Deen Arts Foundation is planning to have a graduation ceremony scheduled to take place in early March 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa, for the ijazah certification along with a variety of workshops from the 05th to the 11th of March 2023. The workshops will be facilitated by renowned Master Artists from China, Turkey, Morocco, United Kingdom and the United States of America. These masters bring an immense amount of skill and knowledge in Islamic Sacred Arts. They will also be showcasing an exhibition of students’ work throughout their period of study.  

Should you be interested in the Islamic Sacred Arts then these workshops are for YOU!!

For more information or to register visit www.deenartfoundation.org.za or call Zulfar Samodien on 0673439178

By Zulfar Tofie Samodien


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  • Dear Fatima and Zulfar,

    I am based in Johannesburg and am interested in joining an in-person, not virtual calligraphy course / class. Please send me information about this and the opportunities related to it.

    Man thanks,

    • Hi Bea. Please contact them by the details provided in the post as they are unlikely to see your message on this website’s comment section.