Kufic script is derived
from "Hijazi Script", whose origin may in order
be traced to "Hirian", "Nebtian" or
Available petrography and existing documents, which belong
to 7th century AD, indicate that in different kinds of
irregular arabesque writing, Naskh and Kufic scripts, have
been carelessly used and no rule or method was officially
proposed to follow. The object has been only restricted to
recording of written materials and their concepts, without
paying attention to the elegance and artistic issues,
which would have enriched those handwritings.
Such samples could be found in some available inscriptions
on stone and in a few documents as well. But, when
calligraphy was employed in the service of Islam for
writing Koran, it entirely got changed and gradually paced
in the path of perfection from viewpoint and aspect of art
Its first style of Islamic period writing, in which the
manifestation of art, delicacy and beauty are explicitly
evident, is that of Kufic Script. As, it was developed in
the city of Kufa, it is called "Kufic".
During the first three centuries of Islamic period
(7th-9th century AD), Koran was practically written and
recorded with Kufic script, while calligraphers of every
zone used to use their personal style and taste in this
sort of handwriting. The nibs of their pens might have
been different from one another, or the tendency of
vertical ribs of the letters towards left and right sides,
together with some other invented differences exerted in
the chosen letters, might have been characterized the
style and place of writing. Thus, various ways of
inscribing letters, like those of Kufic, Madani, Basri,
Shami (Syrian) and Maqrebi scripts came into existence.
In spite of all these differences, so long as using of
Kufic script, uses particularly restricted to Arabian
peninsula, no significant changes appeared in the original
forms of this handwriting. In fact, Kufic script could be
known as the first and earliest calligraphy, used in
writing many copies of Koran, which are still found here
Sounds and Points (Erab and Ejam):
The early Kufic script did not have any signs to display
the correct pronunciation of words. Even word's dots were
not used on or under the letters. But, in the course of
time, signs for pronouncing vowels gradually appeared.
Abdul-Asvad Doeli (1310 AD) has been known as the first
scribe, who used such signs.
In the available copies, written in Kufic script, cinnabar-red
circles are more or less contiguous to Arabic letters, to
show proper sounds of the desired pronunciation. Dots and
points (Ejam) could also be seen.
Signs, for eloquent resting of Koran, later appeared on
the basis of Choice and Convention of readers or scribes.
With the advents of "ibn Mogla" (950 AD) and
"ibn Bavvab" (1034 AD), Kufic script was no more
used by Arab calligraphers and was relaced by "Thulth",
"Reihan", "Mahaggag" and "Naskh".
Thence, Arab scribes only used Kufic script in writing the
rubrics of Koran's texts and margins, which were mostly as
decorative designs consisting of ceruse or gold work
traces done on azure background.
In non-Arabian Muslim areas, the use of Kufic script was
not practically restricted to this aspect or dimension. In
the course of time, it got evolution and was used in
inscribing many epigraphs and writing books in the vast
area, stretching between the borders of China and Spain.
One of the most important Eastern Kufic (Iranin) Scripts
was a kind, which is now called "Piramouz Kufic
Script" that has greatly acquired. This form or style
of writing is indeed the most beautiful from the viewpoint
of its elegant characteristics, such as having regular
separations between the related letters, which make words.
In order to avoid spending much time for and on writing,
calligraphers, gradually, gave up the method or style of
using separate letters in putting down a single word;
thus, new letters were regularly joined together like
those of Kufic or other words inscribed.
Although, such style of writing has been relatively
transformed in the course of time, taking new kinds and
shapes, and being used in different areas, ruled by
different governments, yet it is still known as Eastern or
Iranian Kufic Script. Large number of copies of Koran and
too many other books, written or printed in Persian, as
well as various manuscripts are, at present, available
here and there.
The reason of long prevalence and vast circulation of this
style of writing, lies in its easy quality of being either
written or read.
As, Kufic script was used mostly in writing Koran,
different kinds of Kufic script became as sacred
phenomenon and got holy aspect. Calligraphers tried to
create as more beautiful and charming letters and words,
as possible in innovative handwritings.
Various sorts of artistic symbols and tokens, introduced
natural things or man-made objects, were explicitly used
and observable in those sacred letters and words.
The present description of above-mentioned work of art
cannot quench the thirst of those who may seize the
opportunity of witnessing such beautiful copies and
manuscripts with their own eyes. One can enjoy his time by
watching them for hours or even for days in appropriate
As, Kufic script was used in architectural designs on the
basis and tastes in fashion of every area or vogue of
time, Kufic script has been chronologically changed from
viewpoint of its shape and style of inscription.
Decorative designs of this script could be seen on some
pillars, minarets, porches and on walls of palaces. These
decorations have been either done through plaster molding
or by stone carving. Some ingenious craftsmen or artisans
have successfully shown their artistic creations
concerning Kufic script, in fine and multi-colored glazed
tiles and sorted-out bricks. The history of all this
covers a long period of 1000 years.
In short, one has to try to discover the mysterious beauty
and elegance of the different decorative designs, skillfully
used in presenting Kufic script here and there in
different objects and instances.
The manifestation of such Eastern beauties has been spread
from Al-Hamra Palace in Spain to the ruins of Victory
Garden in Ghazneh. Reports and records have been hitherto
prepared on these relics by the experts of calligraphy and
graphology. Many of the examples, found in the present
collections, have been given on the basis of such