The Spirit of Islam
Unity Diversity Knowledge Historical Summary
Unity Introduction Calligraphy Styles Kufic Style Thuluth Style Naskhi Style Nasta'liq Style
Calligraphic Textile
Sharh al-Takhkira Manuscript
Book of Calligraphy
Naskhi Style
Naskhi, which means "copying," was the cursive script commonly used by educated Muslims. It was one of the earliest scripts to develop.

Naskhi gained popularity after being redesigned by the famous calligrapher Ibn Muqla in the 10th century. Because of Ibn Muqla's comprehensive system of proportion, naskhi style displayed a very rhythmic line. It was later reformed by Ibn al-Bawaab and others into an elegant script worthy of the Qur'an. More Qur'ans have been written in naskhi than in any other script.

It is a small script that is usually written with short horizontal stems and with almost equal vertical depth above and below the medial line. The curves are full and deep, the uprights straight and vertical, and the words generally well spaced. Naskhi is legible and clear, and was used for ordinary correspondence and the production of literary works. It was adapted as the preferred style for typesetting and printing.

It is thought that the last great master of naskhi script was the 18th century Persian calligrapher Mirza Ahmad Nayrizi. An example of his work can be seen in a book of calligraphy on this site. Naskhi script can also be seen in a Central Asian Qur'an, woven into a textile, inscribed on the metal surface of an inkwell, on two ceramic tiles and a 17th century manuscript.

Heritage Canada Museum of Anthropology at UBC
Copyright 2002 Museum of Anthropology at UBC