Language, religion and decorative arts come together in the art of Arabic calligraphy as taught by Dr Moayad Abdul-Rahman at the Australian Islamic College.
In the banner image for this story, Dr Moayad's calligraphy quotes the words of the Prophet Mohammad:
The best among you is the one who benefits others.
The benefits of Dr Moayad's talents and example are evident in the beautiful work produced by secondary students of the AIC, displayed at the annual art exhibition and shown in the video below.
Dr Abdul-Rahman teaches Arabic language, calligraphy and religion at the Kewdale campus of AIC. He explained that Arabic script was developed from the Nabataean script, which was itself derived from the Aramaic script. As a writing system, Arabic appeared in the early 5th Century. The revelation of Islam had a major impact on the development of Arabic language and script, particularly the collection and copying of the Qur'an.
Dr Moayad says, "Calligraphy beautifies and clarifies the Arabic letters and words. Today, we can use Arabic letters in fine arts to produce fantastic art work. Thus we enhance students' study of Arabic language." Calligraphy is applied to a variety of purposes:
- To Glorify & Beautify God’s words
- As a form of worship
- As a spiritual activity
- Artistic endeavours
- Personal identity
Elements of Islamic art include Arabic script and calligraphy, geometric patterns and floral and végétal motifs (Arabesque). These elements are all included in samples of student work shown in the video. (Please note: there is no soundtrack to this video.)
AISWA Languages is grateful to Dr Moayad Abdul Rahman and the students and staff of the Australian Islamic College for their generosity in sharing this story of language and art.