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Paper Information

Journal:   BAGH-E NAZAR   SPRING 2016 , Volume 13 , Number 38; Page(s) 57 To 64.



Traditionalism as a new brand thought having claimed thousands years thought base even in human history, try to analyze and study all civilization’s appearance. This analyze is so wild that there are no appearances of human life out of it. One of these appearances that Traditionalists have emphasized is art. Art as one of basic appearances of and society’s sense, culture and civilization was been attended by them. Among all of various kinds of Islamic Art, Islamic Calligraphy has a special place. It has had a deep linkage with other kind of Islamic Art such as Holy Quran Writing and other related arts, architecture and building decoration and in current time it has a strong connection with visual arts. So it is one of alive art in this kind of world art. Islamic Calligraphy could adjust itself with geographic and environmental conditions so well and developed as a main art in Islamic and even non Islamic countries. Traditionalists who studied Islamic Arts, have perused Islamic Calligraphy and among them Seyyed Hosein Nasr, Martin Lings and Titus Burckhardt have most portion about theorizing in Islamic Calligraphy. Among their theories and point of views about Islamic Calligraphy, their attitude about the beginning of it has been investigated in this article and tried to meanwhile our precise investigation, measure them with critical look to find out if we can embed traditional point of view about the beginning of Islamic Calligraphy in top rate of theories or not. Traditionalists generally have five theories about the beginning of Islamic Calligraphy. First source is “First Word”. Ambiguity in explanation of this phrase is our first serious critique to this theory. In addition, this theory’s contrast with rationality and even with their metaphysical bases must add to other critiques. Second source that Traditionalists try to theorize is Holy Quran. Even if this theory is correct and coincident with historical facts but it is just one of various causes that create Islamic Calligraphy. Arabs verbal tradition and lack of calligraphy’s past among them as well as occurrence some non-sacred happening that they motivate Muslims to write Holy Quran and necessity of governmental and literary writings propel Muslims to create Islamic Calligraphy. So just by revelation of Holy Quran did not create an art such Islamic Calligraphy. Furthermore we must say that Traditionalists have confused between writing of Holy Quran and Holy Quran Calligraphy. Third source is Islam itself or in Traditionalists’ interpretation totality of Islamic culture and civilization. Ambiguity in explanation of terms in their words just make their theory complex and possible interpretation. In addition if they try to offer it as Muslims’ reaction to Holy Quran, we explain our critiques in second source. Forth source is Loh-e Mahfuz. Ambiguity in their word and terms is saw in this theory too. Furthermore we analyzed it rationally and found out that this theory about the beginning of Islamic Calligraphy is in serious and obvious contrast with Traditionalists’ other theories in metaphysics and basic thoughts. Meanwhile they did not attend to peripheral, historical and geographical facts that they have important and deep influence on everything especially on art. Fifth source is Imam Ali (a.s.). This theory is one of few theories that there is disagreement among traditionalists. Seyyed Hosein Nasr believed that Imam Ali (a.s.) had made Islamic Calligraphy but Martin Lings thought that it is not possible because the Holy Qurans that they referred to Imam Ali (a.s.) never can write by him since their script refer to beginning or middle of Hijri third century. While Imam Ali (a.s.) had lived in first century and passed away in 40 of Hijri. In the end we concluded that among five sources that Traditionalists have theorized for the beginning of Islamic Calligraphy, four of them which include Allah or First Word, Islam, Loh-e Mahfuz and Imam Ali (a.s.) are in contrast with historical facts, rationality and logically necessities and even traditionalists’ metaphysical basis. So we must reject them. Only Holy Quran as one of the five sources that they mentioned is acceptable. But it is necessary that we pay attention that Traditionalists have not perused all futures of this source and they ignore important and great part of historical facts. As a result we must say that Traditionalists’ point of view about the beginning of Islamic Calligraphy is not reasonable and scientific.

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