The Sacred Art

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Bismillah(Kufic) Front

 Bismillah (In the name of God) A breathtaking example of Arabic calligraphy (Kufic)


While the use of wall decals in Arabic calligraphy is trendy and chic, Salam Arts uses traditional and modern art to celebrate  not only Quranic verses but also wedding and family motifs as visual treats to decorate your own space, writes RAZIQUEH HUSSAIN RIZVI

Raziqueh-Hussain

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or over 14 centuries, calligraphy has been considered one of the greatest forms of Islamic artistic expression. Muslim calligraphers try to reflect the beauty of the timeless and divine message of the Qur’an. Through calligraphy, the sacred verses of the Quran have been inscribed on the walls of buildings, adorning the friezes on the domes of mosques, encircle the mihrab where the imam stands for his lecture and appear on the walls of the palaces of kings.

Today, Arabic calligraphy is more reachable than ever before. Using the contemporary medium of vinyl wall stickers (also known as decals), the verses of the Quran can be applied to any smooth surface. Not only are wall decals an attractive and elegant medium of Arabic calligraphy, but they can be easily applied to almost any smooth surface, such as walls, windows, sliding doors, canvases and more.

This one celebrates Allah and His other names.
This one celebrates Allah and His other names.

So Sameer Adamali the Director of Salaam Arts, an online calligraphy trade (registered in the UK and partners in UAE, USA and Canada) has commissioned highly skilled artists and master calligraphers from Middle-east and Pakistan to create murals. He says, “Arabic Calligraphy has a timeless beauty which is indescribable. As décor and design concepts evolve, we combine the rich tradition of Arabic calligraphy with modern art.”

The calligraphers are from England, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan. “Apart from the other great calligraphers we have two masters on our team. One of them has had the honor to design for the cloth of the Holy Ka’bah and the other has been practicing the art for over 50 years!” he reveals.

The complexity of calligraphy contrasts with the stark white simplicity of the room.
The complexity of calligraphy contrasts with the stark white simplicity of the room.

Whether you select decals with the words of the “Bismillah” to remind yourself, your friends and your family, to recite these words at the start of a meal or the words of the “Ayatul Kursi” as a reminder to recite these words for protection, the decals bring these reminders into your home in an artistically elegant and affordable form.

“We do only Dhikr Allah as part of our normal range. However we also do wedding services (couple’s signatures in Arabic Calligraphy), poems, normal sayings, and so on. Another great concept is you can have an artwork done in the names of your family – Family Signature. We are the first in the world to offer these signatures in wall decals,” he informs.

Creating a motif of a couple’s name in Arabic, is a unique take on traditional wedding monograms used to brand your wedding. Having a couples monogram adds elegance and individuality to your event. Including your Salam Soul (the custom-made motif) in different places, adds detail and personalizes your wedding even further, as you are able to visually represent the bond of two individuals.

Having a monogram exclusively designed in the art of Arabic calligraphy is a beautiful keepsake. It can also be used to personalize anniversary gifts, everyday household items or even used in combination with canvases and frames. “We will also deliver to you, your Salam Soul in various digital formats. These can be used to print, etch, embroider, and/or engrave pretty much anything that you can imagine. It’s yours for life… to be used in ways only limited by your own imagination,” adds Sameer.  

The form of writing ranges from extremely traditional to modern. Thuluth, Naksh, Diwani, Square Kufic, Ornamental Kufic and other forms are used.

A wall decal is easy to use. Peel it, stick it and love it! The good news is that despite the extensive look, they are very affordable and although the calligraphy and design may be creatively complex, the decal is easy to apply.

These wall arts can be applied to just about any smooth surface. It applies easily to glass (think of that sliding door that you have been bumping into), to mirrors, to wood, to painted canvasses (so create your own one-of-a-kind piece of art), to a tiled surface to instantly transform your kitchen or to the door of a wardrobe or cabinet.

“Some might call these stickers. I suppose anything that sticks can be called ‘stickers’. They are made of amongst the top quality vinyls (no Chinese vinyls here) available and thus when applied directly to the walls, give an impression that they’ve been painted. A mural that has great aesthetic as well as spiritual value,” he adds.

The couple signature
The couple signature

One of the reasons that these artworks could be popular is that they can be ordered in 4, 5, 6 feet sizes in a very economical manner and they give them impression that they have been painted by a master calligrapher. Each artwork is made to order according to your selection of size and colour and thus customised especially for you.

“Traditional home décor just can’t offer the above. They just don’t have the ‘impact’ value. How many people (including those at home) notice these pieces constantly? Wall decals will be noticed by everyone. Plus if you are to get artworks by master calligraphers, just one could cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. These cost less than a dinner for a family at a restaurant but Inshallah the effects last far, far longer than that!” he admits.

Salam Art has partners in America, Canada and UAE. It is shipped free in America and UAE, $5 to Canada, £5 to UK, $5 to GCC countries and $10 to other countries. All orders over $100 are shipped free. The prices start at $38 up to $300 (depending on artwork and size).

While the use of decals as decor is trendy, the use of Quranic words and quotes is a timeless form of not only artistic expression but also as a source of spiritual inspiration.

Salam Arts uses a contemporary medium to express a timeless message, offering you a range of verses, hadith and quotes that may serve as visual reminders of the Divine.

Raziqueh Hussain is an award-winning journalist and the editor-in-chief of a UK-based lifestyle magazine   

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