Andalusi calligraphy, thought to be the only indigenous European script used to write the Holy Qur'an, is a dynamic, bold style of Arabic writing that was a vital element in the golden era of Islamic sciences and culture in Spain. Not only is this script exuberantly beautiful but it is also easy to write, as it utilises a round nibbled reed pen: this accessibility was what made it so important as a vehicle for the massive production of handwritten texts that made al-Andalus the height of sophistication in medieval Europe. However, with the Reconquista of Spain, the Arabic language was banned and the script fell into disuse.
...follows one modern day calligrapher in the pursuit of the history of Andalusi calligraphy and the meaning it holds for Muslims in Europe today:
“This is the story of a calligraphic script which is almost extinct, yet which was once a crucial part of the most extraordinary cultural flourishing of the Middle Ages. We trace its journey from its origins in Madinah to its pinnacle in Al-Andalus, where we look at the rich context it evolved in. How did this once ubiquitous style fall into disuse, and what remains of it today?”