Sunday, 23 February 2014

What is Kufic?

What is the meaning of kufic?

Characters employed in stonework and tile inscriptions in Islamic architecture. Kufic inscriptions were sometimes used decoratively (and meaninglessly) in Hispano-Moresque architecture in much the same way as Egyptian hieroglyphs were used before they could be read and understood by C18 and C19 designers. They were widely employed in C19 revivalist architecture of the Moorish or orientalizing type.

From Oxford dictionary:
Kufic an early angular form of the Arabic alphabet found chiefly in decorative inscriptions. Recorded from the early 18th century, the word comes from the name Kufa, a city south of Baghdad, because the script was attributed to the city's scholars.Kufic an early angular form of the Arabic alphabet found chiefly in decorative inscriptions. Recorded from the early 18th century, the word comes from the name Kufa, a city south of Baghdad, because the script was attributed to the city's scholars.

Wikipedia says :
Square or geometric Kufic is a very simplified rectangular style of Kufic widely used for tiling. In Iran sometimes entire buildings are covered with tiles spelling sacred names like those of God, Muhammad and Ali in square Kufic, a technique known as banna'i.

And this is what was said by Kufic Guru, Mr Mamoun Sakkal:
Square Kufi, like other styles of Arabic calligraphy has its rules. However, because of its simple shapes, some calligraphers will try to write it even when they did not master these rules.
Such practice is not limited to students, but is often common among accomplished calligraphers.

And this is what George said about square kufic : (George is a researcher of square kufic)
Square Kufic is also known as geometric, rectangular, quadrangular, rectilinear or geometric Kufic. When used to create geometric patterns with alternating glazed tiles with plain bricks, it can sometimes be referred to with a Farsi word banna-i. If the brickwork design is in relief then it is referred to with the Farsi word hazarbaf (hazar baf).

Related Notes:
Islamic architecture.
Term covering a huge range of buildings and stylistic variations, but generally associated with buildings connected with the followers of Mohammed, or Muslims. Islamic architecture has several characteristic features, including the pointed, multifoil, low, wide, four-centred, and horseshoe arch, the muqarna or stalactite corbel, cladding of coloured glazed earthenware and patterned tilework, fretted gables of stone, marble, or stucco, and, above all, coherent and serene geometry. Domes, minarets, cloisters, and elaborate battlements, often of the almena type, are commonly associated with Islamic buildings.

Islamic architecture has influenced design in the West, notably the pointed arch and cusping in the medieval period, and the stylistic aspects of so-called Moresque architecture in which elements of Islamic, especially Moorish (e.g. the Alhambra, Granada, Spain), architecture were used as part of the European enchantment with exotic oriental styles in C18 (e.g. the work of Chambers at Kew) and C19 (e.g. Persius's steam-engine house at Potsdam (1841–2), and Aitchison's Arab Hall in Kensington (1877–9)).

Architectural style based upon that of Moorish buildings in the Iberian peninsula from C8 to C15. Earlier work was contemporary with Romanesque and was called Mozarabic. Later architecture infused with Gothic is known as Mudéjar. The Alhambra, Granada (mostly 1338–90), is a fine example of the style, which was revived elsewhere in Europe in C19 and C20, often for synagogues. It was also an ingredient of Catalan Modernisme.

Moorish architecture.
 Islamic architecture of North Africa and regions of the Iberian peninsula where the Moors were dominant (711–1492). The most perfect examples were the exquisite Alhambra, Granada (mostly 1338–90—which was probably a madrasa rather than a palace), and La Mezquita at Córdoba (785–987). Moresque is architecture like or derived from that of the Moors (see hispanomoresque), or, more loosely, from Islamic architecture, and the term is especially associated with formal foliate ornament of an interlacing type, also known as arabesque. Moorish influences had a considerable effect during the C19 enthusiasm for exotic Picturesque buildings, and they were exploited by many designers, such as Owen Jones

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Ramai penggiat kufi dewasa ini menganggap kufi2 lama tidak mengikuti hukum hakam kufi secara tertil. Memang tidak dinafikan, namun begitu kita tidak boleh menafikan bahawa hukum hakam ini telah ada dan bukan sesuatu yang dicipta oleh generasi baru.

Sedihnya, dalam mengimprovasikan kufi silam , ada para penggiat yang mencacatkan lagi sesuatu yang telah betul. Contoh :
Kufi Muhammad ini adalah karya silam yg saya petik dari

Manakala karya generasi kini yang saya ketemu di internet adalah seperti berikut:

Sumber: internet
Sambungan Mim ke Ha memang salah kerana penyambungan berlaku ditempat salah. Tetapi perkataan muhammaad ini adalah perkataan lazim yg semua orang kenal, lalu isu salah sambung itu tidak besar. Sementelah karya ini menggunakan ruang yang kecil iaitu 7x7 bar.

Manakala sambungan mim ke dal pada karya silam adalah tepat kerana berlaku pada tempat yang betul iaitu di tepi dasar huruf dal. Penyambung dari Mim juga keluar dari tempat yang betul iaitu pada dasar kiri mim (walaupun sambungan keluar dari atas mim juga diterima, sambungan yang lebih tepat adalah dari dasar)

Berbeza dgn karya baru itu, sambungan mim ke dal berlaku di bawah dal dan ini amatlah salah. Malahan secara visual ia nampak agak lucu kerana menyerupai spanar hidup.

Tidak salah untuk improvise karya lama tetapi janganlah dirosakkan ia.