A Guide to Arabic Calligraphy Styles: Naskh, Thuluth, Ijazah, Diwani & Nastaleeq

Unveil the mesmerizing world of Arabic Calligraphy Styles: Naskh, Thuluth, Ijazah, Diwani & Nastaleeq. Each whispers ancient secrets through their curves & flourishes. Discover their unique beauty & rich history: Arabic Calligraphy.

Step into a gallery of styles, where letters dance across the page: Delve into a world where the written word transforms into a mesmerizing tapestry. Each style, a distinct language speaking volumes about history, culture, and aesthetics. Unravel the secrets within every elegant curve and intricate flourish.

Explore Thuluth, Naskh, Ijazah, Diwani, Diwani Jally, Nastaleeq, and Ruqaa: Discover the stories etched in every stroke.

Basmalah in different Arabic calligraphy styles

Arabic Calligraphy Thuluth Style

A mesmerizing blend of art and language, boasts a rich tapestry of styles, each with its own unique character. Thuluth, a name that evokes grandeur and elegance, stands as one of the most revered and recognizable forms in the calligraphic world. Let's embark on a journey to discover the essence of this captivating script.

Thriving in Grandeur:

Born in the 10th century, Thuluth rose to prominence during the Abbasid dynasty, a period of immense cultural and intellectual flourishing. Its defining feature lies in its bold, elongated strokes, often adorned with sweeping curves and striking angularity. Unlike other scripts, Thuluth thrives on ample space, its letters commanding attention with their expansive presence.

A Throne for Words:

Thuluth's regal aura made it the preferred script for adorning mosques, palaces, and official documents. Its majestic presence resonated with the weight of pronouncements and verses etched in stone or inscribed on grand parchment. Even today, Thuluth continues to grace the facades of mosques and madrasas, whispering tales of tradition and faith through its elegant lines.

The Art of Balance:

Mastering Thuluth requires a delicate dance between precision and fluidity. The calligrapher must possess a keen understanding of proportions, ensuring each stroke contributes to the overall harmony of the composition. The interplay of thick and thin lines, the subtle gradation of pressure, and the rhythmic placement of letters all contribute to the script's captivating dynamism.

Beyond Ornamentation:

While Thuluth's visual splendor is undeniable, its essence lies not just in aesthetics. This script is deeply intertwined with the spiritual and cultural fabric of the Islamic world. Its rhythmic flow mirrors the cadence of Quranic recitation, while its bold strokes echo the unwavering faith it embodies. Studying Thuluth is not merely learning a script; it's a journey into the heart of a rich cultural and religious tradition.

A Legacy Enduring:

Today, Thuluth continues to inspire artists and calligraphers worldwide. Its timeless elegance finds expression in contemporary art, adorning murals, sculptures, and even fashion. From traditionalists meticulously replicating centuries-old styles to digital artists pushing the boundaries of the script, Thuluth's legacy thrives, proving that beauty and meaning can transcend time and medium.

Sample names with Thuluth style

Arabic Calligraphy Naskh style

Naskh is a smaller, round script of Islamic calligraphy. Naskh is one of the first scripts of Islamic calligraphy to develop, commonly used in writing administrative documents and for transcribing books, including the Qur’an, because of its easy legibility.

In his 1617 Grammatica Arabica, Thomas van Erpe defined naskhī characters as the "noblest and true writing style".


Naskh style of writing can be found as early as within the first century of the Islamic calendar.
Round scripts became the most popular in the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, due to their use by scribes.
Ibn Muqla is credited with standardizing the "Six Pens" of Islamic calligraphy, also including thuluth, tawqi’, riqaaʿ, muhaqqaq, and rayhani.[1] These are known as "the proportioned scripts" (al-khatt al-mansub) or "the six scripts" (al-aqlam al-sitta).
Kufic is commonly believed to predate Naskh, but historians have traced the two scripts as coexisting long before their codification by ibn Muqla, as the two served different purposes.


The alif is written as a straight stroke, bending to the lower left. Naskh differentiates various sounds through the use of diacritical points, in the form of 1–3 dots above or below the letter, which makes the script more easily legible. Naskh uses a horizontal base line; in situations where one character starts within the tail of the preceding letter, the base line is broken and raised. In sixteenth-century Constantinople, Şeyh Hamdullah (1429–1520) redesigned the structure of naskh, along with the other "Six Pens", in order to make the script appear more precise and less heavy.

Sample of Naskh Style

Arabic Calligraphy Ijazah Style

The Ijazah style originated in Baghdad in the 10th century, during the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. It was developed by the calligrapher Yusuf al-Shuja'i, who named it the "Riyasi" script (after the vizier al-Fadl ibn Sahl, who was known as "Dhu'l-Riyasatayn" or "Holder of Two Offices"). The calligrapher Mir Ali Tabrizi further developed the style in the Ottoman Empire.


Ijazah calligraphy is a combination of two other major Arabic scripts, Thuluth and Naskh. It takes the following characteristics from each script:
Thuluth: Variety and multiplicity of letter shapes in the same position or passage, as well as the flexibility of the letters. This makes it well-suited for composition.
Naskh: Has small letter sizes, which make it suitable for multi-line writing. This also makes it easier to read.
Ijazah calligraphy is also characterized by its straight lines, precise angles, and geometric patterns. The letters are often elongated and spaced evenly, creating a sense of rhythm and order.

Modern Applications

Ijazah calligraphy is still widely used today for formal documents, certificates, and other important occasions. It is also used in decorative arts such as wall paintings, calligraphy panels, and book covers.

Samples of names with Ijazah style

Arabic Calligraphy Diwani Style

Born in Ottoman Splendor:

Emerging in the 15th century within the opulent halls of the Ottoman court, Diwani drew inspiration from the Ruqaa and Nasta'liq scripts. Initially reserved for official documents like decrees and imperial pronouncements, its elegance soon transcended administrative duties, adorning poetry manuscripts and even ornate architectural decorations.

Unveiling the Diwani's Delights:

What sets Diwani apart? First, its fluidity. Letters gracefully intertwine, their rounded forms harmonizing in a rhythmic dance. Unlike other scripts, Diwani often blurs the lines between individual characters, creating a captivatingly interwoven tapestry of text.
Second, Diwani's playful nature. Letters stretch and shrink, their contours morphing with artistic liberty. Diacritical marks, often omitted in other scripts, become decorative elements, adding an extra layer of visual intrigue.
Finally, Diwani's mastery of contrast. Bold, sweeping strokes juxtapose delicate hairlines, while dark inks often give way to vibrant gold accents, amplifying the script's visual impact.

A Legacy in Ink:

Despite its initial association with the Ottoman elite, Diwani's charm extended beyond courtly confines. From calligraphic masterpieces adorning mosques and public spaces to personal letters and intimate verses, Diwani became a language understood by all.
Today, Diwani continues to enthrall. Calligraphers cherish its artistic potential, pushing the boundaries of its expressive nature. Contemporary artists incorporate its elements into graphic design and installations, while its timeless beauty still graces greeting cards and wedding invitations.

Experience the Enchantment:

Whether you're an Arabic language enthusiast, an art devotee, or simply captivated by the allure of beautiful script, Diwani beckons you to its world. Explore historical manuscripts, marvel at contemporary interpretations, or even dip your own pen into its flowing rhythms. Diwani promises an artistic journey where words sing, lines dance, and the soul of language takes flight.

Samples of names with Diwani Style

Arabic Calligraphy Diwani Jally Style

Unveiling the Elegance of Diwani Jally: An Exploration of Artistic Evolution
Within the captivating realm of Arabic calligraphy, two mesmerizing styles, Diwani and Diwani Jally, reign supreme. While possessing a shared ancestry, they showcase distinct personalities, each captivating the eye with its own unique charm. Let's embark on a journey to unveil the essence of these captivating artistic expressions.

Diwani: Graceful Majesty of the Ottoman Court

Emerging in the 10th century Hijri, Diwani calligraphy holds a distinguished position in Ottoman history. As its name suggests, it graced the official documents and decrees of the court, becoming the language of power and prestige. Its defining characteristics lie in its rounded, flowing strokes, the subtle interlacing of letters, and a graceful rhythm that dances across the page. Diwani prioritizes clarity and legibility, ensuring important pronouncements reached their intended audience with unwavering accuracy.

Diwani Jally: Exquisite Embellishment, Born from Innovation

Diwani Jally, meaning "polished and refined Diwani," arrived later on the scene, attributed to the ingenious calligrapher Shahla Pasha. Building upon the Diwani foundation, Jally adds a layer of exuberant embellishment. Imagine Diwani as a serene melody, enriched by Jally's vibrant ornamentation. Diacritics and decorative elements weave between and around the letters, transforming the script into a mesmerizing tapestry. This intricate tapestry often fills the space between words, blurring the lines between text and art, creating a visually unified artwork.

Here's a closer look at what sets these two styles apart:

Emphasis: Diwani prioritizes clarity and legibility, while Diwani Jally embraces artistic expression through embellished details.
Decoration: Diwani uses minimal ornamentation, while Jally revels in intricate embellishments.
Space Utilization: Diwani allows for clear differentiation between words, while Jally often weaves diacritics and decorations, creating a unified visual space.
Readability: Diwani shines in its ease of reading, while Jally's decorative accents might slightly affect legibility at times.
Appreciating the Beauty of Both
Diwani and Diwani Jally, though distinct, are not rivals but rather branches on the same majestic tree of Arabic calligraphy. Diwani's elegant simplicity speaks of power and precision, while Jally's flamboyant spirit celebrates artistic freedom. Understanding their differences deepens our appreciation for the richness and versatility of this ancient art form.

names with Diwani Jally style

Arabic Calligraphy Ruqah Script

Ruqʿah (Arabic: رُقعة) or Riqʿah (رِقعة) is a writing style of Arabic script intended for the rapid production of texts. It a relatively simple and plain style, used for everyday writing and often used for signs. The Ottoman calligraphers Mumtaz Efendi (1810–1872) and Mustafa Izzet Efendi (1801–1876) are credited with standardizing the writing style which has existed in slightly different styles as everyday handwriting. [1]

It is not to be confused with the much older reqāʿ (رِقَاع) style.

Here are some key characteristics of Ruqʿah script:

    • Simplicity: Letters are composed of short, straight lines and simple curves, making them easy to write quickly.
    • Clarity and legibility: The straightforward forms of the letters and consistent spacing between them ensure readability even at a glance.
    • Lack of embellishments: Unlike other decorative calligraphic styles, Ruqʿah avoids flourishes and ornamentation, focusing purely on function.
    • Even lines: Ruqʿah script emphasizes maintaining straight and level lines of text, contributing to its clean and organized appearance.

Sample names with Ruqʿah Style

Witness the magic of Arabic calligraphy come alive!

Browse our extensive gallery of personalized names, designed with each unique style’s flair:

  • Naskh’s graceful curves add a touch of timeless elegance.
  • Thuluth’s bold strokes create a statement of grandeur.
  • Ijazah’s intricate details whisper hidden stories.
  • Diwani’s flourish adds a touch of playful charm.
  • Nastaleeq’s flowing lines evoke a sense of movement and energy.

Explore the full gallery now!