Arabic calligraphy is at once an expression of piety, aesthetic sensibility and artistic discipline. 'Muhaqqaq' was an early term which captured care, clarity and meticulousness in calligraphy. It was associated with the making of manuscripts of the Qur'an - a sacred task and one which helped to give the new Islamic order both identity and coherence. 'Muhaqqaq' energed in the eleventh century as the name for one of six classical scripts. This is the first book devoted entirely to 'muhaqqaq' tradition. Nassar Mansour, himself a highly respected calligrapher, here traces the development of 'muhaqqaq'. His book also presents examples of his own work in muhaqqaq whish demonstrate the enduring value of this script for today. This is an invaluable and beautifully executed reference work on Islamic calligraphy, which will attract art historians and practitioners alike.
Nassar Mansour is one of the most accomplished calligraphers in the Arab World today. He trained in Istanbul under the eminent calligrapher Hasan Celebi and, between 1977 and 1999, he was responsible for calligraphy and ornamentation in the restoration of the twelfth-century pulpit (mimbar)of Saladin at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after it was destroyed in 1969. He completed his PhD, on which this book is based, in 2007. He has participated in numberous calligraphy workshops and exhibitions in the Middle East, Europe, India, Malaysia and Japan and his work is represented at the British Museum. Mansour lives in Jordan, where he teaches at the Institute of Traditional Islamic Arts and Al Baqa Applied University. Sir Mark Allen is an Arabist who, during an extensive diplomatic career in the Middle East, acquired an intimate knowledge of, and affection for, the culture of the region.