Are you looking for Urdu calligraphy art frames or Urdu calligraphy art hangings? Do you want the profound poetry of legendary Urdu poetslike Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal, FiraaqGorakphuri, Josh Malihabadi and Jaun Elia to enhance the visual and philosophical appeal of your home? Needless to say, Urdu shayari has long mesmerised readers and listeners, and now, it can even add a dash of literaryhome décor – if we can use such a term – to your living spaces. We would suggest that such poetry be written or painted or printed in calligraphic art. For long, Urdu poetry has been given a shoddy visual treatment in the form of tacky wallpapers that we see floating on Google and Facebook. Rather, the elegant words of Urdu poetry deserve a much-needed sophistic artistic treatment. And the most suitable device for that is calligraphy. In Urdu calligraphy art frames and Urdu calligraphy art hangings, profound and deep Urdu shayariof many famous philophersare written in calligraphic font, and are sometimes accompanied by a small picture of the poet.
Urdupoetry is mostly written in ‘Nast’aliq’, a calligraphic font which was developed in Iran in the 15th centuryfollowing the Arab conquest. In Nast’aliq style of calligraphic writing, letters slope rightwards, and have a ‘hanging’ or ‘ta’liq’ appearance. The font was originally developed for writing the Arabic script but soon enough, it began being applied for writing Farsi, Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Pashto. The Nastaliqfont was used for writing court documents and other official correspondence.
It is the main style used for writing Urdu in South Asia. As Urdu takes many words from Arabic, and the Persian script of Urdu itself is an Arabic derivative, it can be written in other calligraphic fonts like Diwani, Tughra and Thuluth, which are primarily used for Arabic calligraphy. But Urdu looks best in Nastaliq. Or perhaps we are used to reading Urdu in Nastaliq style.
Nastaliqis also more practical for writing Urdu ghazals as it is less ornate than other fonts and thus takes up less space. Therefore, it can accommodate an entire eight-line Urdu ghazal perfectly on a small sheet of paper which you can stick to your wall.
Is it alright to include Urdu calligraphy artbe included in the wider domain of Islamic art? Technically, it isn’t,since Urdu poetry has a secular and non-religious character, and can be related to by people belonging to different religions. But, as per the new definition of Islamic art by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the term ‘Islamic art’ includes all the arts that were created in territories ruled by Muslims or where Muslims formed the majority. The term, therefore, consists of not just works created by Muslim artists, artisans, and architects or work made for Muslim patrons. It consists of works created by Muslim artists for Muslim and non-Muslim patrons— as well as works created by non-Muslims, living in Muslim-ruled territories, for patrons, Muslims and others.
So, if we have to abide by this updated definition, then Urdu calligraphy art frames or Urdu calligraphy art hangingscanbe included in Islamic arteven thoughthe subject matter of Urdu poetry may be unrelated to or may even contradict Islamic teachings.