The Kufi Fatimi Script

The word “Kufic” refers to the city of Kufa in southern Iraq. Although this style did not necessarily originate in Kufa, the name Kufic is commonly related. However, there are different opinions about Kufic calligraphy on where it started from.

Kufic and its types of calligraphy were used almost exclusively among early scripts for writing the Koran. Developed originally for writing on stone, this angular script was adopted for use in religious texts because of its formality during the period of time. In the past, the Arabs prefer memorizing the Al Quran due to their lack of knowledge in writing. It was during the Islamic establishment where the different style of calligraphy was introduced to teach people to read and understand.

As for the name Fatimi (al-Fāṭimīyūn), the Fatimids claimed descent from Fatima bint Muhammad, the daughter of our Prophet Muhammad SAW. The field of architecture and art of Fatimi Kufic derived from Fatimid Empire under the establishment of Fatimid Caliphate. It started from North Africa and then spread out to Egypt, Syria and other parts of the regions.

The ruling of Fatimids was relatively rapid. Historians have studied and include that the Fatimids were one of the great civilizations to introduce administrative systems, financial management, science, medications as well as architectures and art.

One proof that the Fatimids also had a brilliant achievement in term of architecture and art, was the establishment of Al-Azhar mosque built during the reign of Al-Mu’iz. The admirable Fatimi Kufic have thick lines, sharp angles and notable with decorative curves and beautiful borders or motifs. It can be seen in the architectural decorations of old Islamic buildings and mosques too.

The Kufi Fatimi script engraved in marble for the “Mihrab” in the Al-Hakim Mosque, Cairo

The Kufi Fatimi script engraved in marble for the “Mihrab” in the Al-Hakim Mosque, Cairo