Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy

calligraphy-pen-holderThis morning I went to the Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy.  I’ve been meaning to go all week and I finally managed to get there today (after getting lost a couple of times).  The museum has a beautiful collection of calligraphic art and artifacts.  Hand written Qurans from Turkey, Iran and Indonesia.  The Indonesian one was written on palm wood strips using hot nails, I have never seen something so simple yet so beautiful.  Just strips of wood, sanded and bound together with string.

Last year I read “My name is Red” which takes place in Turkey in the Ottoman times about minaturists ( the art of embellishing books) and I managed to see some examples of such art.

basmallahThe Islamic Arabic Chinese calligraphy was probably one of the most interesting collections at the museum.  Chinese calligraphy on its own is amazing and astounding but seeing it done in Arabic lettering was totally new.  The beauty of simple ink on paper is awe inspiring.  The fusion of two very different cultures bound by religion, penmanship and the love of beautiful writing was incredible.

Other interesting things were pieces of the keswa of the Ka3ba from the 19th century, a Mamluki

I think if you are in Kuwait you really must visit this musem.

19 Comments

  • At 2009.01.15 13:33, mona said:

    That’s beautiful MashaAllah.

    • At 2009.01.18 09:10, forsoothsayer said:

      wow, i AM in kuwait? where is this? i would like to go.

      • At 2009.01.18 09:50, jessyz said:

        It’s in Jabriyah, block 12 street 1, right behind the New English School, I’ve also heard the Tareq Rajab Museum is awesome too. Would like to start a cultural interest group with outings and a book club? Anyone interested?

        • At 2009.09.09 10:31, Susan Day said:

          The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah is a culture based organisation here in Kuwait that offers lectures on various aspects of Islamic art and culture, outings and, starting this year, a book club. For more information, email info@darmuseum.org.kw

          • At 2009.09.13 17:06, jessyz said:

            This sounds great, I’ll give them a call and see how things will go after Ramadan isa. Thanx for the tip.

            • At 2009.09.25 15:48, Mhd said:

              Hi im just writing to ask about the Tarej Rajab Museum. I’m from London and hoping to visit Insha’Allah. Is it in Kuwait City?? And is it open during the Christmas / Boxing Day Period because everything in the UK is shut down during that time. JZK for your help.

              • At 2009.09.26 14:33, jessyz said:

                I think they will be open during Christmas, only the International schools get Christmas off here. I’ll check for you because it really is worth the visit.

                • At 2009.09.28 15:05, Mhd said:

                  Ok thanks. My friends think I am mad to go all the way to Kuwait for 2 days just to see a museum, but when you’re so interested in something like Quran calligraphy you have to go. I’ve been everywhere else, only this is left

                  • At 2009.09.30 08:00, jessyz said:

                    They should be working on the 26th. The 25th is a Friday so it is only a half day. You can call the Curator at +965-2531-7369 or try faxing them at +965-2531-9063 to confirm. They also don’t allow photography but they do sell lovely books and postcards for the items on display but I think if you ask them and explain they might allow you to take pictures. I disagree with your friends, I think it is a wonderful thing that anyone follows their passion.

                    • At 2009.01.18 14:35, nousha said:

                      sounds very interesting

                      • At 2009.01.18 14:54, jessyz said:

                        @nousha: it is very interesting, I love all forms of Islamic and Arabic art. I find the differences in style between eras, regions and classes most intriguing. My only qualm was that the information on the art pieces was not enough and the book which contained the artifacts was not impressive enough for me to buy.

                        • At 2009.02.09 19:20, T. Bottos said:

                          For site on coins of al-Andalus see: http://andalustonegawa.50g.com/

                          • At 2009.03.27 18:33, Ijaz Akhtar said:

                            Salam
                            I hahe some old handwritten Qurans in my collection for sale for information contact me at ijazakhtar2000@yahoo.com Thanks

                            • At 2009.09.09 10:30, Susan Day said:

                              Jessyz and Nousha,

                              The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah is a culture based organisation here in Kuwait that offers lectures on various aspects of Islamic art and culture, outings and, starting this year, a book club. For more information, email info@darmuseum.org.kw

                              • At 2009.09.17 19:48, ijaz akhtar said:

                                Details of Al Nasiha Alwiya Fi Husan e Tariqa Alahmadiya

                                This book is about Tasawaf and Seerat of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This book is unique in many ways. The paper is 400 percent thicker than today’s paper. It is very strong, in excellent condition and it could last hundreds of more years. The calligraphy style is an ancient one. There were no Ihrabs used.

                                The names of the writer’s teachers are mentioned on the very last page of this book. This writer mentioned his teachers dates of births and dates when they died. Those dates show us that this book was written 700 to 800 hundred years ago.

                                The name of the writer is Ali Burhan uddin alhalvi alshafi alahmadi. The name of the writer is written on very first page of this book. It is written on the fifth line. The name of the book is written on second page and on eleventh line. These two things show the genuineness of this book. oR CONTACT ME AT ijazakhtar2000@yahoo.com

                                Dimensions: 23 cm X 16 cm X 02 cm

                                • At 2010.02.11 22:42, sabrina said:

                                  hi im frm the uk and i would like to know wht the chinese/arabic writing in the second oicture means ( the one with the black writing) for skool thnx

                                  • At 2010.02.11 22:43, sabrina said:

                                    hi im frm the uk and i would like to know wht the chinese/arabic writing in the second picture means ( the one with the black writing) for skool thnx

                                    • At 2010.02.14 15:40, jessyz said:

                                      It says “Bism Allah El Rahman EL Raheem” which translates into “In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate”.

                                      • At 2010.10.30 20:37, Khalil said:

                                        Hello! Above is mentioned a book titled “Al Nasiha Alwiya Fi Husan e Tariqa Alahmadiya.” Can you tell me the meaning of the name “Alwiya.” Thank you!