Books & Websites 


The following is a short list of books about Islamic Calligraphy and Islamic Arts. These books mostly discuss the history/development of Islamic calligraphy and the traditional materials used for writing. They also include collections of biographies about notable calligraphers.

These books are not practical “how-to” guides; It is really difficult to teach and learn Islamic calligraphy from a book, as the true essence of the art can really only be captured through a master’s teaching and a student’s diligent practice. However, I have included some books at the end which may assist in learning some practical components of calligraphy. 

An Illustrated History of Islamic Arts & Design – Moya Carey 
(This book explores many forms of Islamic arts, with a few sections on calligraphy)

Arts & Crafts of the Islamic Lands – Khalid Azzam 
(This book explores many forms of Islamic arts, calligraphy being just one section)

Calligraphy and Islamic culture – Annemarie Schimmel 

Female Calligraphers, Past & Present – Hilal Kazan 

Islamic Calligraphy – Sheila S. Blair 

Islamic Art & Spirituality – Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr
(This book explores many forms of Islamic arts, calligraphy being just one section) 

Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, Istanbul – M. Uğur Derman

Qur’ans of the Mamluks – David James

The Cosmic Script: Sacred Geometry and the Science of Arabic Penmanship – Ahmed Moustafa & Stefan Sperl 

The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination – Martin Lings

The Rise of Islamic Calligraphy – Alain George

The Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy – Abdelkebir Khatibi & Mohammed Sijelmassi 

Traces of the Calligrapher: Islamic Calligraphy in Practice, c. 1600-1900 – Mary McWilliams & David J. Roxburgh  

For more book titles, you can also visit:


Books which may help with practical components:

Şevki Efendi’s Meşk – Sülüs/Nesih (Thuluth/Naskh Scripts)
This is a book which includes the writing tables a student traditionalyl works through with their master. Master Şevki (1829-1887) was an Ottoman calligrapher known for bringing the Thuluth and Naskh scripts to perfection, therefore his tables are commonly used to learn these scripts.

Sülüs Yazı Defteri*

Nesih Yazi Defteri*

Rıka Yazı Defteri

* These 3 books can also be viewed on the following website which includes a look inside the books (last 3 links on the left side of the page). You do not need to know Turkish to use these books. 

Learn to Write Arabic Calligraphy – Omar Uddin 

The Art of Arabic Calligraphy (6 book collection) – Bushra Yasmin Ghazi


Calligraphy Qalam

Arabic Calligraphy Supplies 

Sanat Malzemeleri 

More recommendations coming soon.