Introduction to Arabic Calligraphy Workshop

Key information

11:00 am to 4:30 pm
SOAS Campus

About this event

This summer the Language Centre is offering a Saturday workshop introducing you to Islamic Calligraphy Hüsn-i hat

The practice of beautiful writing according to the Ottoman School, which started with Sheikh Hamdullah (1429–1520) in Istanbul and reached its peak at the end of the 19th Century. This is a practical introduction to Arabic calligraphy and provides participants a step-by-step guide to writing the letters in the Naskh script. The script is mainly used to copy the Qur’an. The Ottomans labelled Naskh, Khadim al-Quran, servant of the Quran.

Participants will be shown how to construct each letter through basic strokes and learn the traditional practice, tools and materials used for Hüsn-i hat. You will be encouraged to explore and experiment with the relevant tools, learn to cut and prepare a traditional reed qalam – calligraphy pen, analyse the proportions for each letter, practice the pen angles from thick to thin strokes and progress through shapes to write out letters.

The workshop will cover the historical perspective of Ottoman calligraphy and an overview of the traditional teaching methods and materials. Master calligrapher Gulnaz Fatima Mahboob, a Classical Calligraphy Artist with years of experience, will guide students throughout the workshop.

The workshop is open to people of all abilities and backgrounds including those who have an interest in writing. No knowledge of written or spoken Arabic is required. Participants with prior experience of calligraphy can attend.


Writing implements pen, ink, lika (raw silk), paper and handouts will be provided to students at the start of the session. 

Course details

  • Date: Saturday 27 July, 11:00am to 4:30pm with a 1-hour lunch break
  • Location: SOAS University campus 
  • Fee: £170 (includes materials above)

Booking your place

Places are limited and early enrolment is advised.  Enrolments are taken until the course is fully booked, or up to midnight 18 July 2024, whichever is soonest. Please read our terms and conditions prior to booking. 


This event is hosted by the Language Centre.