Al-Jamea’s department of Funun al-Quran focuses on the visual and decorative arts inspired by and derived from the words and meanings of the Holy Quran. Quranic art, through a combination of complex geometrical designs, intricate patterns of floral ornament and Arabic calligraphy is a unique form of aesthetic representation.
In the epistles of Ikhwān al-Safāʾ, Imam Ahmed al-Taqi AS discusses the erudition in the shapes and forms of the Arabic script and its Islamic connotations with specific regards to monotheism. Arabic calligraphy has always been considered the noblest form of Quranic art and is given special importance at Aljamea. Funun al-Quran’s dedicated and highly trained staff provide instruction for students interested in this traditional art, and also contribute to Arabic calligraphy’s repertoire of art and corpus of knowledge.
The restoration movement of Fatimi masjids in Cairo, Egypt initiated by His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA is a major milestone in the study of Fatimi and Quranic art within Aljamea. The unique philosophy underpinning this movement led to a resurgence of the appreciation of Fatimi art and architecture throughout the world.
Funun al-Quran’s primary purpose is to further develop Quranic art in its various forms. Today, this development can be seen in the department’s various projects and undertakings, such as the design and ornamentation of community structures, the artwork of Aljamea publications and the embellishment and decoration, or tazyīn of community functions. Currently, the restoration of approximately four thousand metres of Quranic verses in the Kufic script running along the arcades of the Fatimi jāmiʿ masjid, al-Anwar in Cairo is being undertaken by this department.
The department prides itself on its skill in traditional Arabic scripts such as Kūfi, Naskh, Thuluth, Dīwanī and Riqʿa as well as its expertise in graphic design and digital media. It is this combination that allows for the department’s important contribution to the study and development of the Quranic arts in the Fatimi context.
Right: A verse from the Holy Quran, ‘As to those who hold fast by the Book’ (7:170), in glass designed and commisioned by the Quranic Arts department as part of the backdrop for this year’s Ashara Mubaraka sermons conducted by His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS.