Hello Digital Wallpapers! Volume 2: R for Rakim.

Good day everyone! Here we are again sharing goodies with you. And yes, it’s all free.


This time we are featuring digital wallpapers design: R for Rakim Gizlipa Series. It is a tribute to Ottoman Master Calligrapher Mustafa Rakim (1758-1826) from us. Inspired by the craftsmanship of Mustafa Râkım, original letterings are taken after his original mufradat (basic letterings) manual. So in these wallpapers, we feature the Arabic Thuluth letter: Raw’ which is equivalent of letter R in Roman/Latin.

The letter Raw’ or R, which is the initial letter for Rakim has 3 different appearances. It is digitally vector-traced and composed into series of graphic wallpapers. These letters are arranged in a specific manner to induce the calligraphic qualities of the original letterings, repeated in specific orientations and harmonised with colour combinations that reflects quiet, clean-space appeal when it’s being used as digital wallpaper across all devices. Certain graphic features are in form of a logomark or emblems which all made up of just the same letterings. Through this, we focussed on cleaner visual backdrops for a comfortable digital work space on the eyes when used on devices like phones, tablets and computer screens. So have a try, download them and feel it on your device screens!

There’s a total of 24 pieces of wallpaper designs, which accommodates UHD 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. These works are basically the author’s practise on graphic arts as well as an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the elements of classical Arabic/Islamic calligraphy through digital intervention. We hope through these, calligraphy enthusiasts may be exposed to essences of classical calligraphy by past masters with deeper appreciation.

To learn about who is Mustafa Rakim please click this link!

And to view our graphic art series, click here: R for Rakim – Calligraphic Art Series 2019.

And to get your free wallpapers, click here: R for Rakim – Gizlipa Series: Wallpaper Designs. Or click the image below. Don’t forget to follow the instructions!

R for Rakim Gizlipa Series

Just our little duty to share, at no cost at all. Free for all. Free for share.

Hope you enjoy these and have a lovely day.

– Faddho

R for Râkım

Mustafa Râkım

A Little History of an Ottoman Master Calligrapher

1171/1758 – 1241/1826

This article was written as a form of author’s personal tribute to Mustafa Râkım, an Ottoman master calligrapher during the time of Ottoman Empire. In the world of Islamic calligraphy, there are cultural and technical terms in Arabic and Turkish, whereby the original native Arabic text are commonly transliterated in English-Latin to accommodate pronunciation. However in this article, certain Turkish-Latin spelling are being retained based on the original resources. Dates indicated are from both Islamic Hijri calendar (AH) and Gregorian calendar (AD). Reference of important terms, along with other necessary information can be found at the end of this article.

With this article, the author took inspiration from the craftsmanship of Mustafa Râkım, and as a form of tribute, developed series of modern graphic recreations to be publicly shared which is featured to a link at the end of this article.

Mustafa Râkım was born in 1171/1758, in Ünye, a large town district located to the west city of Ordu province in the Black Sea region of Turkey. As the youngest of three sons, he completed his primary education in his hometown, and at an early age, his father Mehmed Kaptan, brought him to Istanbul to live with his elder brother. There he received his religious education and learned the art of calligraphy.

Mustafa Râkım received his religious education and learned the art of calligraphy in sülüs (thuluth) and nesih (naskhi) scripts under his elder brother, İsmail Zühdi (d. 1221/1806). His interests and talent in painting was further developed, and he advanced his calligraphy skills under Üçüncü Derviş Ali (d. 1200/1786), known as Derviş Ali the 3rd. He graduated as a master calligrapher in 1769 (12 years of age). Being advanced among his peers due to his achievements in calligraphy, his fame became a widespread and he began to give writing lessons to notable statesmen.

İsmail Zühdi, was one of the important calligraphers of his era and graduated under calligrapher Ahmet Hifzi Efendi. Also known as İsmail Zühdi the 2nd, he’s known to be a famous Ottoman court calligrapher teaching calligraphy at the Imperial Palace (Enderûn-ı Hümâyûn) under Sultan Mustafa III (r. 1757-1774) and held that position until he died.

As a painter, Mustafa Râkım presented a portrait painting to Sultan Selim III (r. 1789-1807), which was greatly admired. The Sultan rewarded him with an appointment of müderris (professor), and later appointed him as palace designer for the Ottoman currency, as well as the State Tughra officer.

Mustafa Râkım taught calligraphy to the royal princes in the Saray (palace) School, including Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808-1839) as his pupil. Upon his enthronement, Sultan Mahmud II studied sülüs and celi sülüs scripts with Râkım. In 1809, Râkım was promoted to the rank of mullah, awarded with the title of kadi (judge of Islamic law) of Izmir. Over the time, Râkım also received several other distinguished positions including the title of kazasker (also kadıasker: supreme judge) under Anatolian military servicein 1238/1823.

The tughra, known as an imperial monogram or calligram, is a seal and a signature of a Sultan. It is used on various imperial official documents, as well as on coins, flags and official buildings. Originally spelled as “tugrag”, the end sound of “g” was silenced in Anatolian dialect when such pronunciation became widely used. In other terms, “tugra” also means “sign” in Persian and “charter” in Arabic. Historically, tughras comprises of Ottoman Sultan’s names and titles whereby during the reign of Ottoman Empire, these were only used as the hallmark of sultanate. However, these are declaratively used nowadays.

The tughrakesh is a calligrapher that drew the imperial monogram or calligram, into a form of calligraphic cipher emblem. This means that the tughrakesh is a particular calligrapher especially skilled in creating a code of disguised letterings to construct the name or title into an emblem. Among the masters of tughra, the most remarkable tughrakeshes in history are Mustafa Râkım Efendi, Sami Efendi (1253/1838 – 1330/1912), and Ismail Hakki Altunbezer (1289/1873 – 1365/1946).

In the beginning of the 19th century, Mustafa Râkım advanced perfection in refining the construction of tughra. He made important innovations to the tughra into a definitive form. These innovations involved 3 aspects of design measures: writing, style/movement and shape. He revolutionised the shape and dimension of the calligraphic composition, which transformed into a masterpiece of proportion. The formation of tughra, which he composed for Sultan Mahmud II was also adopted by the following succeeding Sultans, with changes only made in the names. This tughra composition was also applied on the late Ottoman coins and fermans of the later Sultans. Râkım’s style of tughra appeared frequently on monumental inscriptions.

Mustafa Râkım being one of the most eminent calligraphers of his time played a critical role in the history of Turkish calligraphy. His works are greatly admired by calligraphers and connoisseurs of the art. He was especially well known for perfecting magnified scripts known as celi (jali: large), in sülüs and ta’lik (ta’liq) scripts. Râkım’s distinctive style in celi sülüs (jali thuluth) was remarkably known for its softness and elegance in its movement. His works was followed through by the great calligrapher Sami Efendi (1253/1838 – 1330/1912), whereby new aesthetic values were further achieved and had great influence on arising calligraphers up to the present day.

There was a time where important calligraphers notably, Ali bin Yahya Sufi (d. 882/1478) and Ahmed Şemseddin Karahisârî (875/1470 – 963/1556) laid the foundations of celi sülüs script. It went through a long period of stagnation until Mustafa Râkım. In the history of calligraphy, the most beautiful form and proportion of the sülüs-nesih script were reached by Râkım. Apart from studying the writings of his elder brother, he was inspired by the finest works of past masters, Sheikh Hamdullah (833/1429 – 926/1520) and especially Hafiz Osman (1052/1642 – 1110/1698). He studied and examined carefully the beautiful writings of these masters, and selected the best letters, gathered the elegance and finesse of those writings and harmonised them into celi sülüs. Râkım elevated the scripts of nesih, sülüs and especially celi sülüs, to a level of aesthetic excellence in aspects of lettering craftsmanship as well as complex design compositions. This was developed in an approach whereby the principles of sülüs script developed by Hafiz Osman were applied to celi sülüs script. Through linear and stacked formations, the forms of celi sülüs, emphasised on the beauty of letters to achieve organic integrity through balancing and harmonising of gaps and spaces formed in the layering or interlacing composition by filling with reading, decoration and important signs. His deep understanding in rules of visual perspectives has transformed the characters of his pens and lettering bodies of his celi works to be seen clearly from far distances.

In about 1225/1809, Mustafa Râkım invented his own signature style in signing off his works. Conventionally, inscriptions in celi sülüs and on tughras were signed in tevki (tawqi’) script. However, Râkım combined elements of sülüs and tevki scripts in his signature composition, which became a style followed until today.

Mustafa Râkım produced many famous calligraphic works present in the state as well as private collections including various epigraphs and epitaphs. Through the years of 1815-1819, it was the Râkım’s period of maturity where his works excelled the best in the field of celi sülüs. Apart from that, he was also successful in producing works in ta’lik and celi ta’lik (jali ta’liq) scripts.

Labeled as “genius calligrapher”, Mustafa Râkım’s works could be found in many places including the various fountains, tombstones, Topkapi Palace, as well as private museums and calligraphy collections. He wrote inscriptions for the gates of hazire (enclosed cemetery) in Fatih quarter in Istanbul, on the tombstone of Çelebi Mustafa Reşid Efendi, Huseyin Hamid Efendi, as well as inscriptions and decorations for his brother’s tomb, İsmail Zühdi. Notable writings could also be found in Topkapi Palace Treasury Kethudasi Room, Miskinler Tekke and Fountain, and Bascuhadar Seyyid Omer Aga Fountain.

Some of his famous compositions could be found in ledger writings on the tomb, fountain and interior walls of the mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud II’s mother at Fatih Nakşidil Sultan Mausoleum, and some others like plates within Hagia Sofia Mosque and Cihangir Mosque. The inscriptions on the Bâbüsselâm Gate of Topkapı Palace, as well as Nebe Sura (Surah An-Naba’) on the frieze of Nusretiye Mosque in Tophane which he did in his last years of illness, are known to be among the beautiful works of Mustafa Râkım which reflects his innovative mastery in the script. The Hilye-i Saadet, which he wrote with different arrangements of scripts in musnad, celi sülüs, sülüs, and nesih, along with stencils of his calligraphic works in celi scripts are under the collection of Istanbul Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. Ayvansarâyî Hadîkatü’l-Cevâmi, one of his well-known works written in nesih script, is kept in Library of Istanbul University, and an ayet (verse) in form of tughra is kept by The Sabanci Collection. All these became specimens of critical importance in the development of celi writing style in Turkish calligraphy history.

Among the students trained under Mustafa Râkım were Sultan Mahmud II, Mehmed Haşim and Mehmed Şâkir Recâi, who became masters among calligraphers whose works have survived to the present day. As a calligrapher, Râkım was specially regarded in equal league with the genius architect Mimar Sinan. He married a palace lady and they did not have children from this marriage. He suffered a stroke and was paralysed at the end of his life. He passed away on 15 Sya’ban, 1241 / 25 March, 1826.

Mustafa Râkım also adopted sufism in being a devotee of Naqshbandi religious sect and was an owner of a foundation. Based on his will, he was buried in Karagümrük of Fatih district in Istanbul, right next to Atik Ali Pasha Mosque. His wife Emine Hanim, built a tomb over his grave as well as a medrese (Muslim seminary, school of theology) named after him, was constructed beside it. The foundation of the building was prepared during the last years of his illness on 1 Cemâziyelevvel 1240 / 22 December 1824 under the archives of General Directorate of Foundations. In 1869, it was known that twenty students were taught at the medrese. There are two graves to be found inside the tomb. The wooden sarcophagus, which was renewed in 1996, belongs to Mustafa Râkım Efendi and the marble sarcophagus with baroque decoration belongs to his student Mehmed Haşim Efendi, who passed away in 1845.

About Sultan Mahmud II (1199/1785 – 1255/1839):

Mahmud bin Abdülhamid was born in Istanbul on 13 Ramazan, 1199 / 20 July, 1785. He is the son of the 27th Ottoman sultan: Abdülhamid I (r. 1774-1789). When his father died during his early age, he was brought up under his uncle, Sultan Selim III (r. 1789-1807). He ascended the throne as the 30th Ottoman sultan and held the sultanate until his death.

As a prince, Mahmud learned sülüs and nesih scripts under Kebecizâde Mehmed Vasfi (d. 1247/1831). He is known to have written 2 copies of The Quran in nesih script. Upon his enthronement, he began studying calligraphy under Mustafa Râkım. He has written nearly 40 pieces of levhas (lawha) in celi sülüs. Also gifted in musical composition, Sultan Mahmud II showed genuine talent and mastery as reflected in his writing practice sheets.


Faizal Somadi/2019 June 16/1440 Syawal 12.


  • aklam-i sitte: Arabic: aqlam al-sittah. A term for a group of classic six scripts or six pens, known as: Sülüs, Nesih, Muhakkak, Reyhani, Tevki and Rika’.
  • ayet: Arabic: ayat / ayah. A verse or sentence composing the surahs in the Quran.
  • besmele: Arabic: basmallah / bismillah. It is the first phrase in the Quran, which also appears as an invocation to all the suras or Quranic chapters except for one: Surah At-Tawbah. It is a form of incipit to the complete phrase bi-smi llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm meaning: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious/Compassionate, the Most Merciful”.
  • celi sülüs: Arabic: jali thuluth. Enlarged model of sülüs script.
  • celi ta’lik: Arabic: jali ta’liq. Enlarged model of ta’lik script.
  • celi: Arabic: jeli / jali / jaly. Scripts written larger than their normal size, written with pens of broader nibs, or enlarged using squaring techniques. This term is not applicable for celi divani, a script that is not enlarged technically but written with specific features.
  • cuz: Arabic: juz / juzuk. One part out of 30 equal divisional parts of the Quran.
  • delail: A book containing ayets, hadiths and prayers. Some of these books contain visual miniatures of the Kaaba (Cubic House, Muslims’ holy site for prayers direction) and the tomb of the Prophet.
  • divani: Arabic: diwani. A script that evolved from Persian’s older version of ta’lik. During the period of Ottoman Turkey, it was strictly used for the Imperial Council of State.
  • efendi: variant: effendi / effendy. An Ottoman Turkish term originally derived from Greek, meaning Lord or Master. It is a title of respect or courtesy, equivalent to the English title ‘Sir’. Commonly used in the Ottoman Empire and Byzantine Empire, it usually follows the personal name.
  • en’am: A small book containing the En’am Sura (Surah Al-An’am), the sixth sura of the Qur’an, together with some prayers.
  • ferman: Imperial edict, a Turkish royal mandate, decree or order.
  • hilye: Arabic: hilya / hilyah. A term for a piece of calligraphic composition in a specific design structure that contain the descriptive features and qualities of Prophet Muhammad. This is a form of tradition whereby the descriptive content is narrated by the Prophet’s companion: Ali ibn Abi Talib.
  • icazet: Arabic: ijazah. A diploma awarded by the teacher to a student of calligraphy. This award will be presented to the student after the examination of the student’s calligraphy by the presence of several teachers of the art. This is a form of authorization for the calligraphy student to sign his name on his work. It is usually written in rika’ script, also known as icazet script.
  • istif: A complex calligraphic composition which features words made of letters arranged in a stacking, piling, layering or even interlacing manner.
  • karalama: English: scribble, doodle, blackening. A term given to describe a student’s writing exercises, usually made of certain letters or words done in his spare time in practicing the art of calligraphy.
  • kazasker: variant: kadıasker. The head of the kadis (governors of various districts) in the Ottoman State. The kazasker participated in the councils of the viziers held under the chairmanship of the Sadrazam (Grand Vizier).
  • kit’a: Small calligraphic work usually in rectangular format. It is generally comprised of 2 scripts, large and small, or a composition solely in ta’lik script.
  • levha: Arabic: lawha. Large-scale calligraphic composition usually made up of celi sülüs and celi ta’lik scripts which can be framed and hung onto walls. Basically it is known as a plate or panel that contain visual craftwork.
  • muhakkak: Arabic: muhaqqaqA script written with a nib of approximately 2mm. It is well known for the use of transcribing the Quran in large formats up to the 16th century. Also known as a signature script in writing besmele. It is one of the six-pen or six scripts group.
  • mullah: an educated Muslim trained in religious law and doctrine and usually holding an official post.
  • nesih: Arabic: naskhi / nasakh. A script written with a nib of approximately 1mm. A style particularly favored in Ottoman calligraphy for transcribing of the Quran. It is one of the six-pen or six scripts group.
  • reyhani: Arabic: rayhani. A script which is a smaller model of muhakkak, written with a nib of approximately 1mm. It is well known for the use of transcribing the Quran in small formats up to the 16th century. It is one of the six-pen or six scripts group.
  • rika’: Arabic: riqa’. A script, which is a smaller model of tevki, written with a nib of approximately 1mm. It is mainly used for official matters and rarely for copying works. It is one of the six-pen or six scripts group.
  • sülüs: Arabic: thuluth. A script written with a nib of approximately 2mm, usually accompanied with nesih script. A styled particularly favoured by the Ottoman calligraphers. It is one of the six-pen or six scripts group.
  • sura: Arabic: surah. A chapter that contain verses in the Quran. There are a total of 114 suras in the Quran.
  • ta’lik: Arabic ta’liq. A delicate script written with a nib of approximately 2mm, commonly used for writing kit’as. Unrelated to the same name for the old Persian script.
  • tevki: Arabic: tawqi’. A script written with a nib of approximately 2mm. It is mainly used for official matters and rarely for copying works. It is one of the six-pen or six scripts group.
  • tughra: variant: tuğrâ / tugra. A sultan’s calligraphic signature emblem, also known as imperial monogram or calligram
  • tughrakesh: variant: tugrakeşWriter of tughras.


  • Derman, M. Ugur. Masterpieces of Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakip Sabanci Museum. Sabanci University, Sakip Sabanci Museum. 2004.
  • Sakip Sabanci Museum Collection of the Arts of the Book and Calligraphy. Exhibition Catalogue. Istanbul. Sabanci University, Sakip Sabanci Museum. 2012.
  • Bir Fotografin Aynasinda, Istanbul’un Meshur Hattatlari. Through the Mirror of a Picture, Eminent Calligraphers of Istanbul. Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi Kultur A.S. Yayinlari. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Culture Co. Publications. 2010. First Edition.
  • Guven, Irem. “Aesthetical Seal of Sultan: Tughra.” The Handicraft. The Handicraft Magazine by Ismek, the Art and Vocational Training Courses of The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 2013. 16th Edition. P 8-11.
  • “Ünye” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 04 June 2019.<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ünye>
  • Yazansoy, Cenap and Karahan, Abdulkadir. Sabanci Hat Kolleksiyonu, Collection of CalligraphyAkbank’in Bir Kultur Hizmeti. Istanbul. Guzel Sanatlar Matbaasi A.S. 1985.
  • Berk, Süleyman. “Râkım Efendi, Mustafa. (1758-1826)” Islam Ansiklopedisi. Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi. Online Google Translation. 14 June 2019. <https://islamansiklopedisi.org.tr/Râkım-efendi-mustafaOriginal resource: TDV Islamic Encyclopedia. Istanbul First edition. Volume 34. P 428-429.
  • Çobanoğlu, Ahmet Vefa. “Râkım Efendi Medrasesh And Tomb” Islam Ansiklopedisi. Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi. Online Google Translation. 14 June 2019. <https://islamansiklopedisi.org.tr/Râkım-efendi-medresesi-ve-turbesiOriginal resource: TDV Islamic Encyclopedia. Istanbul First edition. Volume 34. P 430-431.
  • Bacaci, Sabri. “Calligrapher Mustafa Râkım Efendi” ÜNDER (Ünyeliler Derneği). Archives Specialist, General Directorate of State Archives Ottoman Archives Department of Sultanahmet / Istanbul. 19 April 2009. Online Google Translation. 14 June 2019 <http://www.unyeliler.com/page.asp?Read=18>
  • Mert, Talip. “The Endowment of Calligrapher Mustafa Râkım Efendi.” The Handicraft. The Handicraft Magazine by Ismek, the Art and Vocational Training Courses of The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 2013. 16th Edition. P 130-135.
  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 June 2019.<https://en.wikipedia.org>

Faizal Somadi/2019 June 16/1440 Syawal 12.

Copyright © Faddho. All rights reserved. All creatives and information featured in this media are preserved and protected under copyright act. Faddho reserves the rights to dictate this usage in whatever perimeters it deems fit. Therefore it is punishable by law to use, copy, draw, disseminate or to recreate it in whichever possible.

R for Rakim – Gizlipa Series 

These R for Rakim Gizlipa Series is a personal tribute to Ottoman Master Calligrapher Mustafa Rakim (1758-1826) from the author (Faddho/Faizal Somadi). Inspired by the craftsmanship of Mustafa Râkım, original letterings are taken after his original mufradat (basic letterings) manual. It is digitally vector-traced and composed into series of modern graphic recreations to be publicly shared as graphic wallpapers. There are a total of 24 pieces of wallpaper designs where everyone could enjoy these use on their digital devices. These works are basically the author’s practise on graphic arts as well as an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the elements of classical Arabic/Islamic calligraphy through digital intervention. We hope through these, calligraphy enthusiasts may be exposed to essences of classical calligraphy by past masters with deeper appreciation.

Click this link to see Faddho’s R for Rakim – Calligraphic Art Series 2019.

Click this link to go to Faddho’s R for Rakim – Gizlipa Series: Wallpaper Designs.

Thank you.

Salam Maal Hijrah 1439!


Salam Maal Hijrah 1439!

To all Muslims around the world, we would like to wish you a blissful New Islamic Year! Let us all move into a new beginning, learn and reflect our past, pave a new space for a beautiful life ahead. Let’s work hard, clean our beliefs, stay strong and righteous to our duties. May all be blessed with the barakah of wisdom, health and wealth in all our pursuits and life journeys. Let’s extend our prayers for a healthy and safe world in the future and after.

Thank you for staying with us. Feel free to browse our galleries with more updated images. Of all, a great thank you for your loyal support!


The Administrator.


2017/sep/22 • 1439/muharram/01

Rendering The Tradition


This article “Rendering The Tradition” was first featured in: Asian Geographic magazine, Cultures of Islam Edition. No. 81 Issue 4/2011. Pg 86.

Article written by: Faizal Somadi. • Featured calligraphy masthead design on cover by: Faizal Somadi • Photography by: Jon Ramlan/Hairol Mahsus

When the Holy Quran commands: “Read!”, I recalled the teachings of my late grandfather who taught me about the evolution of scripts through religion, culture and civilization which reflects the importance of communication in delivering knowledge to mankind. From cavemen’s illustrations on the mountain walls, to scripts written on parchments and to the world of pixels that take forms of the digital language. It is a wonder how these systems of communication evolved from the practicality of it to the fine artistry in it.

Doodling, scribbling and drawing are my natural habits as young as two years old. At eight, I adopted my grandfather’s habits of writing a dairy, admiring his handwritings even until he passed away. It was fortunate to receive my first calligraphy lesson when I was only ten in the elementary school. By eleven, apart from drawing, copying school textbooks was my simple hobby. The joy of writing bloomed further as I excel in calligraphy through which I created some monumental pieces for my high school. Despite being comfortable with it, I never want to use it for my art examination subject. Ever since then, it has become a hobby and a habit.

Continue reading “Rendering The Tradition”

Khat Workshop @ American Women’s Association [2017 MAY 17]

Khat Workshop @ American Women’s Association

Arabic Calligraphy Workshop

2017 May 17: Wednesday. 10 am. Arts & Culture, American Women’s Association. 10 Claymore Hill. Singapore.

Every workshop is different. The audience, the age groups, the backgrounds, the exposures, and the venue, the space, even the equipment, the settings, the building, the walls, the air, the colours, the tone, the language, all together, will form an identity of its own. The organiser usually plays a very important role in this. They are pretty much the primary determinant of the whole workshop. It makes the facilitator looks good or bad. And at times, the facilitator can also be the determinant to make a workshop looks good or bad. Every workshop has its own characters. And even having the same of everything twice, it will never be the same.

We are truly honoured for the invite to conduct a very cosy workshop at American Women’s Association. For less than 20 participants, it is ideally the pace and space that we are very comfortable with. And this time round we had a very brief historical session and used videos to capture their senses into the insights of khat. As you can see in the photos: demonstrations, practises, pens, inks and papers, and biscuits, cakes and coffees, all just go along on one long table together. The visual and sound aids are excellent, and it feels very much like having a joyous family activity.

Thank you Pritika Sharma and Maria Moran. The audience is truly wonderful, and we’ll be delighted to serve you again.



Khat Workshop @ Esplanade [2017 APR 22-23]

Khat Workshop @ Esplanade: Tapestry of Sacred Music 

Beginners’ Arabic Calligraphy Workshop

2017 April 22-23 : Sat-Sun. 10am. Esplanade, Bay Room. Singapore.

From 2012 to 2014, we have been conducting workshops at the Esplanade. We did the “open” style, or open-workshop: open to public, free-flow seatings, first-come-first-serve seats, stay and play all you want, come and go as you wish, along with free flow of worksheets. With over 500 participants within total span of 6-8 hours, yes it was a hit. And also yes, very messy indeed. We have gatekeepers, headcount monitors, security officers, and massive queue and passing peeping traffic. Then, we moved on to “closed” style, a very controlled workshop: limited registration of seats, limited time, and a closed venue with much comfort, space and privacy for participants to breathe well with the activities.

So here it is 2017, we were called up for a comeback. We made a stronger emphasis on the objective for “beginners'” workshop. We cut off all visual aids, and we go back to the intimate basics of story-telling-demonstrations and follow-to-practise. With no gadgets involved, under limited 90 minutes, it went much better than expected. The primary objective: to foster relations between the person, the pen, the ink and the paper. Only then, they’ll be able to explore the alphabetic forms.

But seriously, we really hope for a good 120-150 minutes. It takes time for the participants to grasp the feel of the materials and the alphabet. While it’s a quiet world on the outside, it’s a world of multi-dimensional conversations on the inside.

It feels great returning to Esplanade. We discovered interesting frequencies and textures of different people. Some come being naturally curious and adventurous, and some may appear from a different whimsy wonderland. And there are those just appeared very stoic and sophisticated.

Thank you to the managers and producers for this opportunity of sharing calligraphy with the public. And thank you readers for dropping by exploring our photos. We hope to see you in our sessions!



To take a look on some of our past workshops by Faddho, feel free to explore the links here:






Khat Workshop @ Sundaram Tagore Gallery [2017 JAN 21]

Khat Workshop @ Sundaram Tagore Gallery 

Arabic Calligraphy Lecture & Workshop

2017 Jan 21 : Saturday. 3 – 5pm. Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 5 Lock Road 01–05, Gillman Barracks. Singapore.

FDKP-HM-170121-Sundaram Tagore Khat WS-01-SR.jpg

In conjunction with the exhibition Golnaz Fathi: Contemplations, we were honoured to be invited by Sundaram Tagore Gallery to host an Arabic calligraphy workshop. Situated in a hilly area full of colonial buildings, Gillman Barracks is indeed a hidden unique area in Singapore. The atmosphere is certainly a cosy, serene, old-school space, frozen from the bustling energy just outside its 3 km radius.


Regardless of language, race and religion, we always welcome everyone to our Khat (Arabic Calligraphy) Workshops to experience the art of classical Arabic calligraphy. The pen, ink and paper, are simple instruments that have built civilisations through time. To share these through our workshops, it is full of pleasurable moments where we exchange ideas and thoughts with people of different culture, races, citizens and walks of life. It is exciting to be with everyone exchanging energies to refresh and rejuvenate the values of humanity within.


We hope you enjoy these photos. We hope through such cultural explorations, we could cultivate a beautiful form of peace and reinstate a harmonious value of humanity in all of us.

To learn more on Golnaz Fathi and Sundaram Tagore Gallery,  you can click HERE.

And to take a look on some of our past workshops by Faddho, feel free to click to the links here:





Thank you for dropping by. And we hope to see you in our sessions!



The Practise of Khat

The traditional practise of “khat” or Arabic calligraphy is physically a very solemn quiet world. Unlike the modern street or home-style calligraphy, or fusions of urban and classical calligraffiti of modern today, it can be a lively exuberant work of art that can be publicly engaging or visually interactive, especially meeting the energetic eyes of the upcoming ultra-modern generations. However, if one may observe, it’s rooted back to emotional notions of messages, mostly caged in the hearts of the streets of everyday life, cross-firings of opinions intertwined among different levels and textures of society, only with limited materials, energised by the desire to express, thence creativity of messages sprouted quietly like viruses. It took decades crossing over the intellectual red, blue and white tapes of the society before it could be accepted as part of human science. And no they are not viruses, they are simply expressions of human energy.

The world of the pen is a different realm of civilisation. Much, much different than what we think we could justify with our intelligence, by defining and redefining things over thousands and thousands of pages, through the humble companions of pen, ink and paper. And now, the keyboard and the screen.

In this article, we are featuring a 4-min documentary video on the practise of Khat. The intention of this documentary is to give an insight to the practise of Arabic calligraphy. It unveils the quiet routine drills of a khat practitioner, whereby the moments of the heart, mind and soul are working in unison, submitting to the principles, discipline and philosophy of the craft.

While physically it’s a quiet world on the outside, it may be and extremely exhaustive world on the inside. The practitioner is constantly coordinating its senses, making deals with the pen, ink and paper, talking to the letters and spaces, at times getting lost on the track, yet searching for potential viable paths of construction, all these just to compose a message. And the practitioner is not merely dealing with what we call “pen, ink and paper”, but sensitive components of fibres, molecules and grains. A lot of times facing disagreements with all these entities, and sometimes managed agreeable terms, and seldom, a practitioner is able to achieve a successful engagement to finalised a letterform into a master class of its own. And to repeat an achievement, one has to engage another deal of negotiation, which usually grew much difficult. The higher the achievement, the more difficult to climb the path. The strive to learn, to unlearn and relearn, and to shave off every single dust of complacency at any point of time, is a must.

The submission is harsh. And therefore perfection could only be a dream. The past calligraphy masters continued their dreams to the realm of eternity.

We hope you’ve gain a better insight through our short video here. And hope that you’ve achieved a better understanding on khat. And certainly, we hope you would give it a try! And for those who have been practising, keep on it.

And if you’re interested on the craft of calligraphy pen-making, checkout our article on Qalam Crafting by clicking HERE. 

Till then thank you for keeping up with us, we hope to update more things to you in the future!






Qalam Crafting

The “qalam” is generally an Arabic term for “pen”, a common domestic writing instrument. However, it is notably recognised as a calligraphy pen used in “khat” another Arabic term for calligraphy, an Arabic art of beautiful writing.

To craft a reed or bamboo into a pen is generally not much of a difficulty. A sturdy, hard and straight wooden stick is good to begin with, along with a very sharp knife (the sharper the better), which is (critically) the pen’s best friend. This is considered as a form of traditional art of crafting a pen.

However, fine-tuning or detail operations in crafting of the pen for certain aesthetic and functional levels may require a good amount of time to train the eyes, hand-skills and the ability to feel the fibres of the material in order to understand how and what can it work for. This may take a good amount of 3 years, of regular carving experiments and training on different materials.

Continue reading “Qalam Crafting”

Hello Wallpapers



We are taking our art and crafts into the world of pixels. This is not anything new from our years of work and experiments, but is just that this time we love to share it with everyone out there. We fuse 3 things: tradition, contemporary and digitisation, and redefine details to a whole different level. So here we have, our very own art of digital wallpapers. And its ready for you.

Just our little duty to share, at no cost at all. Free for all. Free for share. Click here!

Have a lovely day.

– Faddho.