Making sense of islam with tarek Elgawhary

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Episode 42: Muhammad Zakariya, Master of Calligraphy

Muhammad Zakariya is one of the world’s most famous and recognized masters of Arabic calligraphy. Dedicating his life to the art and craft, Zakariya has emerged as one of the leading advocates of the importance of Islamic art. For people of my generation he is remembered as the artist behind the famous “Eid Stamp.” However, there is much more to the man and the master. While he continues to produce some of the most exquisite pieces of calligraphy, he is also training a new generation of young artists and calligraphers and accordingly is a major force for the preservation of this sacred art form.

Episode Notes

4:00 Hasan Chalabi

7:00 when the lesson shines

7:23 no money between teacher and student

8:25 on the development of Arabic calligraphy

9:58 love and calligraphy

11:48 chains of transmission and the early Arab calligraphers

16:15 importance of beauty and calligraphy to Islam

17:58 making reading more pleasant

19:18 Calligraphy and the Quran (the constitution of beauty)

26:20 the threat of the lack of art and beauty

30:00 the importance of rules of etiquette

30:40 Jews and the art of calligraphy with the Torah

32:00 the Madkhal of Ibn Hajj and answering “why”

34:20 turning your job into a form of worship (‘ibada)

36:28 Qadi ‘Iyad, and honoring the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace)

39:05 the centrality of the praise of the Prophet in calligraphy

47:00 The Prophet as a person through calligraphy

52:45 Having to start over in Turkey

1:01 an artist being self-distracting

1:05 making your own tools

1:07 on making the Eid stamp

1:14 His advice to understanding Islam today

Quran Mentioned

“In it are valuable books” (98:3)

People Mentioned

Hasan Celebi

Imam Ali

Zayd Ibn Thabit

Ibn Muqala

Ibn al-Bawwab

Ibn al-Hajj

Qadi Iyad

Sayyid Hossein Nasr


Hind Ibn Abi Hala

Um M‘abad

Further information can be found at

Muhammad Zakariya’s Website.

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