Calligraphy is a respected artwork of various Islamic art, calligraphy is a tool for the preservation of Al-qur’an. Calligraphic phrases are derived from the Latin word “kalios” which means beautiful and, “graph” which means writing or script. The full meaning of the word calligraphy is: the intelligence of beautiful writing, or the beautiful writing. Arabic itself calls khat which means line or beautiful writing.
Calligraphic phrase (calligraphy), etymologically derived from the Greek is Kalios which means beautiful and graphia meaning scribble or writing, and is called with beautiful writing. Calligraphy was first discovered in Egypt. Then calligraphy spread to Asia, Europe, and has changed. The root of Arabic calligraphy (Islamic calligraphy) is the hieroglyphic writing of Egyptian (Canaan, Semit) then, split into the phrase Fenii (Phoenician) which is broken into Arami (Aram) and Musnad (the book containing all kinds of hadith).
In the history of Islamic civilization, the art of Arabic letters whose contents are chunks of verses of the Qur’an or Hadith of Prophet SAW has a very special place. Every Muslim believes that Arabic is the language used by Allah SWT when deriving the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad SAW. This language is also used in the entire ordinance of worship by the Muslims around the world. Because in the Islamic teachings the painting of living beings is included something that is forbidden, then the Muslims express the passion of art, among others, through this calligraphy art. The works of calligraphy are much more ornate in many fields, ranging from buildings, coins, decorative arts, gems, textiles, weapons to manuscripts.
At first, Islamic calligraphy was written on leather or lontar leaves. The discovery of papers in China in the mid-9th century M plays a considerable role in the development of this art, the paper is relatively cheaper, quite abundant, easy to cut and in terms of staining technique easier than the materials used previously.
Ibn Muqla (886-940 AD) was one of the best calligraphers in the early days of the development of Islamic calligraphy. He developed geometric principles in Islamic calligraphy which was then widely used by the calligraphers who came after him, he also played the role of developing cursive writing which later became known as the Naskh style which was much dipakia to write the Qur’anic manuscripts.
Among all the embodiments of the art of Islamic culture in Indonesia, presumably the art of calligraphy is in a very decisive position. For calligraphy is an art form of Islamic culture that for the first time found in Indonesia. Calligraphy marks that Islam has entered Indonesia. This is evidenced from the results of research on archeology of Islamic calligraphy in Indonesia conducted by Dr. Hasan Muarif Ambary. According to him, after studying ethics, Kufi style calligraphy has developed (the IX-XV-M style), Sulus and Nasta’lik style (XII-XIX CE) and other contemporary styles (from the XIX centuries to the next few centuries).
The data are found on gravestones, the tombs of the kings of Islam of Aceh, the tomb complex in Troloyo, Mojokerto, Keraton, Cirebon, Mataram, Ternate, Java, Madura and other areas in Indonesia. But in the art of calligraphy itself has the most widely used formulas of calligraphy, including the forms of single letters, conjunctive style, then process it into a series of words or sentences.