Alireza Hasheminezhad

From Round script to the six pens (the sextet hands)


The term “Mostadir” means rotary, round, circular, and a kind of structure based on curvature in the first methods of writing Arabic script. In a more general usage which may not be true, all methods of writing the Arabic script-except the Kufic script, which was not used to write Qur’an until the third century- have been described as round (Mostadir) script. These scripts, formerly referred to as “Naskh”, are also known as “khatt al-mansoob (proportioned script). The beginning of these major changes in these scripts dates back to the late third and early fourth centuries, when there was a tendency to standardize and lay down rules in various religious sciences such as Hadith and Tafsir, in the reading and structure of the Qur’an. Some scholars believe that this tendency, and as a result the revolution, may have been influenced by the Sunni caliph’s theological beliefs and is the result of the dominance of a theological view. But this change seems to be based on the creation of a geometric structure, which was probably explained before the caliph’s decision in the views of philosophers, including in the Epistles of the Brethren of Sincerity, and other works on the role of geometry, proportion and proportion in relation to beauty and even self-purification. Muslims described the dignity of geometry as the mediator of a sensible and tangible world. But the tool for realizing this geometry and proportion in script was pen. In the same vein, “the type of pen and the material that pen is made of, the method of sharpening the pen, how to hold the pen, how to put it on paper or move the pen on paper” are also considered as factors in the emergence of round script. Other factors of this development include the rivalry between the two centers of Kufa and Baghdad, the social, cultural and political position of calligrapher in society, the caliphate and the Persian region, and the creation of two groups of calligraphers and scholars. Persia was the center of calligraphers. In Shiraz, calligrapher was higher than scholar.

Considering the influence of the above-mentioned factors in the realization of developments, but it seems that none of the above views alone can explain all the factors that influenced the formation and evolution of round script; and the missing point is the understanding of aesthetic changes in the evolution of scripts, and changes in the tastes of users and society.

Therefore, all the changes of round script are formed in two steps of evolution. The first step – which is based on the geometry of the letters – is an attempt to improve the clarity of script in terms of its practical value, and the second step is to define new geometric ratios based on contrasts such as “strength and weakness” and “surface and distance”. This change is influenced by the type of usage and aesthetic perception- influenced by social conditions and prevailing thought- which leads to the evolution of geometric form and the creation of relationships between letters and the definition of criteria for measuring and creating independent identities in scripts, and these changes inevitably lead to the emergence of six pens. It is important to note that the evolution of scripts has typically lasted nearly two centuries for different scripts.

Keywords: round script, khatt al-mansoob (proportioned script), six pens

Short Resume:


 Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Research Center for Islamic and Iranian Culture

  • Date of birth                  May 28, 1965
  • Nationality                    Iranian
  • E-mail                 

Works (from 15)

  • Khāju-ye Kermani’s Complete Works, The date of copying 750 AH,(Codicology) 2013.Publisher:  Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman & Kar afarinan-e-Honar
  • The Stylistic of Persian Calligraphy in Qajar Period, 2014, Publisher:  Iranian Academy of Arts &  Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman
  • Three Poems by Khwju Kermani namelyHomay o Homayun , the Kamal-Namah , and the Raudat ul-Anwar ,Copy located in the British Library ,Calligrapher: Mir Ali ibn Ilyas al-Tabrizi al-Bavarchi ,Illustrator: Jonayd Sultani (798 AH/1395-6 CE), (Codicology)  2015, Publisher:  Iranian Academy of Arts&  Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman.
  • From Refinement to Dignity, The Collection of Essays on Calligraphy,  2018, Publisher:  Mahnoosh.
  • Seyed Aliakbar Sanati. Sculptures and Paintings, 2018, Publisher: Yadegaran Homayoun.
  • Rozat-al-anwar, Khwju Kermani, Calligrapher: Mir Ali Heravi, (927 AH/1548 AD), (Codicology), 2020, Publisher:  Iranian Academy of Arts&  Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman
  • The Masahif Treasure of Mahan, 2020, Publisher: Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman.& Mahnoosh.
  • Sultan ghāli, abute mohammad Arjmand kermani, 2021, Publisher:  peykareh.

Articles (From75)

  • A fresh Glance at the History and Causes of Emergence and Development of Cursive Script, 2006, History of Script and Writing: Collected Essays of International Seminar of Tablet to Tablet
  • An old Katibeh in Nastaliq Stroke    Journal of the IranianStudies,Research Center of the Iranian Culture and Language,Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman.Vol.4, Number 7, Spring 2005
  • Ghatta’ee and Ghat’eh Journal of the Iranian Studies,Research Center of the Iranian Culture and Language,Shahid Bahonar University of KermanVol.4, Number 8, Autumn 2005.
  • refinemnt and dignity, Golestan-e Honar, Quarterly on the History of Iranian Art and Architecture, No.5, Summer 2006.
  • Rab’e-ye Qarakhatayi, Golestan-e Honar, Quarterly on the History of Iranian Art and Architecture, No.8, Summer 2007.
  • Winter 2007, No 70.
  • Journal of the Iranian Studies Faculty of Literature and Humanities Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman Volume 7, Number 14, Autumn 2008
  • The Q oran-Calligraphy in 7 th 8 (A.H), Journal of Islamic Researches, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman.Vol.2, Number 4, Winter 2009.
  • The Impact of Mysticism and Sufism on Iranian Calligraphy 7 to 9 Centuries AH, Stroke    Journal of the Iranian Studies, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman.Vol.9, Number 17, Winter 2010.
  • Calligraphy and Mysticism, Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam(EWI) ,KH, 15, 2011
  • Three poems by Khajoo kermani namely Humay and Humayun , Kamal_ Nameh and Rauzat ul_ Anvar   The copy in British Library , Calligrapher: Mir Ali ibn Ilyas al_Tabrizi al_Bavarchi   ,Illustrator : Jonayd Sultani
  • Fazlali Khan Biglarbeygi(The Ruler of KermanDuring Mohammad Shah Qajar’s Reign),
  • Yaqut al-Musta’simi and the Stylistic of Naskh, Nameh ye Baharestan, New Series, No. 2, Spring 2014.
  • The Introduction of the Most Famous Copy of the Poems of Khwaju Kermani (Copy of British Library, Written in 798 A.H.) Nameh ye Baharestan, New Series, No. 4, Summer 2014.
  • Ruqa’, Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam(EWI) ,KH, 20, 2015
  • A Juz from Mahan’s Rab’e-ye Gharâkhatâyi in Khalili’s Collection, Bukhara, Vol.24, No137 June-July 2020.
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