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Qit'a in Nasta'liq Script

1859 (1277 Hijra)
Madad ‘Ali, probably Indian, active 19th century
One of the most popular forms of secular Islamic calligraphy in India is the qit'a. In this format, four, or sometimes six, lines of Persian poetry are penned in an upward, diagonal direction on a vertically oriented sheet of paper. Here, the four major lines speak of the consequences of good and bad behavior. The lines are paired and aligned along their right edges (Persian, like Arabic, is read right to left). This layout results in four triangular zones suitable for illumination and additional writing. In this case, the calligrapher has filled the zones with text including his signature, a date, and pious declarations....

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