Calligraphy, the art that combines visual image and written word is perhaps at its most brilliant in the Islamic world. Islamic calligraphy takes its inspiration from the Muslim belief in the divine origin of Arabic writing. Its use in sacred and official texts has given rise to a calligraphic tradition that has flourished for over 1000 years, not only in manuscript decoration but in architecture, sculpture, ceramics and paintings. With chapters on the role of calligraphy in architecture and contemporary painting, this edition provides a comprehensive survey of the subject from its earliest origins to today. Examples of scripts, including kufic, thuluth, naskhi and maghribi, are shown in a series of photographs which reproduce manuscript pages, paintings and other works of art.