Yaqut al-Musta'simi

Yaqut al-Musta'simi (Persian: یاقوت مستعصمی)(Arabic: ياقوت المستعصمي)(also Yakut-i Musta'simi) (died 1298[1]) was a well-known calligrapher[2][3] and secretary of the last Abbasid caliph.

Yaqut al-Musta'simi
ياقوت المستعصمي
Qur'an by the Scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi.jpg
Page of the Qur'an by Yaqut, dated 681 AH (1282 AD), Baghdad
Died1298
Known forIslamic calligraphy
MovementNaskh (script), Thuluth
Patron(s)Al-Musta'sim

Life and workEdit

He was probably of Greek origin in Amaseia and carried off during a raid when he was very young into slavery. Made into a eunuch, he was converted to Islam as Abu’l-Majd Jamal al-Din Yaqut, better known as Yaqut al-Musta‘simi because he served Caliph al-Musta‘sim, the last Abbasid caliph.[4]

He was a slave in the court of al-Musta'sim and went on to become a calligrapher in the Royal Court. He spent most of his life in Baghdad.[5] He studied with the female scholar and calligrapher, Shuhda Bint Al-‘Ibari, who was herself a student in the direct line of Ibn al-Bawwab.[6] During the Mongol invasion of Baghdad (1258), he took refuge in the minaret of a mosque so he could finish his calligraphy practice, while the city was being ransacked. His career, however, flourished under Mongol patronage.[7]

He refined and codified six basic calligraphic styles of the Arabic script.[8] Naskh script was said to have been revealed and taught to the scribe in a vision. He improved on Ibn Muqla's style by replacing the straight cut reed pen with an oblique cut, which resulted in a more elegant script.[9] He developed Yakuti, a handwriting named after him, described as a thuluth of "a particularly elegant and beautiful type."[1]

He taught many students, both Arab and non-Arab. His most celebrated students are Ahmad b. al-Suhrawardi and Yahya al-Sufi.[10]

He became a much-celebrated calligrapher across the Arab-speaking world. His school became the model followed by Persian and Ottoman calligraphers for centuries. In the second half of the 13th-century, he gained the honorific, quiblat al-kuttab [cynosure of the calligraphers].[11]

His output was prolific. Although, he is said to have copied the Qur'an more than a thousand times,[12] problems with attributing his work, may have contributed to exaggerated estimates.[13] Other sources suggest that he produced 364 copies of the Q'ran.[14] He was the last of the great medieval calligraphers.[15]

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Efendi, Cafer; Howard Crane (1987). Risāle-i miʻmāriyye: an early-seventeenth-century Ottoman treatise on architecture: facsimile with translation and notes. Brill. p. 36. ISBN 978-90-04-07846-8. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  2. ^ Dankoff, Robert (2004). An Ottoman mentality: the world of Evliya Çelebi. Brill. p. 42. ISBN 978-90-04-13715-8.
  3. ^ Çelebi, Evli̇ya; Robert Dankoff (2006). Evliya Çelebi in Bitlis: the relevant section of the Seyahatname. Brill. p. 285. ISBN 978-90-04-09242-6. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  4. ^ Houtsma, M. Th (1987). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936, Volume 1. BRILL. p. 1154. ISBN 9789004082656. YAKUT al-MUSTA'SIMI, Djamal al-DIn Auu 'l-Madjd ... some say he was a Greek from Amasia; he was probably carried off on a razzia while still very young. He was a eunuch.
  5. ^ Osborn, J.T., Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design, Harvard University Press, 2017, [E-book edition], n.p.
  6. ^ Robinson, G., The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 268; Bloom, J. and Blair, S.S., Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture, Vol. 1, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 442
  7. ^ Bloom, J. and Blair, S.S., Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture, Vol. 1, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 442; "Yaqut al-Musta'simi" [Biography], Islamic Arts, Islamic Arts Online (in English):
  8. ^ Sözen, Metin; İlhan Akşit (1987). The evolution of Turkish art and architecture. Haşet Kitabevi.
  9. ^ Bloom, J. and Blair, S.S., Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture, Vol. 1, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 442; Sajoo, A.B., A Companion to Muslim Cultures, I.B.Tauris, 2011, p. 148
  10. ^ Sajoo, A.B., A Companion to Muslim Cultures, I.B.Tauris, 2011, p. 148; Bloom, J. and Blair, S.S., Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture, Vol. 1, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 442
  11. ^ Türk ve İslâm Eserleri Müzesi, The Art of the Qurʼan: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 2016, p. 80
  12. ^ Knappert, Jan (2005). Swahili culture, Book 2. E. Mellen Press. ISBN 978-0-7734-6109-3.
  13. ^ Mansour, N., Sacred Script: Muhaqqaq in Islamic Calligraphy, I.B. Tauris, 2011, p. 88n
  14. ^ Islamic Arts, Islamic Arts Online (in English):
  15. ^ Robinson, G., The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 268