: Seas of Ink – An Arabic calligraphy experience not to be missed!

SEAS OF INK – An international Arabic calligraphy experience. 

Seas of Ink updated 7th nov

A 6-day event showcasing the splendour of Arabic calligraphy with master calligraphers and Muslim artists from Turkey, China, South Africa and Egypt.

ayah blue

“And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom.” Surah Luqman – ayah 27, Quran.


In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful. May the peace and blessings be upon the prophet Muhammad, who delivered the last love letter to mankind from their Lord. The Quran is a message of love and wisdom, and this verse from Surah Luqman is the inspiration for this event. Although we can never fully do justice to the words of Allah, we hope to inspire many more to take up the art of Arabic Calligraphy and follow in the footsteps of the great scribes who recorded the words of Allah as they heard it from the very mouth of the last prophet to this world, Muhammad (Pbuh).


A famous Turkish saying reads, “the Quran was revealed in Makkah, it is recited in Egypt, and written in Istanbul.” (in reference to the artistic renditions of Qiraah (melodious Quranic recital) of the Egyptian Qaris/reciters and the visual calligraphic artistic mastery of the Turkish. ) We would like to believe that penmanship or Arabic calligraphy played an enormous role in the preservation of Islam by visually transmitting the message of God to mankind. Most Muslims are able to read the Quran, but cannot write it. The connection between reading and writing cannot be stronger, as there would be nothing to read if there were no writers or scribes.


Khalid bin Saeed was one of the first few people who embraced Islam and was the first scribe of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). His daughter Umm Khalid relates:

أبي أول من كتب بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“My father was the first one to write Bismillaahi-ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem (In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful)”


In conjunction with Jam’eyyatul Qurra’s 50th anniversary, Arabic calligraphers SA (ACSA) invites you to Seas of Ink – An international Arabic Calligraphy Experience.


Arabic calligraphy has become a sort of fine art, and thanks to the master calligraphers, the written Arabic language has intrigued so many people, Muslim and non-muslim alike. Although there are 6 traditional styles of Arabic calligraphy codified by 10th-century calligrapher and Abbasid Vizier Ibn Muqla, many more scripts have evolved. The Seas of Ink Arabic Calligraphy experience exhibition will allow us to showcase the beauty and versatility of this art, whilst at the same time providing a real opportunity to any lover of calligraphy to learn directly from a master.
World-renowned master calligraphers and experts to exhibit their artwork and also teach their skills in a range of workshops, talks, masterclasses, and live demos. If you are an artist passionate about calligraphy and Islamic art, then you should not dare miss out on this opportunity to upskill yourself.
Masters are :
1. Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang from China
2.Fatima Cao Yiying from China
3. Abdelhamid Sallam from Egypt
4. Muhammad Hobe from South Africa
5. Refik Carikci from Turkey
This event is open to the whole family. Take part in our calligrathon and join a session for 30 mins. (25 SESSIONS OPEN). There will be 1hour workshops (Chinese Arabic (Seeni) or Turkish/Ottoman styles) , as well as 3 day masterclasses where you could learn various styles of Arabic writing i.e Seeni/Chinese Arabic, or Thuluth, Naskh, and others.
Come and meet the Arabic Calligraphers South Africa family and become a member. Scroll down and register for one of our activities.
follow our facebook page ARABIC CALLIGRAPHERS SOUTH AFRICA , and follow us on instagram to be updated on the events.
ACSA is a proud member of AWQAFSA and thanks them for being an integral part of making this event possible. visit their website www.awqafsa.org.za





1 Hour Workshop or Masterclass in Thuluth script with Ustad Refik Carikci

Refik Carikci poster block

1 hr workshop Thuluth in sand with Ustad Refik:

Learn the basics of the Thuluth script, also known as the King of scripts due to its versatility and elegance which was developed in the Abbasid period and reached its refinement under the Ottomans.

3  sessions available:

1). Monday 2nd December at 16:00 – 17:00

(2) Monday 3rd December 18:30 – 19:30, and

(3) Friday 6th December 10:30 – 11:30. (few seats left)

Cost: R250


Click here to Register 

 Masterclass (3 Days) in Thuluth and Ebru paper marbling Fully booked! Sorry

Thuluth calligraphy Turkish method techniques, with Ustad Refik. Pen and Ink. Tools included 


Mon – Wednesday 14:30 – 18:30

Cost R3000 

1 Hour Workshop or Masterclass in Seeni (Chinese Fusion Arabic) script with Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang & Fatima Cao Yiying

Fatima Cao Yiying poster block
Haji Noor Deen poster block

1hr workshop –  Arabic calligraphy in the Chinese tradition with Haji Noor Deen and Fatima Yiying (Max 25 people) 

Learn this masterful calligraphic technique that uniquely fuses Chinese and Arabic arts, a unique interpretation by husband and wife duo. You will get to know the tools, techniques and principles underlying this style.

2  sessions available:

1). Monday 3rd December at 14:30 – 15:30

(2) Monday 3rd December 17:30 – 18:30

Cost: R250 

Register here


Masterclass Arabic calligraphy in the Chinese tradition with Haji Noor Deen and Fatima Yiying (Max 25 people) 

Sessions starts at 8:30am daily between Tuesday 3rd – 5th December 2019

Cost: R3000 

Register here Book now to avoid disappointment!

Masterclass (Part 1 & 2) with Muhammad Hobe in the Naskh script

Muhammad Hobe poster block

2 Part Masterclass with Hafith Muhammad Hobe in the Naskh script 

Part 1: Tuesday 14:30 - 18:30
Part 2: Friday 6th Dec, 8:00am - 12:00pm


Muhammad Hobe has Ijazah in the Naskh and thuluth under world renowned Turkish master Hasan Celebi. The Naskh is a companion script of the Thuluth, and is usually written with a smaller pen, requiring fine tuning of pen techniques. 


Register today, not to miss out on this highly informative and beneficial class 

Cost is R2000 (tools included)

Click here to Register 

2 Hour Workshop in Islamic Line Design with Mahmudah Begum Jaffer

Mahmudah Begum Jaffer  poster block

2 Hour Workshop in Islamic Line Design with Mahmudah Begum Jaffer (max 15 people) FULLY BOOKED! Sorry


The class takes place on Friday 6th December 2019, at 17:00 – 19:00


Islamic Line Design TM, a term coined by Mahmudah Jaffer, bringing together concepts of spirituality and design in making marks to create visually appealing designs. 

Islamic Line Design is a tool which could be used by artists who produce Islamic art, whether it is painting, drawing or calligraphy, and is a doorway to the art of illumination.


Register today, not to miss out on this highly informative and beneficial class with Mahmudah Begum Jaffer.

Cost is R250 (tools included)

Click here to Register (fully booked) 

CALLIGRATHON – Join one (or more) of 25 sessions for 30mins and get to learn basic Arabic calligraphy for Only R50

Sh Abdul Hamid poster block

Sign up for Arabic Calligraphers South Africa’s “Calligrathon”, and participate in one of 25 x 30min sessions of Arabic calligraphy. (See below for complete daily schedule) 


Each session will have 50 seats available, where a facilitator will run the group through a series of strokes to form letters of the Arabic script. Each session may be slightly different, as the facilitators might vary. We aim to cover the Arabic alphabet and variations of letters, so each session will focus and zoom into one letter, making this a perfect and fun activity for absolute beginners. Although the sessions are for adults, children 12yrs and above are welcome. You may even book more than one session (just for fun!)


The Calligrathon is a fundraiser, so the R50 is the price, but a donation above R50 is welcome, so that Arabic Calligraphers SA will be able to provide many more of these events in the future, inshaAllah.  This is part of the Seas of Ink exhibition, where you will be able to experience calligraphy masterpieces from international guest artists (Haji Noor Deen & Fatima Cao Yiying, Muhammad Hobe, Refik Carikci, and Sh Abdel Hamid Sallam). So once you are done with the calligrathon session, you can visit the various galleries and see the masters at work.


The event takes place at the Jam’eyyatul Qurra’ main campus, 13th Ave, off Kraal rd in Schaapkraal, on the 1st floor in conjunction with the institutes 50th anniversary celebration and the new dawn.


On the ground floor, many artworks from the South African Foundation for Islamic Art (SAFIA) will be on show as well as works from Junaid Shenekal.


DAY 1 (Monday 2nd December 2019)


Session 1 (15:45 – 16:15) Register here  


Session 2 (16:40 – 17:10) Register here 


Session 3 (19:00 – 19:30) Register here 


Session 4 (20:00 – 20:30) Register here 


Session 5 (20:40 – 21:10) Register here  



Day 2 (Tuesday 3rd December 2019)


Session 6 (15:45 – 16:15) Register here 


Session 7 (16:40 – 17:10) Register here 


Session 8 (17:20 – 17:50) Register here 


Session 9 (18:00 – 18:30) Register here 


Session 10 (18:40 – 19:10) Register here 



Day 3 (Wednesday 4th Dec 2019) 


Session 11 (16:40 – 17:10) Register here 


Session 12 (17:20 – 17:50) Register here 


Session 13 (18:00 – 18:30) Register here 


Session 14 (20:00 – 20:30) Register here 


Session 15 (20:40 – 21:10) Register here 



Day 4 (Thursday 5th Dec 2019) 


Session 16 (14:30 – 15:00) Register here 


Session 17 (15:10 – 15:40) Register here 


Session 18 (15:50 – 16:20) Register here 


Session 19 (16:45 – 17:15) Register here 


Session 20 (17:30 – 18:00) Register here 



Day 5 (Friday 6th December 2019) 


Session 21 (15:45 – 16:15) Register here 


Session 22 (16:40 – 17:10) Register here 


Session 23 (17:20 – 17:50) Register here 


Session 24 (18:00 – 18:30) Register here 


Session 25 (18:40 – 19:10) Register here 

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