Explore artefacts made over a period of more than 1000 years in the heart of the Islamic world.
Arabic holds a particular importance for Muslims, for whom it is the language of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and expressed in writing in the Qur'an. The standardization of its script occurred over time, and its alphabet was adopted to write other languages of the Islamic world, like Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Urdu.
The Arabic script soon became the most distinctive feature of Islamic art. Calligraphy (beautiful writing) has a prominent place in all arts. Verses from the Qur'an or lines of poetry were frequently inscribed on buildings and objects. Calligraphy was also used to name the patron of a work, explain its function, or describe the society in which it was created.