Many of you may not know I am Muslim, and I wanted to share a part of the beauty of my faith through the works of a very talented, contemporary artist who happens to have rheumatoid arthritis.
Muslims believe the Quran is the word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. These revelations were maintained through oral tradition and commitment to memory. As societies shifted toward a written rather than oral culture, calligraphy was developed. Calligraphy is decorative handwriting or lettering. Arabic calligraphy is considered a sacred art, because it expresses mostly the words of the Holy Qur’an. Men and women could become calligraphers and were some of the most highly-regarded artists in Islamic societies. You can see this calligraphy on some of the holiest Islamic sites including the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Sana Naveed, was born in Pakistan, but grew up in Canada, currently residing in Texas. From the age of 14, she started her journey into this artform that has made her one of the most sought-after calligraphy artists in North America. She rose into prominence while studying at a university, raising her two sons and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Sana studied for one year under Mohammad Zakariya, who is considered the best-known calligraphy master in North America. Her current and biggest project to date, is the Masjid Al-Noor and calligraphy measuring six feet by 95 feet. Despite her difficulties with rheumatoid arthritis, Sana feels she’s fortunate that the illness affects mainly her wrists but not her fingers. In fact, because of her wrist stiffness, she feels it has allowed her for a much steadier hand that she otherwise would have had to train for years to achieve.