IRCICA announces the call for entries to the 13th International Calligraphy Competition in the name of Muhammad Abdulaziz Al-Rifai

(1289-1353 H/1872-1934 AD)

by admin

IRCICA has the pleasure to announce the call for entries to its 13th International Calligraphy Competition in the name of the calligrapher Muhammad Abdulaziz Al-Rifai (1289-1353/1872-1934). IRCICA’s international competition is organized every three years since 1986. Its purpose is to preserve and encourage the development of the art of Islamic calligraphy within the framework of its traditional spirit and classical rules that evolved over the centuries. This effort will provide a common ground for calligraphers to exchange their knowledge and experiences and enable the development of a commonly appreciated artistic taste among lovers of this art all over the world.

In the spirit to encourage artists to emulate the examples of the great masters of calligraphy and, at the same time, to commemorate their achievements, the Centre dedicates each competition to a well-known master of this art. Al-Rifai spent most of his career in the Meşīhat Dāiresi (Office of the Şeyhulislām) in the Ottoman Palace in Istanbul and also taught calligraphy at various schools. In 1341/1922 he was invited to visit Cairo by Fu’ād I, the king of Egypt, to calligraph a muṣḥaf for him. After finishing the work, he accepted invitation to remain in Egypt, and taught calligraphy at the Khalil Aghā and Sheikh Ṣāliḥ schools for eleven years. In the meantime, he published many levhas, inscriptions, and mashq books in Egypt, which are still used today. A master of all scripts, he excelled in thulth, naskh, and jalī thuluth in particular. He signed his works with the name Sheikh Muḥammad ꜤAbd al-Azīz al-RifāꜤī, because he belonged to the RifāꜤī order of ṣūfīs. He calligraphed twelve muṣḥafs and countless couplets and plaques. He also made marbling (ebru) and did illumination (tezhip).

The Terms and Conditions of the Competition and the Application Form can be accessed at

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