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This article is about the writing instrument. For the sura of the Qur'an, see Al-Qalam. For the village in Iran, see Qalam, Iran.
Qalams as used in calligraphy.

A qalam (Arabic/Persian/Urdu/Sindhi: قلم) is a type of pen made from a dried reed, used for Islamic calligraphy. The word derives from the Greek word κάλαμος, meaning reed. In modern Arabic, Turkish, and Kurdish, the word simply means "pen" or "pencil", while in Persian, Hindi, and Urdu, the word solely means "pen".

The concepts of knowledge and writing are very important in Islam, and thus the qalam appears as a symbol of wisdom and education in the Qur'an; Sura 68 is called Al-Qalam.

It is also the name of a system of Romanization of Arabic, suggested in 1985.[1]

Qalam transliteration[edit]

Arabic letters ا ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي / ى[2]
DIN 31635 ʾ / ā b t ǧ d r z s š ʿ ġ f q k l m n h w / ū y / ī
Buckwalter A v j H x * $ S D T Z E g w y
Qalam ' / aa th kh dh sh ` gh
BATR A / aa c K z' x E g w / uu y / ii
IPA (MSA) ʔ, b t θ
ħ x d ð r z s ʃ ðˤ
ʕ ɣ f q k l m n h w, j,

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ In Egypt, Sudan and sometimes other regions, the final form is always ى (without dots).