Qalams as used in calligraphy.
A qalam (Arabic/Persian/Urdu/Sindhi: Arabic: 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 ink for the pen, was just a normal black ink.
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.