Ruqʿah script

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Ruqʿah (Arabic: رُقعة) or Riqʿah (رِقعة) is a writing style of Arabic script intended for the rapid production of texts. It a relatively simple and plain style, used for everyday writing and often used for signs.[1] The Ottoman calligraphers Mumtaz Efendi[2] (1810–1872) and Mustafa Izzet Efendi (1801–1876) are credited with canonizing the writing style.[1]

It is not to be confused with the much older reqāʿ (رِقاع) style[3] — one of the six traditional Arabic scripts (al-aqlām al-sittah, الأقلام الستة).

Description and usage[edit]

Ruqʿah is the most common type of handwriting in the Arabic script. It is known for its clipped letters composed of short, straight lines and simple curves, as well as its straight and even lines of text. It was probably derived from the Thuluth and Naskh styles.

Unlike other types of calligraphy, ruqʿah is not considered as an art form. Instead, it is a functional style of writing that is quick to write and easy to read. Every literate Ottoman was expected to be able to use the ruqʿah.[4]

It was widely used in the Ottoman Empire.[5]

The demonstration underneath is not typical since it uses full vowels, which are rarely used in handwriting:

Ruqʿah example

If one of the ruqʿah style fonts is installed, the following should appear as the above image sample:

خَيْر للمَرء أن يَمُوتَ فِى سَبِيل فِكرَتِه مِنْ أنْ يَعِيشَ طُولَ الدَهْرِ جَبَانًا عَن نِصْرةِ وَطَنِه



Examples of a modern digital typeface rendering Arabic text in this style, are:

  • Aref Ruqaa by Abdullah Aref[6]
  • Rakkas by Zeynep Akay[7]
  • Waseem on iOS
  • B Arabic Style by Borna Rayaneh[8]
  • Layla Ruqaa by Mohammed Isam[9]


  1. ^ a b Nemeth, Titus (2017). Arabic type-making in the Machine Age. The influence of technology on the form of Arabic type, 1908–1993. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-30377-5. OCLC 993032900.
  2. ^ "Hattat Ebûbekir Mümtâz Efendi kimdir? Ebûbekir Mümtâz Efendi hayatı ve eserleri - Ketebe". Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  3. ^ J. R. Osborn (2017). Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design. Harvard University Press. p. 68. ISBN 9780674978584.
  4. ^ M. Uğur Derman, Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, Istanbul, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998, p.20
  5. ^ "Creative Arabic Calligraphy for Beginners: Introduction". EnvatoTuts. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  6. ^ "GitHub – aliftype/Aref-ruqaa: Aref Ruqaa (رقعة عارف) is a Ruqaa typeface". GitHub. 5 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Rakkas: Designed by Zeynep Akay". Google Fonts. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Layla Ruqaa". Font Library. Retrieved 30 August 2022.

See also[edit]