Kufi was the dominant priestly script in early times. It was created after the establishment of the two Muslim cities of Basrah and Kufah in the second decade of the Islamic era. The script has specific proportional measurements, along with pronounced angularity and squareness. It became known as al-Khat al-Kufi (Kufi script).

Kufi script reached perfection during the second Islamic century (8th century AD) and had a profound effect on all Islamic calligraphy. In contrast to its low verticals, Kufi's horizontal lines are extended. The script is considerably wider than it is high. This gives it a certain dynamic momentum. The script is often chosen for use on oblong surfaces. But with its glorious geometrical construction, Kufi could be adapted to any space and material -- from silk squares to the architectural monuments left by Timur at Samarqand.A fundamental point about Kufi script is that it was not subjected to strict rules, and so it gave the artist virtually a free hand in the conception and execution of its ornamental forms.

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