Introducing the art of Arabic, Ottoman, & Persian calligraphy


(Pronounced “ruk-ah”; Turkish–Rik‘a; Persian–Riq‘a).
Note on this name: we are using the name ruq‘ah to describe this script, in order to differentiate it from the not-related script, riqa‘)


  • “Ruq‘ah” is derived from the noun ruq’a, meaning “a patch or piece of cloth” because it was written on small scraps of paper


  • Originally devised to write Turkish for the late Ottoman bureauocracy
  • Used broadly across the Arab and Ottoman world for personal correspondence and handwriting


  • Developed in second half of 18th century
  • Still in use today

Distinctive characteristics

  • A simplification of the divani script constructed from short strokes
  • Letters are more straight than rounded


  • Easier to learn and write than other scripts. Good script for beginners.
Ruq‘ah script
Ruq‘ah script. Image courtesy of Elisabeth Kvernen.
Ruq’ah composition
Ruq‘ah script. “The Diwani-Jaly Diwani-Riq‘a Mashqs by M. Halim Özyazici”
Ruq‘ah script. The Museum of Islamic Art.

Image gallery

View the full ruq‘ah image gallery