The Whirling Dervish

The whirling Dervish has came about as the result of an exercise on Anthropomorphic Calligraphy – the idea is not originally mine but this particular composition is.

The paper in this case is stained with coffee. The calligraphy is done with Sheaffer Skrip Red mixed with a little Sheaffer Lavender and Lamy Black inks. The pens used were a Sheaffer Calligraphy pen I modified for the Arabic script and a Dollar Demonstrator fitted with a modified nib from a cheap Inoxcrom fountain pen.

The dervish is made out of the word ‘Al Tawafuq’ which means ‘harmony’.

The Whirling Dervish

The Whirling Dervish

I uploaded this image to the Fountain Pen Network which I frequent and it received a surprisingly positive response – you can visit that topic here. I like the dynamism of this composition and subsequently made a simplified version that you can see in the header of this blog.

This composition is in a private collection in the USA.

Categories: Creations

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23 replies »

  1. Thank you Darvish – I did put some of the work up for sale at ImageKind to generate funds for relief and recovery work for the flood hit people of Pakistan. The gallery is located here and all proceeds from sales go toward the aforementioned relief efforts.

  2. Thank you Leenah. I hope to develop a couple of more ideas I have into something nice soon. BTW – you have a very nice selection of Sufi poetry on your site – do you have the originals in farsi by any chance? It’d be nice to do a composition that contains both the original and the translation.

  3. Salman,
    I have bought this calligraphy from imagekind. Amazing work indeed.


  4. Thank you Shariq. You will be pleased to know that all money earned from the sale of these pieces is donated to charity in Pakistan. I put these up for sale to generate funds for the flood victims in Pakistan and decided to keep them there to generate funds for helping the poor and the needy.

  5. hi ,
    this picture is really amazing , I love it and i would like to now what it says ?? arabic words??? thank you

  6. Thanks for your comment. The picture is made up of the word ‘Al-Tawafuq’ (harmony) written in different orientations and forms. I’m glad you like the picture.

  7. I really like what you’ve done here – as you said, the dynamism is evident, especially with the different colours – they add movement.

    I also love how the strokes evoke the seeming thickening (or thinning) of the cloth as a result of that movement.


  8. Wow!!! this is an awesome picture!! I’m thinking of buying a copy but could i know what those Arabic writings mean?

    Thank you very much, again, amazing work!!! carry on like that !!!


  9. Alessandro – thank you for the appreciation. The picture is made out of one word ‘Al Tawafuq’ written over and over again. It means harmony.


  10. God has taken a hold of your hand. The word tawaquf is absolutely fitting. Brilliantly done Salman.

  11. As Salam Alaikum

    An amazing piece of calligraphy. Using a coffee-stained background is very innovative and gives a rich look. What are the different calligraphy styles you have used here? What is a dollar demonstrator you mentioned in your write up?

  12. Wa Alaikum As Salam Jawad. Thank you for the appreciation.

    The writing is loosely based on Diwani but is done freestyle i.e. whatever feels right and looks balanced.

    Dollar pens are student pens made in Pakistan. I like them because they are cheap ($0.25 ea) and are piston fillers. They also fit nibs taken from Inoxcrom school pens as I have demonstrated in another post on my blog (here). Here’s a review on Fountain Pen Network and a website in the USA that sells them


  13. I hope you don’t mind but I have … until you tell me not to … displayed your drawing of the Whirling Dervish on my website. I have credited you as the artist and referred others to your website.

  14. Hugo, it is perfectly fine. I wish others followed your example in crediting work and linking to the source.

    Thank you for letting me know.

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