Art of Calligraphy, Shamails

Sample of Arabic Calligraphy
The Tatars are the only Muslim believers in the Volga region. Muslim religion with more abstract concept of God did not cultivate his image and in this respect differed, for example, from Christianity or Buddhism. According to Prophet Muhammad's ban, it was prohibited to represent any living being - man, bird, animal. In this connection Muslims developed calligraphic ornament as well as shamail. The eastern aphorism: "The man's beauty is in the beauty of his writing, and it is even better, if a wise man has it" was an ethical basis of this unique fine arts phenomenon known only to the Kazan Tatars.

Tatar "Shamail" with Sayings from the Holy Koran
Shamail is a picture of sacred Islamic places, along with surahs (Koran chapters) containing philosophical sayings, aphorisms, extracts from poetic masterpieces of Eastin beautiful Arabic character. Shamails were painted light-blue, dark blue, green on glass or paper with decorative velvet or foil insets.

Shamails served at the same time as a source of information about the Sheriat's philosophical bases and universal rules of life, expressed national ideas of beauty and spirituality, contained both religious precepts and national wisdom.