Conversation with Yushaa Abdullah, Black Africa’s first professional Arabic Calligrapher.

Hattat Yushaa Abdullahi obtained his Ijaza (License) as a professional Arabic calligrapher in 2013 after a rigorous 5-yr training at the International Research Centre for Islamic History, Arts and Culture (IRCICA) Istanbul, Turkey,  making him the first black African to get this license. He lives in Kaduna, Nigeria where he runs the 'Hattat Hassan Celebi' Calligraphy Centre, Nigeria’s only formal Arabic Calligraphy training centre. Late last year, two of his works were sold at an exhibition in Cambridge, UK, for 3,500 pounds, which he donated to the first Europe Eco-Mosque project in Cambridge. Last month April, his works were also exhibited and an international exhibition in Sharjah, UAE.

More about the works he donated to charity

The Cambridge exhibition was organised by the Cambridge Islamic Art committee with vision to seek donations from world's prominent Islamic Artists by sacrificing their valued artworks to the first Europe Eco Mosque project in Cambridge. UK.

The first artwork is titled "On 2 dots between 2 dots" is a collection of six beautiful names of Allah selected based on their number of upper dots. The artwork was produced to title with the theme ("Dot") of an exhibition of Sharjah Calligraphy biennial 2016. It was sold for £2000.

The second artwork is titled " White Tulip" (Al-Gaffar Jalla Jalalah). It is also one out of 6 beautiful names of Allah from the artwork titled " White Tulips " and was sold for £1500.

Why he holds workshops for calligraphy enthusiasts  

My previous workshops brought a great awareness to the public about the importance of Arabic calligraphy and upgraded the level of its appreciation in our society. Most of my students were inspired to enrol into the full learning process through such workshops and three among the most senior students have successfully completed the curriculum. Soon, we shall have additional three Hattats in Nigeria when they receive their Ijazas (Licences).

The three new Hattats on the way

Dr. Muhammed Tamimi and Prof Urgu Darman pose beside Yushaa's work at Sharjah exhibition last year
I have attended more than five international exhibitions where all artworks exhibited were sold, Alhamdulillah.

His tips for calligraphy students.

The most important aspect about the learning process is one's passion for the art. It should be taken as a hobby other than profession because it involves an intensive practice and assignments and can only be endured by a passionate student.

Yushaa Abdullah stands beside his "Trees on plastic"
Money bag. Wealth comes from Allah.
Hattat Yushaa Abdullah at work


  1. Alhamdulillah
    We are really proud of him
    I Wish him all the best in life and in Akheerah

  2. Alhamdulillah, I'm proud of my teacher and to be mentioned in this means a great deal to me as a calligrapher-in-view

    1. Hardworking students like are the pride of their teachers. Keep at it.

    2. I am proud of you too, Ibrahim Jimoh.

  3. Happy to see your school progressing well Yushaa! Your works are amazing!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and believing in me.

  4. Alhamdulillah, am proud to be one of his students. I hope Arabic calligraphy gain more footing in Nigeria 😊.

    1. Hattat Yushaa Abdullah is proud of all his hardworking students too.

    2. Amin. I am also proud of you Sumayyah. I hope the nib of your Qalam is always wet with ink.

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