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South Arabian Script

   Sultn Musnad-High

 Musnad is a genuine Arabic writing. It is an important epoch in the human writing. It was used by the Yemeni people and then spread to other Arab countries . It is remembered that the earliest calligraphy appeared in the middle of the eighth century BC “1”. The use of Musnad was clearly demonstrated in speedy writing in the Yemeni Azzaboor calligraphy (written in joint letters ) which was mentioned by the Arab poet Imru Alqeis Ben Hagr when he saidwas meant as follows: “when he appeared and I saw him I was stuck as Azzaboor was stuck to the Yemeni reed ” (2).

  Musnad is composed of 29 letters , that is one letter more than the Arabic alphabet, which is between “S” and “Sh”, and names “Samekh”. Aspects of difference between Musnad and the present Arabic writing is that Musnad is written in separate letters, and the shape of the letters do not change according to its place in the word. However, some letters change according to the beginning of the writing. Musnad is either prominent, or deep. Prominent writings are for important writings and deep writings are for ordinary. The material on which the Musnad was written were stones, rocks, wood, and metal. In the course of its development the Musnad use appeared in the “Lehyanite’, “Thamudic”, “Safaitic”, pen to which many changes and amendments were made. And from it “Habashi’ writing was born.
    As regards his place among the Arabs of the Peninsula , when we look at the internet and its role in cultural dialogue , the Arabs of the Peninsula considered Musnad inscription which was indisputably their national writing until the dawn of Islam. It was used by people in all parts of Arabia in their homeland and abroad . It was their means of chronology and record of their glories and history.2- Features of Musnad Script:
1. It is written from right to left and vice versa. 2. Its letters are not joined. 3. Shape of letters are uniform despite their positions in the word. 4. Words are separated by vertical lines. 5. A letter is doubled in case of assertion. 6. No points and punctuations. 7. Easy to be learned by beginners.(see figure 1)  (figure 1)

3- Construction of Musnad
The contents of Musnad Scripts are related to worships and approach to Gods, and to commemoration of victories and construction of giant buildings. Engraving inscriptions on tough stone was not assigned to any person whatever he was. There were professional persons with high stand.    To write the letter most effectively we must use assisting instruments and apparatus. However, we must know for certain how to use these instruments in making a letter. Undoubtedly creators of Musnad letters mastered this art . Formerly engraving on stone sheets were the result of high mental, artistic and material efforts, which were materialized on the Musnad inscriptions pages which summarized the gist of those bright episodes of the history of the Arabian Peninsula.   (figure 2)

A question might be put: Did the Musnad creators have their rulers to use in drawing vertical and horizontal lines for the Script comparative? Did they have geometrical instruments for cutting angles and triangles in the needed letters., for drawing various sizes of circles when they made letters and numbers? Did they use rulers to distribute ratios and dimensions between letters and lines which were accurately drawn on the face of the Musnad? Did they draw comparatives for the inscription before engraving on the stone? The answer to such questions is found among those many inscriptions . I show here (in figure 2) self-explained pictures .

Musnad letters were based open and closed geometrical curves dominated by vertical lines in the ratio of one to two in width and height.
4- Musnad and Arabic letter:
The Musnad letter was a great explosion which led to a collection of Arabic calligraphies in the whole Arabian Peninsula. In the shape below I show how many letters were derived from Musnad, and many others were adapted and simplified , and after a long process led to the Arabic letter which we use today, which is a continuation of such great invention in the cradle of the Arab civilization and source of their writings. (see figure No. 3)..

  (figure 3)

5- Computerized Musnad Typeface:
    My artistic and technical work (design of Computerized Musnad typeface) is only a treatment of the Musnad as a symbol of writing. And it is possible to use in computer.. Our design is not aimed at demonstrating the linguistic and intellectual structure of the Musnad. It is so simple that it could be easy to learn by learners and those who are interested in the Musnad letters in computer. (see figure 1).The basis of such importance is that it spares a lot of time and effort for researchers and students in this field.  Formerly they used to write the Musnad texts either by handwriting or scan them , But now they can easily write its texts in Musnad by using keyboard directly, so that they can change , amend and fulfill easily and accurately . So, we made use of speed, easiness and accuracy. And anyone interested in the Yemeni history in any part of the world can due to this design read and write Musnad letters most easily. This design will also be used by historians and archeologists. , as well as specialist linguistics . The design also demonstrates the aesthetics of the Himyarit writing . It was acknowledged by the University of Aden, and I was honored by the Faculty of Arts .As for the fulfillment, I was assisted by my keenness at studying Arabic calligraphy in which the Holy Quran was revealed 1400 years ago.. I also mastered writing in all kinds of Arabic letters , and searched into the beginnings of Arabic calligraphy as a unique human invention. I found that Musnad calligraphy was God gift to the Yemeni civilization 3000 years ago.. I studied its letters and numbers, and did drawings each in a special file in the computer . After completing their designs I moved to study font design programs by using computer , so that I was able to write Musnad by using keyboard in order to fill gaps in the ancient Yemeni studies. . We are interested in making it as an Arabic letter in international Unicode Fonts. In addition, I also designed thirty kinds of Arabic fonts with the purpose of providing the Arab computer font library with such elements. Some of them were published on several international webs . By publishing them and using them world wide we will secure a place for our new fonts in the community of knowledge during the next ten years .Sultan Maqtari
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  1. 23 March 2013 at 12:46 am

    Musnad is a very complete near relative of the oldest script whose traditional order is known (Ugaritic cuneiform). Additionally, Musnad is not cuneiform, meaning musnad is both easier to write in modern media and also its shapes are likely to closely resemble the shapes of the letters from which both scripts derive. Musnad contains all of the same consonants contained in Ugaritic cuneiform, plus one additional consonant character which reminds me of the Arabic letter Dad. Other similar scripts do not. The Ugaritic innovations not included in Musnad are additional matres lectionis I and U.

    These characteristics make Musnad valuable to linguists and code theoreticians. I expect it is also valuable in calligraphy and education.

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