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  The Art of Calligraphy, Shamails.

  The Tatars are the only nation in the Volga region practicing Islam. God in Muslim religion is an abstract concept, and His image hasn't been cultivated, that in this respect differs Islam from, for example, Christianity or Buddhism. Also Mohammed prohibited depicting any live creature - the man, the bird, the animal. It caused the development of calligraphic ornament as well as shamail.
  Known in the East aphorism: 'The beauty of a man is in the beauty of his writing, and it is better if a wise man has it' represented the ethic base of this unique phenomenon of fine art, found only in the culture of the Kazan Tatars.
  Shamail is a picture, depicting the holy places of Islam and containing, except surahs (chapters from Koran), philosophic sayings, aphorisms, quotations from poetic masterpieces of the East, made in beautiful Arabic character. Shamails were made in light blue, deep blue, green colours on glass or paper with decorative insertion of velvet or foil.
  Shamails served as the source of information about philosophic base of Sheriyat and about universal rules of life, expressed people's idea of beauty and spirituality, and contained together with religious precepts peoples wisdom.

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