Some new work

Al-MADINA BOOKS spread.indd

The eight books illustrated above, published by Al-Madina Institute were finally printed this year but only available in the USA from Mecca Books. These were typeset and designed over a four year period but all printed this year. I trust their titles can be deciphered from the image above. They include 6 translations of works by Ibn Ajiba including excerpts from his voluminous tafsir the Bahr Madeed. The other two books are by Sh. Muhammad Er who recently passed away. He was a remarkable Kurdish Sufi shaykh who settled in the USA where he died and whose students put together these two books from his writings. The titles are self explanatory. The Soul of Islam and The Laws of the Heart. It resonates with traditional scholarship and wisdom. All familiar to students of the subject but fresh as a daisy.

Kashifi CD front A3.indd

Also this year saw a new release by MAT and designed and recorded locally here in Andalusia: The Rawdhat al-Shuhuda’, a CD and book of excerpts of a 14th century litany by Husayn Vayiz Kashifi, of Herat in Afghanistan, set to Celtic tunes by Abdal Hakim Murad (Tim Winter). Hard to imagine how this fusion would work but it is quite refreshing to hear Qur’anic recitation and traditional illahis in Irish, Manx and Scottish musical modes. Abdal Hakim has been working for many years attempting to bridge the cultural gap between Arab, Persian and Turkish poetry and British musical traditions and sensibilities and this is quite a step forwards. It’s an area which can be approached in different ways and like most things of an artistic nature is dependent on personal taste. I would like to explore this subject in another blog post as it has also been a pet subject of mine for many years.

T of H cover artwork3.indd

Another book designed from here and just published is A Taste of Honey, a scholastic work on Erotology by a Nigerian Azhari scholar, Habeeb Akande. It will probably raise a few eyebrows with the prudes amongst us, but is a thorough and useful compendium of the science and art of lovemaking from traditional Muslim sources. Taking this knowledge from Prophetic wisdom is probably the only way this most powerful of human activities can shed the smuttiness and guilt that it has become tainted with in western cultures. Highly researched, Habeeb Akande has explored every avenue of the subject with extensive reference to the great Islamic scholastic tradition which is so hard of access to most English speakers.

Please visit my new portfolio at

About Ian Whiteman

This entry was posted in typography / design. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Some new work

  1. britishmisk says:

    Madani Propagation ( are stocking the al-Madina books in the UK.

  2. abk says:

    Love your work Sidi. I am constantly analyzing your compositions and use of typography (alongside Tschichold’s!), and I learn a lot from it: thank you.

    May I ask you where does the typeface used for honorifics come from (ZakaryaSet)? It is found in several books that you have not designed and so I was wondering where could I buy it.

    Pardon me for my lack of adab and may you continue to bring ihsān into book design.

    • Ian Whiteman says:

      Zakariya set, whatever it’s called is not for sale as far as I know and seems to have become public domain like some of the fonts I was selling some years ago. It’s Mohamed Zakariya’s calligraphy but made into a font by Nuraddin Durkee. When these things escape it’s impossible to control.

  3. abk says:

    Thank you for the prompt reply.
    Public domain, oh I see… No wonder it is used everywhere: this set is a thing of beauty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.