Old Arabic fonts are distinguished for their diversity and beauty but the most common ones have been Makki and Madani as they have been used the most. The font Madani was used to write the Quran and the Prophet’s Sunnah and it was also used in the prophet’s correspondences to kings and presidents. Inscriptions on rocks and mountains’ slopes also used the Madani font.
There are different theories regarding the origin of the Arabic font. According to historical documents at King Abdulaziz Foundation, Darah, Grammarian Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali invented a system using large colored dots above certain letters to differentiate them. Du’ali thus introduced diacritics and placed a red dot above the letter for fathah and a red dot under the letter for kasrah. He also added a sign for dammah and two dots for tanwin. This was during the era of Muawiyah Bin Abu Sufyan.