Mustafa Raqim was born in Ünye, on the Black Sea, in 1757. Whilst he was still young, he went to live with his brother, the famous Isma'il Zuhdi, in Istanbul who taught him calligraphy along with Üçüncü Dervis Ali. He achieved his ijaza at the age of only 12.
Mustafa Raqim was also a painter. He presented one work to Sultan Selim III (r.1789-1807), which was so admired that he was invited to become muderris (professor) and given the responsibility for making drawings for Ottoman currency, as well as for writing the tughra. Amongst his students of calligraphy were Sultan Mahmud II (r.1808-39). In 1823 he rose to the position of Kazasker (Chief Military Judge) and died in 1826 (Sevket Rado, Türk Hattalari, Istanbul, 1980, p.196 and Letters in Gold. Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakip Sabanci Collection, Istanbul, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1998, p.98).