"Munajat" of 'Abdallah Ansari


This calligraphic fragment includes a maxim drawn from the Munajat (Supplications) of the great Persian mystic and scholar Khwajah 'Abdallah Ansari (died 1088). The two lines describe the benefits of prayer and generosity. The two lines of text are executed in black nasta'liq script on beige paper and framed by delicate cloud bands on a gold illuminated background. The text panel is framed by a variety of borders and pasted to a sheet of purple paper decorated with gold interlacing flower motifs. Between and below the two main lines of text appears an inscription reading: "God, everyone fears You, but 'Abdallah fears himself, because everything that is good comes from You, and everything that is evil comes from 'Abdallah (i.e., 'the servant of God')." This diminutive sentence serves as the author's praise of God's munificence and kindness. Immediately after the praise of God appears the calligrapher's signature: "mashq-i Malik" ('composition of Malik'). Malik may be identified as the calligrapher Malik Daylami, who was in the service of the Safavid ruler Shah Tahmasp, who reigned from 1524 to 1576.

Last updated: April 27, 2016