Prayers for Safety and Success


This calligraphic fragment includes verses in Persian praying for the patron's personal well-being and the prosperity of his kingdom. The verses read: "May the world be (your) fortune and the firmament (your) friend / May the World-Creator (God) protect (you) / May all your works be successful / May God of the World look after you / May your heart and your kingdom be collected and well-frequented / May division stay far away from your realm." The verses are executed in black nasta'liq script on beige paper. They are framed by cloud bands and placed on a gold background decorated with vine motifs and blue flowers. Salmon and blue borders decorated with gold-painted flowers and leaves frame the text panel, which is pasted to a larger blue sheet decorated with gold bouquets. The entire fragment is backed by cardboard for strengthening purposes. The upper right triangle of the text panel includes an ornamental blue finial, the lower left triangular panel the signature of the calligrapher, Mir 'Ali, who designates himself as "the poor" (al-faqir). Mir 'Ali Heravi (died 1543 [951 AH]), a calligrapher in nasta'liq script, was active in the city of Herat (Afghanistan) during the 16th century until he was taken to Bukhara (Uzbekistan) in 1528-9 (935 AH) by the Shaybanid ruler 'Ubaydallah Khan Uzbek.

Last updated: September 30, 2016