Hajj Directions


This line of text reads: Annahu la yastalim ila al-hajar al-aswad wa-al-rukn al-yamani (He does not permit [it] except [at] the Black Stone and the Yemenite Corner). It appears that this text comprises a fragment of a pilgrimage guide or prescriptive text that states that, during tawaf (ritual circumambulation), touching or kissing the Kaaba only is permitted at the Black Stone and the Yemenite Corner (the southeast corner). Certain prayers and supplications also are particular to those two corners of the Kaaba. The line of text is executed in a large and crisp Thuluth script in black ink. The words are fully vocalized, and the letter sin (s) has three dots below the text line to distinguish it from the letter shin (sh). The text is written on a beige piece of paper, framed by cloud bands, and placed on a cloud background. It is provided with several frames, including a horizontal band of blue leaf motifs. It is pasted to a larger sheet of light-brown paper backed by cardboard. On the fragment's verso appears a note attributing the piece to the famous 13th-century calligrapher Yaqut al-Musta'simi (died 696/1296). Active at the Abbasid court in Baghdad, he lived through the Mongol invasions. He wrote in the six cursive styles, which included Thuluth (used here). Although the text is not signed and certain additions may have been made later, it is possible that this fragment was executed by Yaqut al-Musta'simi himself.

Last updated: April 27, 2016