Praises to Husayn


This calligraphic fragment provides repeated al-salam 'alayka (Shi'i blessings) in Arabic directed to Husayn, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson through his son-in-law 'Ali. He is addressed by his many names and epithets, such as 'Abd Allah (servant of God), Ibn rasul (son of the Prophet), Khayrat Allah (goodness of God), Ibn amir al-mu'minin (son of the Leader of the Faithful), and Ibn Fatimah al-zahra' (son of Fatimah, the radiant). The text is executed in an Indian variant of thuluth script in black ink on a red ground. Words are fully vocalized, also with black diacritical marks, in order to ensure proper pronunciation. The text panel is provided with several brown and cream-colored borders and is pasted to a larger sheet of brown paper backed by cardboard. This calligraphic panel probably was made in India during the 18th−19th centuries, after the revival of the naskh tradition at the hands of Mirza Aḥmad‏ Nayrīzī (died 1739) in Iran. The red background also suggests that the piece may have been executed in the Deccan (central and southern India), as manuscripts and calligraphies produced there oftentimes have a red-toned background.

Last updated: July 31, 2014