ʻId (Feast Day) Quatrain


This rubaʻi (iambic pentameter quatrain) is written in black nastaʻliq and surrounded by cloud bands on a gold background. It is not signed or dated, although the script suggests that it was executed in Persia (Iran) sometime in the 16th or 17th centuries. Provided with several monochromatic frames, the text page is pasted to a pink paper strengthened with cardboard. In the top-left corner of the text panel an invocation to God initiates the poem with the expression “huwa al-muʻizz” (He is the Glorified). Then follows the quatrain, which reads: “May your heart be like the sea and your hand like the mineral, / Like the heart and the hand of God, / King of the world who orders, / May you always run across the world.” This quatrain provides a duʻaʼ (prayer) for a ruler, comparing his generosity to that of God and hoping that his authority, much like God’s, may spread far and wide.

Last updated: September 30, 2016