Saying About Imam Husayn


This calligraphic panel contains a saying about the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at Karbala in 680. It reads: “The gardens of Rīyāḍ (Heaven) smiled with the announcement and welcomed the star who was killed by the awlād al-baghāyā (sons of prostitutes). They announced that Husayn became a shahīd (martyr) at Karbala. There is for us a community whose nobility exceeds that of any other community in the world.” This text is clearly Shiʻi as it recalls the murder of Imam Husayn at the hands of Yazid and his troops (here, cursed as "sons of prostitutes"). It also seems to promote Shiʻi Islam beyond a particular community's borders. The text is executed in a large black thuluth script and is fully vocalized. It is on a beige paper divided into three horizontal panels. Several frames in gold and pink decorated with blue flowers border the text panel. All frames are cut out from separated pieces of paper and pasted to a cardboard for strengthening. Although this fragment is not dated, it is possible that it was produced in a Shiʻi milieu in India during the 19th century. However, it is rare to find the use of thuluth script at this time.

Last updated: February 6, 2018