Arabic and Persian Excerpts


This calligraphic fragment includes a number of textual excerpts in Arabic and Persian. The top three lines include an invocation to God and a saying in Arabic about the necessity to trust in him. The next few horizontal lines include a saying in Persian about God’s will. The diagonal lines of text in the lower half of the fragment quote the famous Persian poet Shaykh Saʻdi Shirazi (died 1292, 691 AH) beginning with the note min kalam-i Saʻdi Shirazi (from the words of Saʻdi Shirazi). The text taken from Saʻdi is translated from Persian to Arabic in this fragment and gives advice to be aware of what one says. The text is written in black tahriri script. Some orthographic marks and vowels are picked out in red ink, and all lines of text are separated visually by red strokes. The ends of certain sections or phrases also are marked by pyramids consisting of three red dots. The paper is thin and brown, and is damaged at the bottom. In the lower-right corner, the calligrapher Fayaz ʻAli Vasiʻi states that raqamahu (he wrote) this fragment, and in the lower-left corner he has baraya khatir-i (dedicated) his piece to a certain Mamki Nahali. He has written vertically in the top-right margin that he wrote his piece on a ruz-i panjshamba (Thursday), although he does not specify the month or year. As Nahali is a language spoken in Madhya Pradesh, the name of the patron suggests a north-central Indian provenance for this calligraphy. The script—a fluid tahriri found in 18th and 19th-century calligraphies from India—also suggests an Indian provenance.

Last updated: September 30, 2016