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Invocations to 'Ali

December 31, 1799
Hafiz Muhammad Sa'd al-Din
Art and Calligraphy
Shah Alam II 1759–1806

Invocations to 'Ali



Subject Headings - Calligraphy, Arabic - Calligraphy, Persian - Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.) - India - Iran - Arabic script calligraphy - Illuminated Islamic manuscripts - Islamic calligraphy - Islamic manuscripts - Nasta'liq Notes - Two bayts (verses) invoking the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law 'Ali, poems in Persian written in the black Nasta'liq script by calligrapher Hafiz Muhammad Sa'd al-Din in Iran and India. - 'Ali is petitioned through his many names, attributes, and historical exploits to bring about hope and victory. - Ay shir-i khuda, amir-i haydar fathi / Vay qal'a gusha-yi dar-i khaybar fathi / Darha-yi umid bar rukham basta shuda / Ay sahib-i dhu al-fiqar va qanbar fathi - Dimensions of Written Surface: 9.5 (w) x 18 (h) cm - In the lower left corner of the text panel, the calligrapher Hafiz Muhammad Sa'd al-Din states that he has written this text (mashaqahu) and asks for God's forgiveness for his sins. The number 205 appears as well, which may indicate that the piece was executed in 1205/1790-1. Although Hafiz Muhammad Sa'd al-Din cannot be identified in historical sources, he appears to have been a calligrapher in nasta'liq script active in 18th-century Iran or India. - Oh Lion of God, Leader of Haydar, victory! / Oh, Stormer of the door of the Castle of Khaybar, victory! / The doors of hope have shut on my face. / Oh Possessor of (the sword) Dhu al-Fiqar and (the servant) Qanbar, victory! - The verses are executed in black nasta'liq script on a white-and-blue marbled (abri or ebru) paper. The text panel is provided with a rather sloppy golf-flecked frame and is pasted to a larger sheet of brown paper backed by cardboard. - This calligraphic fragment includes two bayts (verses) invoking the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law 'Ali through his various epithets. Beginning with an invocation to 'Ali as the Greatest (ya 'Ali al-a'ala). - Script: nasta'liq - 1-04-713.19.50 Medium 1 volume ; 23.3 (w) x 35.1 (h) cm Repository Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Digital Id Library of Congress Control Number 2019714556 Online Format image LCCN Permalink Additional Metadata Formats MARCXML Record MODS Record Dublin Core Record IIIF Presentation Manifest Manifest (JSON/LD)

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Shah Sharaf Barlas


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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