Framed Calligraphic Panel - al-Fatiha Leaf from the Shah Tahmasp Quran

Framed Calligraphic Panel - al-Fatiha Leaf from the Shah Tahmasp Quran

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Beautifully illuminated in lapis blue and gold, this beautiful Quran is written in muhaqqaq and naskh scripts, with incidentals in thulth. It is a royal commission most likely for Shah Tahmaspthe.

This opening text spread of this particular folio contains the seven verses of Surah al-Fatiha (The Opening) which rests in the center of the panel under the chapter name. It translates to:

۝ In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. ۝ Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, ۝ the Compassionate, the Merciful, ۝ Master of the Day of Judgment. ۝ Thee we worship and from Thee we seek help. ۝ Guide us upon the straight path, ۝ the path of those whom Thou hast blessed, not of those who incur wrath, nor of those who are astray.

The Fatiha has been given the title Umm al-kitab, “Mother of the Book” and “The Mother of the Quran”, a reference to its containing the meaning of the entire Quran. Other titles are “The Seven Oft- Repeated” (al-saba al-mathani); “The Cure” (al- Shifa), because it is said to have healing powers for both body and soul; and “The Foundation” (al-Asas ), because it serves as a foundation for the whole of the Quran. It is also known as Surat al-Hamd, “The Chapter of Praise,” and Surat al-Salah, “The Chapter of the Prayer” since it is recited at the beginning of each cycle of prayer by Sunnis and Shiites.

The head and foot-pieces of the composition consist of framed hadith texts in oblong cartouches in gold on blue. One hadith referenced is:

القرآن شافع مشفع، وماحل مصدق من جعله أمامه قاده إلى الجنة ومن جعله خلف ظهره ساقه إلى النار

“The Quran is either an intercessor or a witness against one. Whoever makes it his leader, it will guide him to Paradise. And whosoever puts it behind his back, it will lead him to Hell.”



· Country of Origin: Iran

· Time Period: 1552 CE

· Artist: Commissioned by Shah Tahmasp

· Size: Approximately 46 x 34 cm (including frame)

· Print: High-quality matte print and detail finishings

· Frame: Wood frame with a gold finish

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