ink and gold on paper, edged with silk
written in thulth script
20.5 x 155cm
The present inscription, with its harmonious use of the full vertical space and the masterly interweaving of the letter forms, testifies to the work of the master calligrapher, ‘Abdullah Zuhdi, who was known as katib al-haramayn (‘the calligrapher of the two Holy Sanctuaries’).
The inscription is written out at full size and is the first of three lines inscribed on the Mizab al-Rahmah – the rain spout on the Ka‘bah – which was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan ‘Abdülmejid I in 1856 and installed in 1859. Sultan ‘Abdülmejid had also commissioned ‘Abdullah Zuhdi in to re-design the inscriptions in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. He began his work there in 1856 and the task took him seven years to complete.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.283, pp.248–9.