Textile with Qur'anic Inscriptions

TurkishLate 17th-19th century

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This vibrant silk panel belonged to a larger textile that was probably intended as a tomb cover. According to the Qur'an—the holy book of Islam—silk will adorn the dwellers of Paradise, and its use for funerary purposes may well have been meant to anticipate such a promise. The textile's elaborate calligraphic decoration, dominated by sequences of chevron bands of varying sizes, contains Qur'anic passages and the shahada—the Islamic profession of faith and one of the five pillars of Islam—which recites: "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Prophet of God."

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  • Title: Textile with Qur'anic Inscriptions
  • Creator: Turkish
  • Date Created: Late 17th-19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w67.3 x h69.9 cm (overall)
  • Type: Textile
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Silk, lampas weave: satin foundation with patterning wefts in plain weave binding
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Cathy and Vahid Kooros in honor of Peter C. Marzio