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Marble panel from the grave of Muhammad b. Fatik Ashmuli
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Тhis panel would have been at the head of a four-sided open structure placed around a grave. The ornamental inscription on the outer face is carved in Kufic script, the oldest calligraphic form of Arabic script. It had been in use for over a century by the time of the emergence of Islam, and was used to write down the earliest copies of the Qur'an.

The carving depicts the beginning of the basmala: 'in the name of God the Merciful'. This would have introduced verses from the Qur'an, which continued on the exterior surface of the three missing panels. There is another inscription on the other side of the panel which is incised into the stone rather than carved in relief. It also begins with the basmala, then gives the name of the deceased, Muhammad b. Fatik Ashmuli, and the date of his death in the month of Jumada II AH 356 (AD 967).

Marble panel from the grave of Muhammad b. Fatik Ashmuli

From Cairo, Egypt, 356 AH/AD 967 Ht45 cm
Purchased with funds from the Brooke Sewell Fund

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