Description of Calligraphic Representation of Imam Ali
This beautiful artwork, created by Ibrahim Danishpishah, is a reproduction print of an early 20th-century representation of Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, in calligraphic dust-form. Sayidna Ali is centered under a mihrab, with his face veiled, holding his Dhulfiqar sword.
The halo around the Imam's head consists of prayers on the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the members of his household. It reads:
Allah, sanctify Muhammad and the family of Muhammad
The inscriptions on the robe of the Imam’s garment consists of the protective verses: The Basmallah, Surah al Ikhlas, Surah al-Nas, Surah al-Falaq, Surah al-Kawthar, and Ayat al-Kursi.
Other verses include: God is the best of guardians (12:64), Indeed, those who disbelieve would well-nigh smite thee down with their glances when they hear the Reminder, saying, “Surely, he is possessed.” (68:51), and 'Verily We have given you a clear victory' (48:1).
Phrases in praise of Imam Ali are also scribed: 'I (Prophet Muhammad) am the city of knowledge and Ali is the door', 'Ali is with the Truth' and ‘There is no hero like Ali; There is no sword like Dhu-l-Fiqar’.
In the bowl, to the right of Imam Ali, is written 'The Presence (Hadhrat) Commander of the Faithful (Ameer al-Mumineen). The plate contains the name of the artist.
Ayat al-Kursi is furthermore beautifully scripted on the border of the image. The Prophet told his Companions to recite it before going to sleep, identified it as the greatest verse (āyah ) of the Quran, and said that it was “a fourth of the Quran.” This is one among many other hadith that speak of its special place. It is one of the most common passages of the Quran to adorn mosques and private homes and is often carried on one’s person in the form of pendants, amulets, or lawhas. It translates to:
God, there is no god but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting. Neither slumber overtakes Him nor sleep. Unto Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth. Who is there who may intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows that which is before them and that which is behind them. And they encompass nothing of His Knowledge, save what He wills. His Pedestal embraces the heavens and the earth. Protecting them tires Him not, and He is the Exalted, the Magnificent.
Details of Imam AliCalligraphic Panel
۩ Country of Origin: Iran
۩ Time Period: 20th century
۩ Size: Approximately 34 x 46 cm (including frame)
۩ Frame: Wood frame with a gold finish
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