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Framed Calligraphic Panel | Basmallah and Surah al Ikhlas by Ahmed Karahisari


Description of Basmala composed by Ahmed Karahisari

The famous black and gold inked calligraphic composition, scripted by the great master Ahmed Karahisari, is a frontispiece of a manuscript penned for the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificient in 1550.

Seated at the top, and repeated four times, is the Hamdalah (الحمد لله) which translates to “Praise be to God”. It is written in Bana'i style kufi script.

Central to the composition is Basmalah (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) which translates to “In the Name of God, the Infinitely Good, the Boundlessly Merciful”.  It is calligraphed in the muselsel (مسلسل) script in which the letters are joined as though the pen had never been lifted from the page.

The lower section of the composition layout contains chapter 112 from the Holy Quran entitled Surat al-Ikhlas that too is calligraphed in the Bana'i style kufi script. It reads:

۝ Say: He is Allah, One ۝ Allah As-Samad ۝ He begets not, nor was He begotten ۝ And there is none comparable to Him

Ahmed Karahisari was a pupil of Shaykh Hamdullah and he studied with Asadullah al-Kirmani. He became the most famous calligrapher during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Suleyman (r. 1520–66). He was given the title Shams al-Din (Sun of Religion), while in his personal life, he lived as a dervish. Karahisari took the six scripts popularized by the Abbasid calligrapher Yaqut al-Musta'simi as models and perfected the thuluth and tawqi scripts. Karahisari is also known for his use of the musalsal script. He further designed architectural inscriptions, such as the circular panels around the mihrab and the frieze around the dome of the Süleymaniye Mosque. His most famous was his adopted son, Hasan Çelebi (d. 1594), who finished transcribing a monumental manuscript of the Koran begun by his master. 


Details of Basmala composed by Ahmed Karaisarai 

۩ Country of Origin: Ottoman Turkey
۩ Time Period: 1550
۩ Artist: Ahmed Karahisari
۩ 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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