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