This exquisite hilye sharif is a reproduction of an original piece composed by Hacı Nuri Korman from Ottoman Turkey. Hacı Nuri Korman was born in 1285 hijri (1868). He was the last living student of the great Ottoman calligrapher, composer, poet and statesman, Kazasker Mustafa Izzet Efendi.
The hilye is a calligraphic icon that describes the physical person and character of the Seal of Prophets ﷺ without crossing over into a visual portrait. Many Muslims throughout history have used this artifact as a support for their devotion and for its talismanic qualities of protection. According to a recorded hadith of the Prophet Muhammad he says:
For him who sees my hilya after my death it is as if he had seen me, and he who sees it, longing in love for me, for him God will make Hellfire forbidden, and he will not be resurrected naked on the Day of Judgement.
This main design of this particular hilye is set to a green background embellished with intricate floral designs. The central rectangular consists of vibrant colors of blues, reds, gold, greens, and pink, and continues the arabesque theme.
The number 4 is stressed in this hilye design by the delineation of four sections via golden horizontal lines. The symbolism of the number 4 points to many esoteric secrets including the 4 Rightly Guided Caliphs, the 4 seasons, the 4 levels of the heart, the 4 Archangels, the 4 rivers of Paradise, the 4 corners of the Holy Ka'aba, the four cardinal points, the 4 Arabic letters that compose the Name Allah, and the 4 Arabic letters that create the name Muhammad.
In the first section of the hilye is scribed the Basmallah; In the Name of God, the Infinitely Good, the Boundlessly Merciful.
The second section consists of 4 roundels with the names of the Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ companions Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. The central roundel contains the Prophetic ﷺ description as reported by Imam Ali:
‘He was neither excessively tall. Nor extremely short. But rather was of a medium stature among (his) people. His hair was neither extremely curly. Nor straight. But rather it was wavy and flowing. He was neither corpulent. Nor was his face completely circular. But it was slightly rounded. His complexion was fair with some redness. His eyes were very black, his eyelashes were long. His joints were large and his shoulders broad. He was smooth-skinned; a thin line of hair ran from his chest to his navel. His hands and feet were full-fleshed and sturdy. He walked with vigor, as though descending from a height. When he turned to look at someone or something, he would turn with his whole person.
The third section says: God suffices as a witness, Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
The fourth section continues the description of the Prophet ﷺ:
Between his shoulders was the Seal of Prophethood. And he is the Seal of the Prophets. His heart was the soundest and most generous of hearts. His speech is the most truthful of speech. He was the gentlest of people. And the kindest of them in companionship. Whoever saw him unexpectedly would be awe-stricken. Whoever came to know him would love him. Whoever described him would say, “I saw neither before him or after him anyone like him”.
Details of the Ottoman hilye-i şerif reproduction by Haci Nuri Korman
۩ Country of Origin: Ottoman Turkey
۩ Time Period: 1845
۩ Artist: Hacı Nuri Korman
۩ Size: Approximately 34 x 46 cm (including frame)
۩ Print: High-quality matte print and detail finishings
۩ Frame: Wood frame with a gold finish
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