The masterful script of this art piece was penned by the renowned Ottoman calligrapher Hafiz Osman who is the originator of the classical template of the hilya. The wide band of green and gold floral decoration that surrounds the hilya was probably added about a century after Hafiz Osman wrote the text; this being an indication of the respect with which his work continued to be held with long after his death.
Born in Istanbul to a father who was a muezzin at the Khassèki mosque, Hafiz Osman became an accomplished calligrapher who taught his craft to Sultan Ahmed II, Sultan Mustafa II, and Sultan Ahmed III. Tradition has it that he was held in such high esteem by Sultan Mustafa II, that the Sultan used to hold his inkwell as he watched his teacher write.
He studied the naskh and thuluth script with Derviş Ali, and received an ijaza through Suyolcuzade Mustafa Eyyubi. Osman also admired the work of the 15th-century calligrapher, Seyh Hamdullah, and spent many hours copying his works assiduously in order to perfect his craft. Osman revived some of the six scripts that had fallen into disuse. These scripts underwent a process of purification and became known as "Hâfiz Osman's style".
Osman was not only a fine calligrapher but he was also a master of page layout and design as his development of the hilya attests to. He raised text design to new heights, often incorporating different styles of calligraphy on the same page.
Hafız Osman was a Sufi belonging to the Sunbuliyye order. He gave lessons to the poor on Sundays and lessons to the wealthy on Wednesdays. Throughout his lifetime, he trained a large number of calligraphers, of whom the finest was Yedikuleli Seyyid 'Abdullah Efendi.