Manuscript/Mixed Material Quatrain on divine mercy
About this Item
- Quatrain on divine mercy
- Mir 'Ali Heravi (attr.)
Created / Published
- 16th century
- - Calligraphy, Arabic
- - Calligraphy, Persian
- - Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
- - Afghanistan
- - Iran
- - Uzbekistan
- - Tajikistan
- - Arabic script calligraphy
- - Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
- - Islamic calligraphy
- - Islamic manuscripts
- - Nasta'liq
- - Persian Quatrain on divine mercy, Mir 'Ali Heravi (d. 951/1544-5), from Herat (in modern-day Afghanistan) a master calligrapher and the creator of nasta'liq script, he was taken to Bukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan) in 935/1528-9 by the Shaybanid ruler 'Ubaydallah Khan Uzbek (Qadi Ahmad 1959: 126-131).
- - Dimensions of Written Surface: 9.4 (w) x 17.7 (h) cm
- - On the back of this fragment appears the inscribed attribution "Mawlana Sultan Mir 'Ali," intended to identify the calligrapher whose name was either lost or erased on the fragment's recto. If this attribution is accepted, then one may conjecture that this work was executed by the great Persian calligrapher Mir 'Ali Heravi (d. 951/1544-5), who was active in the city of Herat (in modern-day Afghanistan) during the 16th century until he was taken to Bukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan) in 935/1528-9 by the Shaybanid ruler 'Ubaydallah Khan Uzbek (Qadi Ahmad 1959: 126-131). He not only was a master calligrapher and the creator of nasta'liq script, but also was a poet in his own right, having composed a number of sample verses (qit'as) in honor of his patrons. This particular example may well have been written by Mir 'Ali for one of his benefactors, as he may have seen it fit to draw a poetic parallel between God's omnipotence and the earthly ruler's authority.
- - Other calligraphic fragments written by, or attributed to, Mir 'Ali are held in the collections of the Library of Congress. For the purposes of comparison, see 1-87-154.158, 1-87-154.159, 1-88-154.65, and 1-90-154.180.
- - The poem praises God's mercy as a torrential rain, allowing humans to find annihilation (fana') in the Divine. This spiritual blossoming resembles the growth of plants on the surface of a hard stone.
- - This calligraphic fragment includes an iambic pentameter quatrain, or ruba'i, a few words of which are lost due to water damage. After an invocation to God as the "King of Kings" ("Ya Malak al-Muluk"), the poem reads:
- - Tu ankasi ka za baran fath-i bab guft / Mazaj-i sang shavad musta'id-i nashv u nama / [...] bastat abr zalabar shavad / [...] shudan muj-i fana
- - You are that person who said about rain that / Even the stone is capable of beginning to flourish. / [...] when the cloud opens, it is full of dew / [...] to become the wave of annihilation.
- - Script: nasta'liq
- - 1-04-713.19.38
- 1 volume ; 24.2 (w) x 35.5 (h) cm
- Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Library of Congress Control Number
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Rights & Access
The contents of the Library of Congress Selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions and are free to use and reuse.
Credit Line: Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division, Near East Section Persian Manuscript Collection
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Mir 'Ali Heravi. Quatrain on Divine Mercy. 16th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/2019714548/.
APA citation style:
Mir 'Ali Heravi. Quatrain on Divine Mercy. 16th Century. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2019714548/.
MLA citation style:
Mir 'Ali Heravi. Quatrain on Divine Mercy. 16th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2019714548/>.