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Manuscript/Mixed Material Sample of a hopeful letter

About this Item


  • Sample of a hopeful letter


  • Abdallah

Created / Published

  • 18th century


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iran
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Shikastah
  • -  Nasta'liq


  • -  Sample of a hopeful letter to a friend, written in a fluid Shikastah-Nasta'liq script in the 18th Cent. by the calligrapher, 'Abdallah.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 20.3 (w) x 21.7 (h) cm
  • -  Look at the bird of the heart, his wing and feathers burned / He has the hope (to return to) the nest, still still still...
  • -  Murgh-i dil bin ka sukht bal u parash / Darad umid-i ashiyana hanuz hanuz hanuz...
  • -  The calligrapher's signature appears vertically at the top of the text panel and reads: "mashaqahu al-'abd al-aqall... 'Abdallah al-musammah bi-khatim al-anbiya'" (written by the modest servant 'Abdallah known as the "Seal of the Prophets"). The calligrapher, whose name is shared with that of the Prophet Muhammad, has also made a note that he wrote his composition in the month of Muharram. Although he does not specify the year, the script is typical of 18th-century Persian calligraphic works.
  • -  The letter begins with two verses of poetry about hope after disappointment. They read:
  • -  The sample letter then proceeds with expressions that one must use when missing a friend and wishing to see him again.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment comprises a sample of how to write a letter to a friend. Written in a fluid shikastah-nasta'liq in black ink, the text is outlined in cloud bands and placed on a background painted in gold. Several borders in orange, blue and gold frame the text panel, which is pasted to a larger sheet of pink paper backed with cardboard for support.
  • -  Script: shikastah-nasta'liq
  • -  1-85-154.70


  • 1 volume ; 19.3 (w) x 29.7 (h) cm


  • Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714612

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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:

Abdallah. Sample of a Hopeful Letter. 18th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Abdallah. Sample of a Hopeful Letter. 18th Century. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Abdallah. Sample of a Hopeful Letter. 18th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.