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Manuscript/Mixed Material Prayer (du'a) for a king

About this Item


  • Prayer (du'a) for a king


  • Kamal al-Din (Ikhtiyar al-Munshi)

Created / Published

  • ca. 1500-1550


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iran
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Tarassul


  • -  A prayer in Arabic for a King (and his many honorific epithets), written in "hanging" Ta'liq script called Tarassul in Safavid Iran by the calligrapher Kamal al-Din Husayn (d. 974/1566-7).
  • -  Both panels also are executed in a version of the "hanging" ta'liq script called tarassul, in which letters such as the alif (a) and the lam (l) are connected by large looping ligatures. The letters themselves are not filled in with ink: rather, they are outlined in gold on the beige paper. For this reason, the calligrapher Kamal al-Din has noted in the lower right corner of the upper calligraphic panel that he has outlined (hararahu), rather than written (e.g., katabahu, raqamahu) the composition. Kamal al-Din's nickname (laqab), Ikhtiyar al-Munshi ("the Elderly Secretary"), also appears in gold outlined script in the lower right corners of both calligraphic panels, in which he states that he also wrote (mashaqahu) the composition. Therefore, Kamal al-Din was responsible both for the writing and the outlining of the composition.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 12.5 (w) x 22.1 (h) cm
  • -  He was a contemporary of Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri, one of whose works is held in the collections of the Library of Congresss (1-87-154.155).
  • -  Kamal al-Din Husayn (d. 974/1566-7) was a calligrapher during the reign of the Safavid ruler, Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-76). The monarch supported his work in Tabriz and offered him a number of rewards, which Kamal al-Din refused. He also made him his personal secretary and bestowed upon him the honorific epithet "the Elderly, Royal Secretary" (Ikhtiyar al-Munshi al-Sultani). Even though he was blind in one eye, he was a master of all calligraphic scripts, especially nasta'liq (Huart 1972, 232). Judging from this specimen -- as well as others in the Library of Congress (1-04-713.19.36) and the Sackler Gallery of Art (29.63 and 29.64) -- he also was a master of outlined tarassul.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes a prayer in Arabic for a King (and his many honorific epithets). The top panel reproduces exactly the lower panel, suggesting that a pounce or stencil was used for these two calligraphic replicas. Both panels are individually cut out, provided with a separating horizontal line and an illuminated border, and are pasted to a green sheet of paper decorated with flecks of gold and backed by cardboard.
  • -  Script: tarassul
  • -  1-87-154.157


  • 1 volume ; 21.5 (w) x 33.5 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714659

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:

Kamal Al-Din. Prayer Du'a for a King. to 1550, ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Kamal Al-Din. (ca. 1500) Prayer Du'a for a King. to 1550. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Kamal Al-Din. Prayer Du'a for a King. to 1550, ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.