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Manuscript/Mixed Material Three bayts (verses) to a loved one

About this Item


  • Three bayts (verses) to a loved one


  • Mir 'Ali al-Katib

Created / Published

  • ca. 1500-1550


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Uzbekistan--Bukhoro
  • -  Afghanistan--Herat
  • -  Tajikistan
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Nasta'liq


  • -  Three bayts (verses) to a loved one, written in nasta'liq script by the calligrapher Mir 'Ali Heravi (d. 951/1544-5) during the Shaybanid period.
  • -  Bi-ka'ba rah cha nama'i ka ka'ba-yi khana-yi tu-st / Harim-i ka'ba-yi man khak-i astana-yi tu-st / Fusun-i chasm-i tu bigirift mulk-i dilha-ra / Miyan-i mardum-i 'alam kanun fisana-yi tu-st / Khayal-i la'l-i tu az dil burun chaguna baram / Ka bar khizana-yi dil daghha nishana za tu-st
  • -  By drawing on the imagery of Mecca, the Ka'ba, and its Sacred Enclosure (harim), the poet describes his affection of his beloved's eyes and lips as a pilgrimage into his heart.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 10.2 (w) 18.5 (h) cm
  • -  Other calligraphic fragments written by, or attributed to, Mir 'Ali are held in the collections of the Library of Congress. See, for example, 1-04-713.19.38, 1-87-154.158, 1-88-154.65, and 1-90-154.180.
  • -  The central text panel is topped by an illuminated rectangular panel and includes a decorative triangle in the upper left corner. The verses in the central panel are written in nasta'liq script on a white ground decorated with gold painted flowers. The verses read:
  • -  The verses are signed by the writer (al-katib) Mir 'Ali [Heravi] (d. 951/1544-5). A master calligrapher in the nasta'liq style, Mir 'Ali was active in the city of Herat (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).
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes three bayts (verses) of poetry in the main text panel and ten verses of poetry around this panel, creating a "textual" frame decorated with gold vine and leaf motifs. The entirety of the calligraphic piece is pasted to a paper decorated with blue geometric and vegetal motifs highlighted in gold.
  • -  Why set out to the Ka'ba when the Ka'ba is your home? / The Sacred Enclosure of my Ka'ba is the threshold to your soil. / The bewitchment of your eye captures the territory of hearts, / Now all the people of the world tell your story. / How can I bring out from (my) heart the imagination of your garnet (lips)? / Because in the treasury of the heart there are many marks of you.
  • -  Script: nasta'liq
  • -  1-87-154.159


  • 1 volume ; 21.9 (w) x 32.8 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714661

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:

Mir 'Ali Al-Katib. Three Bayts Verses to a Loved One. to 1550, ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Mir 'Ali Al-Katib. (ca. 1500) Three Bayts Verses to a Loved One. to 1550. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Mir 'Ali Al-Katib. Three Bayts Verses to a Loved One. to 1550, ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.