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About this Item


  • Quatrain by Rumi


  • Mir 'Ali

Created / Published

  • 1500-1550


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


  • -  Quatrain by Rumi written in black Nasta'liq script by the calligrapher Mir 'Ali Heravi (d. 951/1544-5) during the Shaybanid period.
  • -  (Oh) wine-bringer, because of (my) grief for you, (my) mind and spirit left / Give (me) wine so that (my) pride may disappear. / My patience and ability are spent in this way, / I too would vanish, if only I could.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 8.3 (w) x 4.7 (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, 1-87-154.159, and 1-90-154.180.
  • -  Saqi bi-ghamm-i tu 'aql u jan raft / May dah ka takalluf az mayan raft / Shud tab u tavanam andarin rah / Man ham baravam agar tavan raft
  • -  The poet describes the wine-bringer (saqi) as the object of his "intoxicated" love. His abilities disappear "in this way" (i.e., in loving him/her), and he wishes that he -- much like his abilities conquered by the effects of inebriation -- also would fade away.
  • -  The text is signed by the "poor" (faqir) Mir 'Ali, much as it is in a similar fragment in the Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. (Lowry and Beach 1988, 355, no. 437). Mir 'Ali Heravi (d. 951/1544-5) was a calligrapher in nasta'liq script 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 piece includes an iambic pentameter quatrain, or ruba'i, composed by the Persian poet Rumi (d. 672/1273). Written diagonally in black nasta'liq script on a white-and-blue marbled paper, the text is also decorated by four illuminated triangles (or thumb pieces) in the spaces left empty by the intersection of the diagonal lines and the rectangular frame. The text panel is framed by two borders in pink and beige painted with interlacing gold vines, and is pasted onto a larger piece of paper decorated with blue flower motifs. The verses read:
  • -  Script: nasta'liq
  • -  1-88-154.65


  • 1 volume ; 26.7 (w) x 17.2 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714681

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. Quatrain by Rumi. to 1550, 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Mir 'Ali. (1500) Quatrain by Rumi. to 1550. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Mir 'Ali. Quatrain by Rumi. to 1550, 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.