Inscriptions Near Madinah Of The Early Years Of Hijra: Inscription B

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First Composed: 6th September 2000

Last Modified: 6th September 2000

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Inscription B

Date

c. 4 AH (or c. 625 CE)

Script

Kufic.

Contents

The right-hand portion written in magnificent Qur'anic type script. It is translated as:

This part has suffered considerable damage due to disintegration of the rock.

The left-hand portion is a big inscription with scores of lines. Probably part of right hand portion has crossed this inscription and consequently they can't be dated from the same time. This portion is translated as:

Some feet below this rocky couch there are several other inscription that read as follows:

Discussion

The inscriptions from Mount Salʿ, Madinah, bearing no date, attracted quite a lot of attention. The presence of the names of Abu Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿAli along with the name of the Prophet is quite interesting. Hamidullah is of the opinion that it may be the handwriting of ʿUmar himself as he was known for his calligraphic skills.[1]

George Miles asserts that these inscriptions are from 1st century of hijra but associating them to ʿUmar's own hand is a bit tenuous.[2]

However, Safadi dates this inscription to c. 4 AH (or c. 625 CE).[3]

The monumental script (i.e., kufic) in the above inscriptions is quite fascinating. Grohmann compares the script of the inscriptions with those in the early kufic Qur'anic manuscripts. He says that the resemblance is "very striking." [4]

Location

Mount Salʿ, Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

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References

[1] M. Hamidullah, "Some Arabic Inscriptions Of Medinah Of The Early Years Of Hijrah", Islamic Culture, 1939, Volume XIII, p. 438.

[2] G. C. Miles, "Early Islamic Inscriptions Near Ta'if In The Hijaz", Journal Of Near Eastern Studies, 1948, Volume VII, p. 240.

[3] Y. H. Safadi, Islamic Calligraphy, 1979, Shambhala Publications, Inc.: Boulder (Colorado), p. 15.

[4] A. Grohmann, "The Problem Of Dating Early Qur'ans", Der Islam, 1958, p. 221.

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