The Inscription On The Turban Of Samuel Bin Musa, 88 AH / 707 CE

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First Composed: 27th November 2005

Last Modified: 27th November 2005

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure: (a) The textile inscription and (c) its content.


88 AH / 707 CE.




The translation of the inscription is [after the suggestion from Gruendler]:

  1. This turban was made for Samuel b. Musa in the month of Rajab, in the months of al-ʿajam, in the year 88.


This textile is made up of coarse linen. The inscription and the ornament are woven by tapestry method, are in coloured wool. The textile has two bands. The upper band contains the Arabic inscription of 60 cm in length and has one streak at its beginning and another at its end. The lower band contains medaillions enclosing birds and separated by geometrical ornaments. The name Samuel bin Musa suggests a Jewish or a Christian person.

This is the second earliest dated Islamic textile after the ṭirāz inscription from the time of Marwan I, 64-65 AH.


Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, Egypt.

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[1] M. A. A. Marzouk, "The Turban Of Samuel Ibn Musa: The Earliest Dated Islamic Textile", Bulletin Of The Faculty Of Arts (University Of Cairo), 1954, Volume XVI, Part II, pp. 143-151 and Plate facing p. 150.

[2] B. Gruendler, The Development Of The Arabic Scripts: From The Nabatean Era To The First Islamic Century According To The Dated Texts, 1993, Harvard Semitic Series No. 43, Scholars Press: Atlanta (GA), p. 20.

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