Invocation Of ʿUmar B. Al-Khaṭṭāb, Before 23 AH / 644 CE
© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.
First Composed: 30th December 2014
Last Modified: 2nd January 2015
Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
Figure (a) facsimile of the original inscription and (b) its contents.
Before 23 AH / 644 CE.
The translation of the inscription is:
- ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb
- puts his trust in God.
In November 2012, during the Franco-Saudi epigraphic surveys around Najran, Saudi Arabia, a truly remarkable discovery was made. Amongst the fifty or so graffiti that were found, one was dated 59 AH / 678-679 CE and two others contained the name ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb, close companion of Prophet Muḥammad and second successor of the early Muslim state, ruling around 10 years from 634-644 CE. One of them contained his signature and the other one is mentioned above.
Notice the absence of the title amīr al-muʾminīn, other officiate religious terminology, and any mention of his caliph-related functions. Imbert suggests that ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb may have inscribed it before he was caliph or even before he was a Muslim.
Al-Murakkab, near Najran (Saudi Arabia).
 F. Imbert, "Graffiti Arabes De Cnide Et De Kos: Premières Traces Épigraphiques De La Conquête Musulmane En Mer Égée", Travaux Et Mémoires, 2013, Volume 17, pp. 757-758. Imbert gives the inscription here as ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb yaṭiq bi-llāh. This appears to be a typo; according to the facsimile made by Imbert and reproduced above, the last two words are the wrong way around.
 F. Imbert, "Califes, Princes et Poètes Dans Les Graffiti du Début de l’Islam", Romano-Arabica, 2015, Volume 15, p. 64 and p. 75 (Fig. 2).
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