Arabic Graffito From Muthallath (Near Yanbu’), 23 AH / 643-4 CE

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First Composed: 27th November 2007

Last Modified: 16th July 2022

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure: (a) Photo of the inscription. (b) Outline of the inscription.


23 AH / 643-4 CE.

Register Number





The translation of the inscription is:

  1. Salmah wrote
  2. in three and twenty (i.e., 23)


This inscription written in an old ḥijāzī script is interesting as it leaves out tantalizing detail of what it indicates. Kawatoko apparently considers the number "23" to mean 23 AH.[1] Hoyland, on the other hand, mentions the inscription without commenting on the number "23" or its date.[2] Imbert, like Kawatoko, considers the number "23" to mean 23 AH.[3]


Muthallath, near Yanbu’, Saudi Arabia.

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[1] M. Kawatoko, "Archaeological Survey Of Najran And Madinah 2002", Atlal: Journal Of Saudi Arabian Archaeology, 2005, Volume 18, p. 51 and p. 52, Plate 8.13(A).

[2] R. Hoyland, "New Documentary Texts And The Early Islamic State", Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental And African Studies, 2006, Volume 69, No. 3, p. 411, footnote 76.

[3] F. Imbert, "L’Islam Des Pierres : L’Expression De La Foi Dans Les Graffiti Arabes Des Premiers Siècles", Revue Des Mondes Musulmans Et De La Méditerranée, 2011, Volume 129, pp. 55-77.

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