A Signature Believed To Be Of ʿUmar B. Al-Khaṭṭāb, Before 23 AH / 644 CE

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First Composed: 31st January 2014

Last Modified: 2nd May 2014

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure (a) original inscription and (b) its contents.


Before 23 AH / 644 CE.


Not known.


Kufic script.


The translation of the inscription is:

  1. ʿUmar bin Al-Khaṭṭāb


In November 2012, during the Franco-Saudi epigraphic surveys around Najran, Saudi Arabia, a truly remarkable discovery was made.[1] 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. Only this tantalizing inscription has been published. Other inscriptions from this epigraphic survey will be published in future.

Regarding the signature inscription Imbert comments, "More than the invocation as such [ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb yaṭiq bi-llāh], the signature remains quite intriguing. Generally, signatures of this type, when they are accompanied by no eulogy, title or invocation, tend to be considered an autograph affixed by their author."[2]


Al-Murakkab, near Najran (Saudi Arabia).

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[1] 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.

[2] ibid., p. 757.

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