An Arabic Inscription From Cyprus, 29 AH / 650 CE

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First Composed: 14th December 2005

Last Modified: 5th August 2007

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Figure: The content of the inscription.


Ramaḍan, 29 AH / May, 650 CE.

Size & Script

Not known.


The translation of the inscription is:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say: God the one, God the eternal, He did not beget and was not begotten. And there is none like unto Him [Complete Qur’an 112]. This is the grave of ‘Urwa Ibn Thābit. He died in the month of Ramaḍan 29 after hijra.


No photograph was provided for this inscription, although the content was given. Recently, this inscription was discussed at length by Amikam Elad who has shown using the historical sources that it is a genuine inscription. Note also the use of Sūrah al-Ikhlaṣ.


Famagusta(?), Cyprus.

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[1] C. Schefer, "Aboul Hassan Aly El Herewy: Indications Sur Les Lieux De Pelèrinage", Archives De L'Orient Latin, 1881, Volume 1, pp. 587-592. The content of the inscription is mentioned in p. 590.

[2] Sayyid Nasir al-Naqshbandī, "Mansha' al-Khatt al-‘Arabī wa-Tatawwuruhū li-Ghāyat al-Khulāfā' al-Rāshidīn", Sumer, 1947, Volume 3 (No. 1), pp. 129-142. Discussion of this inscription on p. 140.

[3] Ét. Combe, J. Sauvaget and G. Wiet, Répertoire Chronologique D'Épigraphie Arabe, 1931, Volume I, Imprimerie De L'Institut Français D'Archéologie Orientale: Le Caire, pp. 5-6, No. 5.

[4] A. Grohmann, Arabische Paläographie II: Das Schriftwesen. Die Lapidarschrift, 1971, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Philosophisch - Historische Klasse: Denkschriften 94/2. Hermann Böhlaus Nachf.: Wein, p. 71.

[5] A. Elad, "Community Of Believers Of ‘Holy Men’ And ‘Saints’ Or Community Of Muslims? The Rise And Development Of Early Muslim Historiography", Journal Of Semitic Studies, 2002, Volume XLVII, pp. 281-287.

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