Arabic Graffito From Wādī Khushayba, S. W. Arabia (Near Najrān), 29 AH / 650 CE

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First Composed: 27th October 2007

Last Modified: 2nd May 2014

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:





Figure: (a) Photo of the inscription. (b) Comparing the size of the inscription with a scale. (c) Outline of the inscription. (d) The inscription as read in modern Arabic.


29 AH / 650 CE.

Dated to 27 AH by Kawatoko et al. This inscription has been re-dated by Frédéric Imbert who noted the first letter in the last word of line 2 was higher than the three teeth after it suggesting tā’ and sīn for tisʿ (private communication).

Register Number

KhShB-Ar 3.




The translation of the inscription is:

  1. May God have mercy on Yazīd ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Salūlī and
  2. he wrote [this] in Jumādā of the year nine
  3. and twenty (i.e., 29 AH).


Most likely the author of this text has also written a very similar text, undated, in close proximity: (KhShB-Ar 1: "Allah, forgive Yazīd ibn ‘Abdallāh al-Salūlī"). Mercy and forgiveness are complementary attributes often found paired together in numerous verses throughout the Qur'an, perhaps indicating why only one of these inscriptions was dated. Assuming their common authorship and close proximity, it is reasonable to assume that this inscription was also written c. 29 AH.


Wādī Khushayba (Near Najrān), Saudi Arabia.

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[1] M. Kawatoko, R. Tokunaga, M. Iizuka, Ancient And Islamic Rock Inscriptions Of South West Saudi Arabia I: Wādī Khushayba, 2005, The Middle Eastern Cultural Centre In Japan And Research Institute For Languages And Cultures Of Asia And Africa, Tokyo University Of Foreign Studies: Tokyo (Japan), pp. 9-10 and Colour Plate 2.

[2] M. Kawatoko, "Archaeological Survey Of Najran And Madinah 2002", Atlal: Journal Of Saudi Arabian Archaeology, 2005, Volume 18, pp. 51-52, Plate 8.12(A).

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