rectangular board with protruding carved arrow at top; text from Qur'an written in ink on either side of board, surrounded by delicate border; one side has decorations of square spirals across C; the other side has geometric zigzag pattern

Qur'anic writing board, mid 20th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Wood, inkexpand_more

Funds from an anonymous endowmentexpand_more  2016.71.1

This finely carved and delicately calligraphed board from Nigeria mentions the name of Algerian-born Ahmad al-Tijani (1737-1815), who founded the Tijaniyya Sufi brotherhood in the 1780s. Upon entering the brotherhood, an initiate receives a sequence of holy phrases that he must memorize and repeat twice a day. It would seem that this board contains such a religious, pedagogical text. The Tijaniyya is now widespread in West Africa and was also introduced to the State of Kerala in southwest India.

SIDE A:
I am asking You, God, to lead me to the way of our sheikh, Imam [Ahmad Tijani].
Oh God, Your blessing and Your mercy be upon Muhammad, and on Ibrahim, and the sons of Ibrahim.
Oh God, You are glorious and praiseworthy.
Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds.
There is no power but from God the Almighty.

SIDE B:
In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy!
Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgment. It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path, the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray. Amen.
Praise be to God, Who guided me only through Ahmad Tijani.
Then, may God’s prayers and peace be upon the Prophet, the guidance of time.
Then God is pleased with Ali al-Tijani.

Details
Title
Qur'anic writing board
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2016.71.1
Curator Approved

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rectangular board with protruding carved arrow at top; text from Qur'an written in ink on either side of board, surrounded by delicate border; one side has decorations of square spirals across C; the other side has geometric zigzag pattern