maroon panel with gold brocade calligraphy in a medallion shape at top; linear text below; silver metallic line separating calligraphy medallion and text

Panel with calligraphy, second half of 20th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Polyester, metallic threadexpand_more

Gift of Nobuko Kajitaniexpand_more  2005.97.46

In Islamic Africa, calligraphy is not only found on writing boards and paper, but also on blades, ceramics, and textiles. Woven into this cloth are two verses from chapters 21 and 96 from the Qur’an. On the right is “Taught man what he did not know,” which refers to God’s gift of knowledge to humans. The left one, in which God addresses the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), reads: “We did not send you except as a mercy for humankind.” Such striking textiles would be hung in private homes, mosques, or Qur’anic schools.

Interpretation of text:
Taught man what he did not know.
We did not send you but as a mercy for humankind.

Details
Title
Panel with calligraphy
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2005.97.46
Curator Approved

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maroon panel with gold brocade calligraphy in a medallion shape at top; linear text below; silver metallic line separating calligraphy medallion and text