The first object created by God, according to early Muslim
commentators, was the pen, which he used to chronicle events to
come. The word, in its various manifestations, is central to the
Islamic faith. Surely a reflection of this centrality, profuse
inscriptions mark countless Islamic objects, from the humblest oil
lamps and unglazed ceramics to the finest and most expensive rock
crystals and jades. The inscriptions serve numerous functions:
decorating, proclaiming ownership and patronage, proffering good
wishes and proverbs, and spreading religious texts throughout the
world. Aside from their aesthetic worth, these inscriptions provide
a fascinating window onto a distant culture.
In Islamic Inscriptions, Sheila S. Blair a wealth of stunning
images and incisive commentary, while also providing the newcomer
to Islamic civilization with a key to unlocking the mysteries of
Islamic epigraphy. In addition to chapters devoted to the main
types of inscription, detailing the development of their content
and style, inscriptive techniques, and the motivations behind them,
the book provides practical knowledge on finding, identifying,
interpreting, researching, and recording inscriptions. The variety
and clarity of information presented makes Islamic Inscriptions an
ideal reference for historians, curators, archaeologists, and
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