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Steel armor, such as this steel cuirass, was frequently inscribed with pious inscriptions and verses from the Qur'an. The inscriptions on this steel cuirass have a talismanic function; they are drawn from sura 98 (Bayyinah, of Clear Proof) and describe God as the God of Light. They allude to the rewards He will bestow upon believers and the punishment He will mete out to unbelievers and evildoers. The chahar-a’ina (four-mirror) refers to the four originally undecorated steel plates, which were hinged together to produce a cuirass of this type. Here, the light imagery is accentuated by the interplay of the steel plates and the Qur’anic verses.

Cuirass, Steel, inlaid with gold

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