Tomb Stele Fragment with Kufic Inscription

9th century
Made in Antioch
11 1/2 x 16 x 2 3/4 in. (29.2 x 40.6 x 7 cm)
Credit Line:
Byzantine Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. (BZ.1938.89)
Not on view
This funerary stele is characteristic of Islamic tomb monuments on which inscriptions are used to decorate and to enlighten. Carved in Kufic script, the Qur’anic quotation "He is the Liv[ing]" outside the meander pattern is from the "Sura of the Throne," which is often used for funerary inscriptions. The longer text identifies the deceased: "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. This is the grave of Sulayman ibn Muhammad."
Inscription: In Arabic, in Kufic script: [In the name of God, the Com-?] / passionate, the Merciful. / This is the grave of / Sulayman ibn Muhammad / [traces of letters, perhaps starting with al-?]; along the right side, to the right of vertical band, He is the Liv[ing]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.