WE are occasionally indebted to an Oriental scholar for a translation of an inscription on a rug ; often these inscriptions show the religious belief of the maker.
One fine rug in a museum in Austria has the following inscription : “Allah! No God exists besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. Nothing causes Him to slumber or to sleep. To Him belongs everything in heaven and on earth. Who can intercede with Him without His permission? He knows what is before and what is behind, and only so much of His wisdom can be grasped as He permits. His throne fills heaven and earth, and the support of both to Him is easy. He is the High One, the Exalted ! ”
A rug of Persian weave owned by Baron Nathaniel Rothschild has, worked in the oval cartouches, an inscription translated by Professor F. Bayer as follows :
1. ” Honored mayst thou be in the world, Among the clever and wise.
2. May no sorrow be allotted thee by an unfavoring Heaven, And may no care torment thy heart.
3. May earth be all to thee that thou wouldst have it, and destiny prOVe thy friend. May high Heaven be thy protector.
4. May thy rising star enlighten the world, And the falling stars of thine enemies be extinguished.
5. May every act of thine prosper, And may every year and every day be to thee Spring-time.”
In the Industrial Museum at Berlin there is a rug with this inscription : “There is no Deity but God, and Mahomet is His Prophet.”
On a Persian silk rug is a line from the Koran : ” All perisheth but His face.”
Another rug has : “God is greatest ! He is great ! ” Often a marking in a corner of a rug is simply the name of the maker, and the date.
The Holy Carpet of the Mosque at Ardebil, now in the South Kensington Museum, at London, has the following interesting inscription woven in black characters in the light cream cartouche at the top of the carpet. Translated it reads:
” I have no refuge in the world other than thy threshold. My head has no protection other than this porchway. The work of the slave of this Holy Place,
Maksoud of Kashan In the year 946.”
(The year 946 of the Hegira corresponds to A. D. 1568.)
( Originally Published Late 1900’s )