Waqf inscription panel from Diyar Bakr
Islamic Museum, al-Aqsa Mosque / al-Haram al-Sharif
Hegira 445 / AD 1054
Marble, with engraved inscription.
Length 58 cm, width 32 cm, depth 7 cm
Marwanids of Diyar Bakr
A marble panel that contains an engraved inscription written in simple kufic script. The panel was affixed to a wall in one of the two houses located at Bab al-Hitta, a gate located in the northern wall of the Haram al-Sharif. The inscription mentions the waqf that related to the houses that were donated for the benefit of pilgrims travelling from the Hajj in Mecca, who might pass through Jerusalem on their journey back to Diyar Bakr. The pilgrims would reside in one of the houses during their stop-off in Jerusalem. The houses were endowed by the ruler of Diyar Bakr, Abu al-Nasr Nasir al-Daula Ahmad bin Marwan al-Diyar Bakri. The inscription, starting with the Basmala, reads as follows:
“In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is what has been endowed and made into a religious bequest by Amir al-Sayyad al-Ajal […] al Daula and its support Dhu Saramir [?], the father of Nasr Ahmad Ibn Marwan. May God reward his good deeds and bless these two adjoining houses, their delimitations, and their rights for all who come from Diyar Bakr as is (mentioned) in the book and the endowment, and those who change it or replace it, may the curse of God be upon them. This is on the [date] Ramadan, in the year 445.”
This is a high relief inscription on a marble panel written in a simple kufic script. The text describes the waqf (endowment) for two buildings given for pilgrims from Diyar Bakr to lodge in Jerusalem after their return from the Hajj to Mecca. The two houses were endowed by the governor of Diyar Bakir, Abu al-Nasr Ahmad bin Marwan.
Abu al-Nasr Nasir al-Dawla Ahmad bin Marwan al-Diyar Bakri (r. AH 401–53 / AD 1011–61)
The piece is dated by the inscription.
The panel was transferred at an unknown date from its site at the Bab al-Hitta to the Islamic Museum.
Jerusalem was narrowed down as the place of production in view of the fact that the panel was found there, and that the two designated houses are located there. It is likely that the panel was made on site.
Burgoyne, M., and Abu al-Hajj, A., “Twenty-four Medieval Arabic Inscriptions from Jerusalem”, Levant, No. 11, 1979, p.119.
Mansur, Abd al-Razzaq, Dirasat al-Nuqush al-'Arabiya fi al-Muthaf al-Islami Bil Quds [Study of Arabic Inscriptions in the Islamic Museum in Jerusalem], Amman, 1995.
Khader Salameh "Waqf inscription panel from Diyar Bakr" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;pa;Mus01;50;en
Prepared by: Khader SalamehKhader Salameh
Khader Salameh has been the Director of the Islamic Museum and Al-Aqsa Library in Jerusalem for more than two decades. He was previously employed in the Hebrew University Library and worked as a librarian in Saudi Arabia and as a teacher in Libya. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Ottoman History. He received a Certificate of Librarianship in 1986 from the Hebrew University. He obtained his BA degree from Beirut University in 1980. He catalogued the Manuscripts Collections of the Haram al-Sharif, which was published in six parts in several countries. His publications include many articles on different subjects and a recent publication in English and Arabic on the Qur'an manuscripts in the Islamic Museum.
Copyedited by: Majd Musa
Translation by: Amal Sachedina (from the Arabic).
Translation copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez
Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.
True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.
MWNF Working Number: PA 50