Alam (processional standard) for a Shi'i religious parade, made of gilded and openwork brass; with Arabic inscriptions.
- Made in: Iran
- (Asia,Middle East,Iran)
- Height: 127.5 centimetres
- Width: 26.7 centimetres
- Thickness: 4.5 centimetres
Inscription ScriptNasta'liq and Thuluth
Inscription Positionalong the shaft of the `alam from top to join with body
Inscription TransliterationAllah Jalla; Muhammad `Ali; Fatima; al-Hasan al-Husayn; `Ali Muhammad; Ja`far Musa; `Ali Muhammad; `Ali al-Hasan; `Ali Allah; Ya `Ali
Inscription TranslationGod is mighty;
Inscription CommentAfter 'God is mighty' in the roundel at the top of the `alam, thirteen of the fourteen Immaculate ones are listed in order. The 12th imam is not mentioned and the last roundel contains the names of `Ali and Allah.The largest roundel at the top of the pear-shaped end, is inscribed with the invocation 'Oh `Ali'.
The inscriptions are from top to bottom as follows:
Top roundel: Allah Jalla = “God is mighty”
Long cartouche: Muhammad `Ali = The Prophet Muhammad and Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (first Imam)
Roundel: Fatima = Bibi Fatima (daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, wife of Imam ‘Ali and mother of Imams al-Hasan and al-Husayn)
Long cartouche: al-Hasan al-Husayn = Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (second and third Imams)
Roundel: `Ali Muhammad = Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn Zain al-‘Abidin and Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Baqir (fourth and fifth Imams)
Long Cartouche: Ja`far Musa = Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq and Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kazim (or al-Kadhim) (sixth and seventh Imams)
Roundel: `Ali Muhammad = Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (or al-Rida) and Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Taqi al-Jawad (eighth and ninth Imams)
Long Cartouche: `Ali al-Hasan = Imam ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Naqi al-Hadi and Imam Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-‘Askari (tenth and eleventh Imams)
[NB: name of the twelfth Imam is missing: Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mahdi]
Roundel: `Ali Allah = Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (first Imam) and Allah
Large roundel above the pear-shaped element: Ya `Ali = “Oh ‘Ali” (first Imam)
Pear shaped element: Allah Muhammad Fatima `Ali al-Hasan al-Husayn = Allah and the names of Ahl al-Bayt (i.e. People of the Prophet’s House)
The fourteen 'immaculate ones' in Ithna 'Ashari or Twelver Shiism comprise the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatima and the 12 Shi'i Imams:
1. Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib
2. Imam al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali
3. Imam al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali
4. Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn Zain al-‘Abidin
5. Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Baqir
6. Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq
7. Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kazim (or al-Kadhim)
8. Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (or al-Rida)
9. Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Taqi al-Jawad
10. Imam ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Naqi al-Hadi
11. Imam Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-‘Askari
12. Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mahdi
On display: G34/dc37
2004 7 Jan-7 Apr, Kuala Lumpur, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 'Mightier than the Sword'
2003 22 Mar-25 May, University of Melbourne, Ian Potter Museum of Art, 'Mightier than the Sword'
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: RRM10460
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.