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Naqad Studies Dec 2
The Karbalah Inscription (DKI 163) is dated to 64 AH / 683 CE, and is indicative of a transition period in proto-Islamic expression. In it, we see the solidification of older prayer formulas, while others were still very much in development.
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Naqad Studies Dec 2
Replying to @NaqadStudies
The inscription begins with the Basmala, in the form we know it today. In the middle of line five, we see a long rectangle, indicating the end of a set prayer (lines 1-5), probably copied from a known source. Lines 2-5 lack a verb, indicating the lines are describing Allāh.
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Naqad Studies
After the prayer ends in line five, we read the inscription's appeal to Allāh as "Lord of Gabriel, Michael and I/Asrāfīl." Before various traditions coalesced around Muhammad as the core prophetic figurehead, 7th c formulae invoked Allāh as Lord of Mūsa, ‘Isà, & other prophets.
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Naqad Studies Dec 2
Replying to @NaqadStudies
DKI 163 represents a late point in religious transition. It would only be a few years before inscriptions would produce the name Muḥammad or Praised One in formulae. Famously, the Dome of the Rock inscription (70 AH) is a very early example of a Muḥammad-centered formula.
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Naqad Studies Dec 2
Replying to @NaqadStudies
We also read the then-common appeal in inscriptions for an individual to be forgiven of past and future sins, a formula which reminds us passages such as: "That Allah may forgive thee [Muhammad] of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come." Q 48:2
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Naqad Studies Dec 2
Replying to @NaqadStudies
Lastly, we see the 64 AH date reckoning, which is well known to have been in common use in the 1st/7th c. We have inscriptions and papyri that supply AH dates to within a few years of 622 CE, so this tradition was well established by the time of the inscriber of DKI 163.
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Naqad Studies Dec 2
Replying to @NaqadStudies
For further reading: Crossroads to Islam: The Origins of the Arab Religion and the Arab State By Yehuda D. Nevo, Judith Koren
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orbi Dec 2
This inscription is from the Iraqi area. Interesting that it's not Lord of Musa or Isa (common in Negev?) but Lord of "Gabriel, Michael and I/Asrāfīl". Coincidence?
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Marijn "i before j" van Putten Dec 3
Still, there does seem to be a real shift where Muhammad starts to take a more prominent role in formulae. I doubt that is completely the role of our sampling methods, but we could definitely use more discoveries of inscriptions to be sure!
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Marijn "i before j" van Putten Dec 3
Replying to @NaqadStudies
The spelling of Michael is interesting. The Quran spells it ميكيل which evidently reads as mīkā'il or mīkā'īl, in line with the Hebrew pronunciation. But in this inscription it is spelled ميكل in line with the reading of HafS mīkāl, which is clearly a misreading of the rasm.
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Marijn "i before j" van Putten Dec 3
Replying to @NaqadStudies
But this inscription clearly proves this misreading predates him, and was already in use in the first Islamic century. That's actually pretty surprising to me.
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