There is a fine thuluth inscription in raised terracotta set amongst the star-like pattern on the third band up from the base. Part of this is visible in the picture shown above. The inscription contains five lines of text of which the fourth and the start of the fifth line have been defaced. The defacing is interesting in itself since the defaced characters probably contained references to the first three Caliphs of Islam, i.e. Abu Bekr, Omar and Osman, in addition to the fourth Caliph, 'Ali, whose name remains. It seems clear therefore that the defacing of the inscription reflected a partaicularly Shi'ite view which was prevalent at the time. The date of the defacement cannot, of course, be determined; we can only surmise that it took place during a period when Isfahan was predominantly Shi'ite in outlook and the most probable period for this is the Safavid period, however it is also interesting to note the the Sunni inscriptions on the nearby, contemporary, Monar-e-Sareban have been left intact and that another monument in the neighbourhood, the Dar Al-Ziyafeh built during the 14th Century, some three hundred years after this one, is ornamented with particularly Shi'ite inscriptions. What has been left contains a Quranic prayer formula as follows:

which translated means:
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful! There is no God but Allah
He is One; there is no partner or equal to him. Muhammad is the messenger of God. May God's peace be upon him!
May peace be upon the people who came after the messenger of God. May God's peace be upon him!
<This line has been defaced>
<defaced> 'Ali bin Abi Taleb is pleasing to God; may God preserve his family


Last Updated: 14 April 2001
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