Three distinct forms of kufic inscription can be seen here. The third band from the top contains kufic in a highly elongated style created by laying terra-cotta overlay on top of the underlying brickwork which has been finished to give a plain background, thus making it the most easily legible of the three. The inscription gives us the date of the minaret and is based on the 77th verse of the 22nd Sura of the Quran. It can be translated as follows:
Bow down, prostrate yourselves, and adore your Lord; and do good; that ye may prosper. Four hundred and ninety one (i.e. 1098).
The fifth band from the top contains traditional brickwork kufic with its strong emphasis on the horizontal strokes. The rigid structure imposed by the shape of the bricks makes it difficult to read, although the bricks themselves have been laid proud of the base of the minaret.
The lowest band contains inset kufic brickwork, and is barely visible in this illustration.
Last Updated: 08 April 2001