Immediately on the left as you enter the SW Eivan there is a small inscription placed at the foot of the main inscription which follows the arch of the eivan. The inscription is curious since it appears to be a direct quotation from Hafez, the greatest poet of Iran, who had scant respect for the prescripts of Islam. The upper two sections of the inscription contain the couplet from Hafez while the lower part of the inscription contains the name of the builder who presumably designed this section of the mosque. The inscription reads as follows:
Poem by Hafez
It can be literally translated as follows:
Those who would use alchemy to make gold from dust,
Will they look at us from the corner of their eyes?
From the humble work of Iusef, son of Taj Al Din, builder of Isfahan
The poem seems to suggest that the embellishment of the dust, of which the bricks are made, is turned to gold by the embellishment of the tiles and the calligraphy. This is further alluded to in a quotation from the Quran, which is possibly by Iusef's father, and which is placed immediately below it.

Click here to see the second inscription:
Signature of Taj Al-Din
This is a reference to Chapter 7 ('The Elevated Places'), v.31 of the Quran which reads "O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparell at every time and place of prayer", and is probably intended as a justification for the embellishment of the mosque. The small letters at the bottom right hand corner of the inscription, shown smaller in the image above, imply that this was the work of 'Taj Al-Din' who describes himself as an 'Isfahani Teacher'. It may well be that he was the father referred to in the earlier inscription.


Last Updated: 9 March 2003