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A tall straight sided, rounded top cream coloured hat with large black embroidered calligraphy and cartouches all the way around.
AKM678, Sufi Hat

© The Aga Khan Museum

A tall straight sided, rounded top cream coloured hat with large black embroidered calligraphy and cartouches all the way around.
AKM678, Sufi Hat, Side

© The Aga Khan Museum

A tall straight sided, rounded top cream coloured hat with large black embroidered calligraphy and cartouches all the way around.
AKM678, Sufi Hat, Side

© The Aga Khan Museum

Inside view of a tall straight sided, rounded top cream coloured hat with large black embroidered calligraphy and cartouches all the way around. View of white fabric that covers the inside walls of the hat, but not the inside of the dome.
AKM678, Sufi Hat, Interior

© The Aga Khan Museum

Click on the image to zoom

Sufi Hat
  • Accession Number:AKM678
  • Place:Iran
  • Dimensions:26 cm
  • Date:early 20th century
  • Materials and Technique:felt; embroidered with black silk
  • This white felt hat [1] once formed part of a dervish’s outfit. It is embroidered with a well-known prayer to ‘Ali (“Nadi ‘Ali”), the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and the figurehead of Shia Islam.

Further Reading

 

The embroidered text is contained within tall and elongated, gracefully crenellated units that interlock. Hats of this shape are known to have been worn since the Safavid period, but this particular style seems to have emerged much later in the nineteenth century. A similar cap, attributed to the Khaksari Sufi Order and dated to the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, can be found among the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Reg. No. 2004.100.5).

 

Inscription (Arabic): Nadi ‘aliyyan muzhir al-aja’ib. Tajidahu ‘awnan laka fi al-nawa’ib. Kullu hamm wa ghamm sayanjali bi ‘azamatika ya Allah, binabuwwatika ya Muhammad, bi-wilayatika, ya ‘Ali, ya ‘Ali, ya ‘Ali, ya ‘Ali, ya ‘Ali, ya ‘Ali (“Call upon ‘Ali, the revealer of miracles! You will surely find him a helper to you in crisis. Every care and sorrow will pass through your magnificence, oh God, your prophethood, oh Muhammad, your companionship, oh ‘Ali, oh ‘Ali, oh ‘Ali, oh ‘Ali, oh ‘Ali, oh ‘Ali.”)

 

— Ulrike Al-Khamis


Note
[1] Spirit & Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection (Geneva: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2007), 67, Cat. No. 41.


References
Spirit & Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection. Geneva: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2007. ISBN: 9782940212022

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.

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