al-A’laq al-nafisa

Name of text: al-A’laq al-nafisa
Author of text: Ibn Rusta
Date of text: site visited in 903
Date of person in text: 9th-10th century
Name of structure in text: Medina Mosque
Type of structure in text: mosque
Date of structure in text 707
Century of structure 1: 8 AD
Century of structure 2:
Country in text: Saudi Arabia
Region in text:
City in text: Medina
Specific place of mosaic in text: Interior wall between two gates
Description of mosaic in text:

On the interior surface of the wall between the gate of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, and Uthman’s Gate is written in mosaic between it and the marble [cladding]: ‘This was ordered by the servant of God Harun, Commander of the Faithful, may God prolong his life, under the direction of Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, may God guide him, and is the work of the Jerusalemites’.

Mosaic date in text: 8 AD
Tesserae silver mentioned in text? No
Tesserae gold mentioned in text? No
Colour descriptions in text:

Ibn Rusta, al-A’laq al-nafisa, ed. by M. J. De Goeje, Bibliotheca geagraphorum Arabicorum 7 (Leiden: Brill, 1982), pp. 75-5, quoted in Alain George, ‘Calligraphy, Colour and Light in the Blue Qur’an’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies, 11.1 (2009), see pp. 100-101


Work commissioned by Jarun al-Rashid. Text tells us that mosaicists came from Jerusalem.

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