28 February 2008
Mecca Border Design
This is a photo of the border design for the Mecca print, transferred onto a new block and ready to be carved. The text along the top and sides is a calligraphic rendering in Kufi script (like the Mohammed square already printed) of a set prayer or invocation that appears at the beginning of each chapter of the Qur'an. Spelled variously as Basmalah or Bismillah, it is translated as bi'sm Allah ar-rahman ar-rahim, “in the name of Allah, most gracious, most compassionate.” "Bismillah" is spoken as a gesture of respect and acknowledgement before undertaking a number of activities, including prayer, eating, and as a general expression of sincerity.
Here is a close-up of the script with carving under way. I've flopped the photo so that it reads correctly, although it's reversed on the block: