Presentation drawing of a restoration inscription of the rain spout (mizab) of the Ka‘bah on Collections Sphere from
The inscription, which is written out at full size, is the first of three lines inscribed on the Mizab al-Rahmah – the rain spout on the Ka‘bah – which was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan ‘Abdulmajid I in 1856 and installed in 1859.
The present inscription, with its masterly interweaving of the letter forms, testifies to the skill of the master calligrapher, ‘Abdallah Zuhdi, who was known as katib al-haramayn (‘the calligrapher of the two Holy Sanctuaries’). Sultan ‘Abdulmajid also commissioned ‘Abdallah Zuhdi in to re-design the inscriptions in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. He began his work there in 1856 and the task took him seven years to complete. Zuhdi spent the latter part of his life in Cairo, where he re-designed the inscriptions on the various embroidered textiles sent from Cairo to Mecca with the kiswah.