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Islam in Oman .. Silver necklaces adorned with words of faith


Words can be in your thoughts but when one writes them down, it becomes an intention, and when you wear them, the words are taken to another level of expression.

Jewellery traditionally has been more than just something to wear to enhance one’s beauty. Jewellery was a symbol of wealth globally and even financial security when in need. They are often passed on from one generation to the other with great pride.

Jewellery is also a representation of a culture and many times has also been used in religious expression. On top of these, however, some cultures also use jewellery as protection from the unknown and the unseen.

Historically, an inscription has been one way of understanding the history and culture of a nation. Inscriptions have been found on rocks, tablets and even on walls as well as in many cases, on metals as we move on with the time frame of world history.

Here in Oman, silver has been shaped to become pieces of jewellery and not just used for adorning walls, they are also used to adorn the bodies o the faithful.

At the National Museum of Oman, there is a collection of jewellery that focuses solely on inscription. To be specific, this particular writing is The Throne Verse (Ayat al – Kursi) — the most widely used inscription in Omani jewellery.

The museum explains, “Comprising the 255th verse of the second chapter of the Holy Quran, it provides an emphatic description of God’s power over the universe. Usually referred to as, ‘The Throne Verse,’ in translation it reads:

Allah: There is no God but Him, the Living, the Eternal One, Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. His is what the heavens and the earth contain. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is beyond and behind men. They can grasp only that part of His knowledge, which He wills. His throne is as vast as the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of both does not weary Him. He is the exalted, the Immense One.

The Cow (Surat al – Baqarah) 2:255)

The silver necklaces inscribed with Ayat al – Kursi on display at the National Museum of Oman is from the northern part of Oman (13 – 14th c AH/19th – 20th c CE) – and was created during the al Busaidi Dynasty. As the verse was long, the pendant also took a bigger shape to accommodate the words. With this inscription, the worth of the silver jewellery became much more than the weight of the silver for the wearer of the necklace. It was one of the best gifts to give and receive.

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