The Hilye is a word portrait of our beloved Prophet (SAW).
Literally meaning “ornament”, the Hilye denotes the characteristics of the Prophet (SAW) which is found in the Shamaa-il of Tirmidhi, the most famous hadith being narrated by Hadhrat Ali (ra).
Believed to possess a ‘talismanic’ effect, the idea of having a Hilye in ones household has been a very strong tradition since the time of the Ottomans.
Today it is still seen as one of the highest forms of Arabic Calligraphy & Islamic Art.
The Hilye is usually decorated with Illumination around the border although the use of just Calligraphy is also common.
These 2 Hilyes were commissioned in 2017 as part of my Degree Show exhibition. Both written in Thuluth and Naskh scripts with Japanese ink on handmade Ahar paper. On one of them the central crescent was gilded with 24ct gold and on the other with genuine white gold (the white gold was covered with a transparent lacquer to prevent it from tarnishing).