An easy way to invite blessings into your home...
simply display this Hilya in a place of honor in your home!
Islam discourages drawing pictures of God or the
Prophets as it may lead to idolatrous worship. For this reason, aside from a few
insignificant miniature paintings, largely meant for private viewing, there have
been no pictures of the Prophet as public religious art. However the Prophet has
been described vividly by his contemporaries in the Hadith literature. These
word portraits allow each believer to picture the Prophet in his or her own
heart and mind. These descriptions when written down in superb Arabic
calligraphy are called "HILYA" in Arabic - the general meaning is
"ornament" and "adornment".
For many centuries Muslims, especially those in
the Ottoman Turkish regions, have expressed their devotion, love and esteem for
the Prophet by hanging exquisite Hilyas in their homes and workplaces in places
of honor. In this way it was possible to have a symbolic reminder of his
noble character and charismatic personality in the home without the danger of
falling into idolatrous ways.
Traditionally most Hilya's follow the
stunning graphic format first developed by the great master calligrapher, Hafiz
Usman. The most commonly used Hadith "word portrait" is that by Hazrat
Ali, one of the four rightly guided Caliphs and the son in law of the Prophet.
Traditionally Quran 21:107 and 68:4 are also commonly used.
Typically, the description of Muhammad is
contained within a main circular disk that is the heart of the composition,
which frequently has a slim lunar crescent surrounding the circle, recalling the
description of the Prophet as the primordial light of the world. Four smaller
disks containing the names of Muhammad's principal successors remind the viewer
of the role of tradition in transmitting his legacy. In a section at the top in
large letters are the words "In the name of God, the Merciful, the
Compassionate," the phrase that begins nearly every section of the Qur'an.
Highlighted below the text is a phrase from the Qur'an in which God announces
the universal role of Muhammad: "We only sent you as a mercy for
creation" (Qur'an 21:107), or "Truly, you are great in character"
(Qur'an 68:4). The framing of this description by Godís words, proclaiming the
cosmic role of the Prophet, signals the unique spiritual position that Muhammad
holds. The section at the bottom of the composition contains the portion of the
hilya text that spills over from the disk above, followed by prayers and
blessings on the Prophet, together with the signature of the calligrapher.