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Title: Islamic inscriptions in Pakistani architecture to 1707
Author: Mahmood, Shaukat
ISNI:       0000 0001 3616 7062
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1981
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To date no systematic record of the inscriptions found on Pakistani monuments has been published. Many inscriptions are known to the scholarly world only through photographs and no transcription or translation has been published. This is specially true of Qur'ānic inscriptions. In other cases the inscription is published but no information about the building which adorns it is available. This thesis sets out to remedy these lacunae. It has two major aims, neither of which has been attempted in previous publications. One aim is to provide an architectural record of those existing Pakistani monuments dated before 1707 (the end of Aurangzib's reign) which bear inscriptions. It is in the presentation of this new architectural and epigraphic material that the principal value of this thesis lies. For most of these monuments no published architectural drawings are available. Some are not even known by published photographs. Thus this thesis presents a substantial body of monuments hitherto unpublished. The other aim of the thesis is to register the surviving monumental inscriptions in Pakistan. While some of these have been published previously, the majority constitute new material for scholarship. In the field of Qur'ānic inscriptions, this thesis offers the first systematic record and identification of existing monumental inscriptions. The need for such a work is pressing, as the architectural and epigraphic heritage of Pakistan is falling into oblivion very rapidly. The paucity of funds and the lack of expertise in the field of conservation can only accelerate this trend. Thus even if buildings survive, they and their inscriptions are likely to be altered beyond recognition. Examples of such grotesquely renovated monuments can be multiplied; they include the tomb of Bāhā' al-Ḥaqq at Multān, the complex of Bābā Farīd Shakr Ganj at Pākpattan, and even to a lesser extent - the great tomb of Rukn-i cĀlam at Multān. The necropolis at Maklī is becoming rapidly denuded of its unparalleled collection of fine inscribed gravestones, and nothing is being done to save it. In the first part of this thesis two chapters analyse the inscriptions used in mosques and tombs and a first attempt is made to assess as a whole the chronograms on Pakistani architecture. Limitations made it quite impossible to present an exhaustive analysis of two monuments unusually rich in epigraphy - the complex of Mīr Macṣum at Sukkr and the mosque of Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ Kambūh in Lahore; but representative inscriptions from these monuments are included. The second part of the thesis deals with the monuments individually. Wherever possible the history of each monuments and its patron is discussed and it is placed in its urban setting. Its plan, material of construction, and epigraphy are then discussed in turn. The discussion of inscriptions covers such factors as the size of epigraphic panel, material, colour, type of script and so on. Inscriptions and translations are given except in the case of Qur'ānic inscriptions, which are simply identified. Non Qur'ānic inscriptions are presented in two main categories. Inscriptions in kufic, thulth, naskh-ī and ṭughrā'i are all transcribed in naskh-ī while nastaclīq inscriptions appear for the first time in a thesis in nastaclīq. All the calligraphy, drawings and photographs are the work of the author unless otherwise acknowledged.
Supervisor: Hillenbrand, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Islamic inscriptions ; Islamic decoration and ornament ; Pakistan ; Islamic architecture