231. A Massive Steel Shrine Lock

Iran, 17th century
Size: 24 cm with key

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It bears a quatrain reported as being recited by Ibn al-Burhan on his deathbed. Known as Abu’l-Fath ibn Ahmad, Abu’l-Fath al- Burhani (d. 518/1124) was a Shafi’i theologian from Baghdad, who taught at the Nizamiyah College in Baghdad.

It reads: ‘I was filled with astonishment by scholars who turn a blind eye [to those] who wear the cloak of caution in the face of calamity and circle the oppressor as though they were circumambulating the Bayt [the Ka‘bah] at the time of pilgrimage.’