Finial

This finial placed on top of a flag pole, would have been used during the Ashurah processions held during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Ashurah, which marks the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn, is commemorated by the Shi’ite community worldwide. The Shi’ites believe the Prophet’s and his son-in-law, Ali’s descendents are the only legitimate successors to the leadership of the Muslim community. The names of the Shi’ite holy family: Muhammad, Ali, Fatmah (the Prophet’s daughter), Hasan and Husayn (the Prophet’s grandsons), are inscribed on each finger. This hand-shaped finial is known as the ‘hand of Abbas’. It recalls the event leading to Husyan’s martyrdom when his half brother, Abbas, had his arms amputated while trying to bring water to the camp. Abbas was also given the authority to carry the standard in battle.

Date/Period
Late 19th- early 20th century
Region
Iran
Dimension
Object size: L22.3 x W16.0 cm
Accession No.
2001-03836
Material
silver
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Silver

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