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Placing Islamic inscriptions (mostly words from Quran) over the entrances to the houses, business places, or public buildings used to be common in the past. It seems placing these words on the entrances has its roots in an older tradition that sees a supernatural power in words.

These inscriptions look like Mezuzot in Jewish tradition, but they are different in the way they function. They are used for “protection” rather than any thing else and there is no exact rules for their placement. Also unlike mezuzah placing these sacred text on the door frames is not “wajib” (mandatory) as they are for the Jewish people in the Diaspora. Interestingly, despite years of usage, there is still not a common word in Persian for these sacred protective inscriptions.

Besmellah over the Entrance to a house

Nasromenallah over an Entrance to a house

Quran over an Entrance to a house

Quran over an Entrance to a Zoorkhaneh

Shiite inscription over an Entrance to a Zoorkhaneh

Quran over an Entrance to a Zoorkhaneh

Hamoom Khanoom Public Bath-by Kamyar Adl

The next four photographs are taken in the city of Rasht. (Photos by Marjan Hamdami)

The Entrance to the House in Rasht by Marjan Hamdami

The Entrance to the House in Rasht by Marjan Hamdami

The Entrance to the House in Rasht by Marjan Hamdami

The Entrance to the House in Rasht by Marjan Hamdami

This post is also available in: Persian

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