The Palace


Image: Twitter

Image: Twitter

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The ambassador exited the chariot, followed by Nasheva. Two guards opened the gate for them. They then walked towards the large ivory-colored building with a brownish gigantic wooden door. The building was constructed according to strict geometric principles in the form of concentric cubes. Two towers rose from the lowest level up to the second level, while the walls were covered with opulent decoration and splendid ornamentation of various motifs and designs.

The exterior decoration was intricately built, but the interior was no less appealing. As she was heading to the Majlis al Sultan, the Sultan’s Court, Nasheva saw the inner walls of the high-ceiling palace were profusely ornamented with magnificent frescoes of calligraphy in a variety of colors and styles. There were lines of gold on the edges of the windows, along with verses from the selected Koranic verses written in Kufi, Divani, and Raihani calligraphy styles that would amuse one’s eyes with a high artistry level of sophistication. What also amazed her were the figural art murals depicted in the walls. The figures of the Sultan himself and his twenty-four emirs were represented on the walls. The Sultan’s preference on the display of scenes of horsemen and warriors to surround him clearly reflected his military quality as a general of armies. Along with it were a white crescent on top of a gold color base and a prancing lion that became the symbol of the Sultanate; both were carved in a large finely polished wooden door. Finally, a striking calligraphy that read The Mamluk Sultanate of Al Malik al Zhahir Baybars was carved with rosettes laid out in diagonal patterns, giving the decoration more sophisticated effect. It was really a moment of artistic indulgence. But Nasheva’s admiration had to stop there because they were about to enter the Majlis.

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This post is part of Nasheva Trilogy and has been copyrighted.

14 thoughts on “The Palace

    • They must have been interesting travels you had back then, Ian. And you’re quite right, because in some ways, the Moghul palaces bore resemblances to the Mamluk Palaces, including Qubba al Zahiriyya, as depicted in this story. Blessings and love to you ♥

  1. Love the vivid imagery Subhan! Feels like I was back inside the Topkapi palace 🙂 I am as surprised as Nasheva by the inclusion of figurative art murals though!!! Isn’t that un-Islamic?

    • Valid point, Madhu. Blessings and love to you ♥ Let me add that when it comes to showcasing their military prowess, the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, including Baybars, had no inhibitions, even if it resulted in the rebellion against the orthodox values. It is interesting to note that the Al Azhar ulemas showed no resistance towards such practice as if providing the Sultans with a hidden blessing. As a result, they were given more political power by the Sultanate; the Al Azhar Imams had significant roles in the Sultan’s Majlis. The harmonious marriage between religious and political powers, as represented by Al Azhar and Baybars, then contributed to the emergence of Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt as one of the mightiest empires in the world at the time. As it turned out many centuries later, it was also such marriage that gave birth to the Demak Kingdom in Java and the Saud Dynasty in Saudi Arabia.

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