Viking Clothes With Inscription ‘Allah’

One of the excavated fragments made from fine silk and silver thread discovered at the two Swedish sites, Birka and Gamla Uppsala. BBC

Category: Europe, Featured, Highlights, Life & Society Topics: History, Islam In Europe Views: 4782

When archaeologists originally analyzed the burial clothes found at Viking graves in Sweden, they were working during World War II and looking at the garments through the lens of a Nordic-focused ideology. They missed a fascinating detail. As textile archaeologist Annika Larsson discovered when she reexamined the silks, which had been in storage for decades, the burial clothes had woven bands of silk patterned with Kufic characters referring to Allah and Ali, one of the most important figures in Islam.

Larsson was studying the clothes from graves at Birka and Gamla Uppsala in order to recreate the patterns for a new museum exhibit, but she was puzzled by the designs. “I couldn’t quite make sense of them and then I remembered where I had seen similar designs—in Spain, on Moorish textiles,” she told the BBC. The designs, she found, were Kufic characters, an ancient form of Arabic script, and may have been an attempt to embroider a prayer onto the burial garments, made in the 9th to 10th century A.D.

Enlarging the patterns and looking at the reflection in a mirror revealed the word 'Allah' (God) in Arabic. BBC

There’s a growing pile of evidence documenting the relationship between Viking culture and the Islamic world. Some Viking swords show evidence of metal-smithing techniques from the Arabian peninsula, and as The Guardian reports, archaeologists have found more than 100,000 Islamic silver coins and a woman’s ring with “for Allah” inscribed in it, as well as a hoard that mingled religious objects from Christianity, Islam, and Thor worship. The people buried in some Viking graves also had Persian origins, according to DNA analysis.

Larsson’s own work has examined the use of silk garments in Viking burials. In the Quran, silk garments are associated with the inhabitants of paradise. “In particular I think the idea in Islam of eternal life and paradise really appealed to [the Vikings],” Larsson told The Local. “We have written sources that attest to that, and it could be that the Vikings took this idea from the Islamic world.”

In the past, garments like these were thought of as plunder. But, in Larsson’s view, these newly discovered silk bands show that these clothes weren’t plundered; they’re typical Viking-age clothing that shows the influence of another part of the world on these wide-ranging travelers.

Allah written in kufic calligraphy

Source: Atlas Obscura

  Category: Europe, Featured, Highlights, Life & Society
  Topics: History, Islam In Europe
Views: 4782

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Older Comments:
JAMAL said:
Appreciate your response. You are right, ALLAH and ALI are mentioned in the text but not in the heading of the article. Contrary to it, the source viz. UPPSALA UNIVERSITY ( has prominently mentioned both names [Allah and Ali], being 'one of the most important figures in Islam', in the heading per se. is "Viking Age deciphered - mentioned 'Allah' and 'Ali' ". I am sure it can be appreciated since Allah and Ali are the one of most important figures in Islam, therefore three letter word 'ALI" can be accommodated in the heading itself. regards

ALEX said:
Thank you for your comment. Please note the article does mention "... silk patterned with Kufic characters referring to Allah and Ali, one of the most important figures in Islam." IslamiCity-

JAMAL said:
Few days back I read about it for the first time from the 'inshorts' - a non-islamic news app. The news what you have posted here is incomplete. The app has linked this news to the webpage of UPPSALA UNIVERSITY ( - the university responsible for this finding. Quoting from the webpage (published date 03 Oct 16) "Viking Age deciphered - mentioned 'Allah' and 'Ali' " Omitting the name of 'Ali' from this original source - responsible for the finding, erroneously or by compulsion or by choice, is not in a good taste. Publishing partially as per own convenience, from the source is akin to hiding the original and falls under the ambit of lie - something which Islam strongly denounce. Humbly request, being a Islamic site publish TRUTH else DO NOT PUBLISH it at all, if you have reservations. After all Allah is on the watch. Wassalam-o-Alaykum wRwB