STOCKHOLM: Viking-era burial costumes in graves depicting the names “Allah” and “Ali” were unearthed by Swedish researchers, sheds new light on the ties between Viking Age Scandinavians and the Islamic world.
The silk costumes woven bands contained with words, which appear in Kufic characters of the ancient Arabic script invoking both ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’. The burial costumes were found during excavations in the historic Viking city of Birka.
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Muslims use the word Allah for god, while Ali is the name of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH)’s cousin and son-in-law who is also the fourth caliph of Islam.
“One exciting detail is that the word ‘Allah’ is depicted in mirror image,” said Annika Larsson, researcher in textile archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University adding the Vikings could be influenced by Islam and “the idea of an eternal life in paradise after death.”
“In the Quran, it is written that the inhabitants of paradise will wear garments of silk, which along with the text band’s inscriptions may explain the widespread occurrence of silk in Viking Age graves,” the researcher said in an earlier stateme, reported Anadolu Agency.
In 2015, Swedish researchers at Stockholm University also discovered a ring in a 9th century Swedish grave with Arabic Kufic writing that says ‘for Allah’ or ‘to Allah’.