Inscriptions vary in subject and include a wide variety of calligraphic styles. They may refer to patrons and their accomplishments or recite verses from the Qur’an
, protective prayers, blessings, poetic verses and proverbs. The latter inscriptions are usually chosen to complement the function of the object, such as the use of the Qur’anic verse ‘God, Light of the World’ (24: 35) on mosque
lamps, or the use of poetic verses that praise the work of the pen, seen on pen cases or writing boxes. Protective prayers and invocations of blessings are expected to actively contribute to the function of a vessel. Words such as ‘baraka’
acknowledge and invoke God’s generosity, and the owner’s good luck. The same sentiments are evoked when using one of God’s Ninety-Nine Names on an object, where its presence would protect the object and its contents from harm or loss.