Oriental Rugs Dictionary

Hand of Fatima

Fatima was the youngest daughter of the prophet Mohammad and a founding member of the breakaway Shiite sector of Islam. Some prayer rugs depict two palms on the upper two corners, on the sides of the spandrels. The palms suggest five principles of Islam (the Five Pillars): Profession of faith, prayer, pilgrimage, fasting and almsgiving. In many Middle Eastern cultures open palm with five figures is used against the