Imam Al-Mu’izz commissioned the invention of the first Fountain Pen

Ma’ad al-Mu’izz li Dīn Allah (932–975) (Arabic: معاذ المعز لدين الله), also known as al’Moezz, was the fourth Fatimid Caliph and reigned from 953 to 975.

Al-Muˤizz was renowned for his tolerance of other religions, and was popular among his Jewish and Christian subjects. He is credited for having commissioned the invention of the first fountain pen. In 953, al-Muizz demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes, and was provided with a pen which held ink in a reservoir and delivered it to the nib via gravity and capillary action. As recorded by Qadi al-Nu’man al-Tamimi (d. 974) in his Kitdb al-Majalis wa ‘l-musayardt, al-Mu’izz commissioned the construction of the pen instructing:[2][3]

‘We wish to construct a pen which can be used for writing without having recourse to an ink-holder and whose ink will be contained inside it. A person can fill it with ink and write whatever he likes. The writer can put it in his sleeve or anywhere he wishes and it will not stain nor will any drop of ink leak out of it. The ink will flow only when there is an intention to write. We are unaware of anyone previously ever constructing (a pen such as this) and an indication of ‘penetrating wisdom’ to whoever contemplates it and realises its exact significance and purpose’. I exclaimed, ‘Is this possible?’ He replied, ‘It is possible if God so wills’

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

One thought

  1. The idea of a self-sufficient pen is worth far more than the authentic ink flowing inside it; the pen is also part of a rich educational and knowledge imageary flowing from the Noble Quran and Imam-Caliph Al Muizz, as part of the illustrious Fatimid dynasty in 10th to 12th century Egypt, put pen to paper as it were in expressing this Quranic imageary in the real world:

    “I have always found Arabic letters to be harmoniously curvy and sentences conducive to a fluid and flowing movement; they lend themselves often to symmetrical geometric shapes so that a well-constructed sequential sentence can often symbolize the abstract representation of Allah the Transcendent. The act of writing and drawing in Arabic also speaks to some of the knowledge imageary in the Quran, such as the Pen(Universal Intellect) writing on the Tablet(Universal Soul) like a teacher instructing a student. Other events(ayats or signs) in nature also hint at this knowledge-transferring function, eg, the Master DNA molecule in the nucleus of a cell ‘writing’ its instructions in coded form on a messenger RNA molecule, which then moves to the main part of the cell to transfer those written instructions to a complex that translates those coded instructions into a fully functional three-dimensional protein, which can symbolically represent the multi-dimensional universe in which we live, move and have our being.”


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