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Making Sense of Islam

Death is Enough of a Reminder Ring

Death is Enough of a Reminder Ring

Regular price $150.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $150.00 USD
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When the Prophet of Islam (God bless him and give him peace) began sending letters to heads of state, his Companions told him he needed a signet ring to seal the letters or else they wouldn’t be accepted as official diplomatic correspondences. They reminded him that this was the standard protocol at the time. Upon hearing this council, he had a silver signet ring made with the words written in Arabic “Muhammad the Messenger of God.” Thus began the story of signet rings in Islam.

While Muslims know this story well enough, it also serves as a reminder that signet rings were a thing worn and used by heads of governments, nobility, scholars for as long as history has been recorded. We even have stories of the ancient Prophets and philosophers wearing them as well.

While the signet ring became a sunna act and used to sign letters, it quickly developed into a practical way to carry a reminder for the one wearing it. Ibn Rajab (d.795/1393) wrote a treatise dedicated to the signet ring and described some of the inscriptions found on the rings of some of Islam’s luminaries of the past. These inscriptions range from reminders to be aware of God, to place their trust in God, to reminding them that life was short and one should make the most of it. Almost all Caliphs and certainly most of the Companions we know of wore these types of signet rings.

This particular ring carries the inscription “death is enough of a reminder” and was worn by Islam’s second Caliph Umar bin Khattab. He ruled during a time of tremendous political and military expansion and at the time was one of the most powerful men on earth. However, he wore this signet ring to remind himself of what really matters; the one fact we seem to always forget; life is very short.

The inscription on this ring is a powerful reminder of the need to keep it real, work hard, ignore the noise, and get stuff done. By focusing on our own mortality, as Steve Jobs reminded us, we get a dose of reality that helps us work towards the things worth achieving.

I partnered with a Cairo-based artist to produce this sterling silver ring, and I’m so excited to share it with you all.


NOTE:  Rings are available in three sizes (8, 9, 11) able to be resized two sizes in either direction (a 9 becomes an 11 or 7). It is important to know your ring size before ordering. Please go to a jeweler (many offer free sizing) ahead of time to order correct size. We do not offer refunds due to ordering incorrect size.

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