The hand of Fatima

Monday, June 13th, 2016
  • French door knocker

    I have seen a lot of door with hand shaped door knockers in France and I was curious if there was a story behind them as they all seemed to follow a similar style.

    The most common story I can find is that the hand is that of Fatima Zahra, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad from the Muslim faith. Apparently, her five fingers are also associated with the Five Pillars of Islam and the hand styled door knocker was a sign for other Muslims, in mostly non-muslim countries, indicating that it was a Muslim household.

    Of course, even if that was ever true, it’s probably not much of a faith indicator today. Many of these door knockers are old and have been on doors for years, while they are also bought and sold in relatively high numbers as novelty vintage items to people unaware of their Muslim history.

    Whatever the story is behind these door knockers, they are not uncommon around Carcassonne and indeed a lot of Europe.