The inscriptions on this bowl and cover are from the Qur'an.
Within cartouches on the exterior of the bowl and the cover:
Sura al-iqlas (CXII), Sura al-falaq (CXIII) and Sura al-nas (CXIV)
Around the rim of the bowl and the rim of the cover:
The throne verse from sura al-baqara (II, vv. 255-6).
Around the rim of the inside of the cover:
Sura al-fatiha (I)
In the centre of the bowl:
The shahhada (The Muslim profession of faith)
This bowl and cover is very similar to pieces in the service in the Topkapi Palace Museum, which comprises various similar covered tureens, bowls, cups and dishes. See R. Krahl and J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, London, 1986, vol.III, dustjacket, colour plate p.946 and pp.1291-93. The use of the crescent moon and the star is particularly associated with the Ottoman court.
The inscriptions are written in gold naskh in a simple but legible hand. The fact that the bowl is decorated with verses from the Qur'an would mean that they were unsuitable for use as food utensils and were therefore purely decorative.
Other tureens and bowls from this service are in the Musée Guimet, Paris and the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels. Another similar bowl and cover was offered in these rooms, 19 June 2001, lot 359.