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Holy Quran, Manuscripts and Books

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    Book Type: Qur'an; ʿJuz' Amma (30th section)
    Calligraphy: Matches the Mushaf al-Madinah an-Nabawiyyah
    Illumination: Inspired by Mamluk and Ikhanid Qur'an illumination 
    Width:  21.5 cm
    Length: 30.5
    Height: 1.5
    Pages: 33
     
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    Detailed Description:
     
    Most beautiful printed Holy Quran (Part 30). The Arabic Text is typeset using the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation’s Fouad typeface and is arranged to match exactly the Mushaf al-Madinah an-Nabawiyyah produced by the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur'an. Fully illuminated throughout, the design of this edition is based on, and inspired by, Mamluk and Ikhanid Qur'an illumination, such as that found in the Qur'ans produced under the patronage of Ilkhanid Sultan Uljaytu. The title page, frontispieces and closing pages are richly decorated with calligraphic, geometric and arabesque designs. The chapter names are written in ornamental kufic and set in panels adorned with marginal palmettes. The text itself is printed in a finely outlined gold ink, set on a traditional background of a waye design that originated in the Far East and was popular in Mamluk illumination. M. Marmaduke Pickthall’s English translation is included in the margins. This translation has been chosen on the recommendation of the late Dr. Martin Lings († 2005), who considered it the best available English translation of the Qur'an on account of its accuracy as well as its fidelity to the highest standards of classical English prose. The English text is typeset in a typeface inspired by the hands used in early Celtic gospels. While this style of type can slow down reading, which is not a bad thing itself in a contemplative text, it has the benefits of calling to mind the traditions of sacred book arts in the British Isles and of integrating the English text more readily with the visual language of the Arabic text and Illumination.
     
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    Item Number: 473
     
    Book Type: Qur'an; ʿJuz' Amma (30th section)
    Calligraphy: Matches the Mushaf al-Madinah an-Nabawiyyah
    Illumination: Inspired by Mamluk and Ikhanid Qur'an illumination 
    Width:  21.5 cm
    Length: 30.5
    Height: 1.5
    Pages: 33
     
    ____________________
     
     Detailed Description:

    Most beautiful printed Holy Quran (Part 30). The Arabic Text is typeset using the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation’s Fouad typeface and is arranged to match exactly the Mushaf al-Madinah an-Nabawiyyah produced by the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur'an. Fully illuminated throughout, the design of this edition is based on, and inspired by, Mamluk and Ikhanid Qur'an illumination, such as that found in the Qur'ans produced under the patronage of Ilkhanid Sultan Uljaytu. The title page, frontispieces and closing pages are richly decorated with calligraphic, geometric and arabesque designs. The chapter names are written in ornamental kufic and set in panels adorned with marginal palmettes. The text itself is printed in a finely outlined gold ink, set on a traditional background of a waye design that originated in the Far East and was popular in Mamluk illumination. M. Marmaduke Pickthall’s English translation is included in the margins. This translation has been chosen on the recommendation of the late Dr. Martin Lings († 2005), who considered it the best available English translation of the Qur'an on account of its accuracy as well as its fidelity to the highest standards of classical English prose. The English text is typeset in a typeface inspired by the hands used in early Celtic gospels. While this style of type can slow down reading, which is not a bad thing itself in a contemplative text, it has the benefits of calling to mind the traditions of sacred book arts in the British Isles and of integrating the English text more readily with the visual language of the Arabic text and Illumination.
     
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    Rumi's Garden humbly presents copies of the Holy Quran, with very clear, easy to read script. The cover of the Holy Quran is made of thin marquetry woodwork made in Syria.

    The craft of inlaying goes back thousands of years. Many museums around the world display inlaid objects of Assyrian and ancient Egyptian origin – some over 3000 years old. When the Muslims in the 7th century established Damascus as the capital of their empire, the Umayyad rulers encouraged the art of mosaics. Under their sponsorship in the early 8th century, the city’s Umayyad Mosque became the first structure in the Islamic world where the art of inlaying was practised on a large scale. From this first experience in inlaying, when mostly Byzantine artisans were employed, the art of mosaics developed in Damascus and became an honoured profession.

    After the Ottomans occupied Damascus, the Arabs lost political power, concentrating thereafter on industry and the crafts. Among these vocations were all types of inlaying in metal and wood – trades for which the city remains famous.

    The art of inlaying reached Europe through Moorish Spain and Sicily. The technique became known as intarsia – a name believed to have been derived from the Arabic tarsi’ (the act of inlaying, from the verb rassa’a – to inlay). Others derive the word from the Latin interserere (to insert). On the other hand, marquetry (a mosaic of veneers), another name used for wood inlaying, comes from the French marquetor (to mark).

    Intarsia or inlays of contrasting patterns, still practised extensively in Damascus, are designs set into all types of wood. Forms are sunk into the wood according to a prearranged design. In the past, the hollows were then filled with pieces of different wood like ebony, lemon, oak, walnut or bone, and mother of pearl.

    Detailed Description:

    Item Number: 456

    Book: Holy Quran
    Material: Paper and Wood
    Workmanship: Handmade
    Width: 17.3 cm
    Length: 24.8 cm
    Height: 3.3 cm
     

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    Item Number: 472

    Book: Hardcover of Shama'il of the Prophet

    Pages: 408
    Length: 30.5cm
    Width: 22cm
    Height: 3cm
     
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    Detailed Description:
     
    This book, Shama'il of the Prophet, is a compilation of hadith – reports of the sayings or actions of the Prophet Muhammad together with their traditional chains of transmission. The word shama’il means a description of a person’s beauty on all levels, ellaborating the details of their physical appearance, moral character, day to day behaviour, spiritual manner and so on. Shama’il is that which characterises or encompasses a person.

    The book is intended for both a scholarly audience and a general Arabic reading Muslim audience, and is compiled and fully indexed in accordance with the strict requirements of hadith scholarship making it a valuable reference work for experts in the field.
     
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    Item Number: 619
      
    Manuscript Leaflet:  Surat Ghāfir (The Forgiver) and Surat Fuṣṣilat (Expounded)
    Age: Ottoman
    Origin: Turkey
    Size: 180 x 130 mm
    Size including frame: 280 x 230 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green

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    Detailed Description:

    Handwritten Qur’an manuscript, possibly of Ottoman origin. It is one single paper with two pages, and contains verses from Surat Ghāfir (The Forgiver) and Surat Fuṣṣilat (Expounded). The text is written with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy and the border is illumined with Gold Leaf. It contains a Gold leaf Medallion, with plant motifs, outside the border. The leaf is in good condition with some spotting.
     
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    Sūrah Ghāfir,  takes its name from the reference to God as the Forgiver of sins in v. 3, but it is also known as “The Believer” (al- Muʾ min ), because of the discussion of a believing man from the House of Pharaoh (v. 28). It is also known by the title “The Bounty” (al-Faḍ l ), because of the reference to God as Possessed of Bounty in v. 3.
     
    Ghāfir is the first in a series of seven sūrah s whose opening verses begin with the separated Arabic letters ḥāʾ and mīm and are followed by a reference to the Quran. Revealed during the same period, these sūrah s are known collectively as the Ḥawāmīm, and as “The Brides”. Addressing several recurring themes, they provide solace to the Muslim community at a time of persecution, foretelling the triumph of the revelation and the demise of those who oppose it.
     
    The sūrah opens with an affirmation of the revelation and of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness (vv. 2– 3), followed by a repudiation of those who dispute the signs of God (vv. 4– 6), which becomes a recurring theme of the sūrah, and an extended prayer uttered by the angels for human beings (vv. 7– 9). Vv. 10– 20 then tell of the place of the disbelievers in the Hereafter, warning of their ultimate demise. This section serves as the thematic backdrop for an extended account of the story of Moses and Pharaoh (vv. 21– 50), the main feature of which is the story of a believing man from the House of Pharaoh who challenges Pharaoh’s opposition to Moses (vv. 28– 45).
     
    An affirmation of the Divine Aid that God sends upon His messengers (vv. 51– 60) concludes with a condemnation of those who are too arrogant to worship God (v. 60), which segues into a discussion of God’s Power over all of creation (vv. 61– 68). The sūrah then discusses the punishment that awaits the disbelievers (vv. 69– 76) and counsels the Prophet to have patience, citing the examples of prophets who prevailed before him (vv. 77– 78). After a reflection on some signs of God’s Generosity and Power (vv. 79– 82), the sūrah concludes with an assurance that those who oppose God’s messengers will be defeated in the end (vv. 83– 85).

    As to Surah Fuṣṣilat, it is a Makkan sūrah believed to have been revealed directly after the preceding sūrah, Ghāfir. It takes its name from the reference to the Quran in v. 3 as a Book whose signs have been expounded . This sūrah is also known as Sajdah, “Prostration,” and as ḥā Mīm Sajdah. Other less common names for this sūrah are “The Lamps” (al-Maṣābīḥ ), for the phrase We adorned the lowest heaven with lamps and a guard in v. 12, and “Means of Sustenance” (al-Aqwāt ), from the reference to God having apportioned means of sustenance for all things on the earth in v. 10.

    According to some, Fuṣṣilat follows the previous sūrah, because the discussion of the punishments that befell the pre-Islamic Arabian tribes of ʿĀd and Thamūd and the similar punishments that are foretold for the Quraysh echo the warnings of 40:82: Have they not journeyed upon the earth and observed how those before them fared in the end? They were more numerous than them, and greater than them in strength, and left firmer traces upon the earth. But that which they used to earn availed them not. In this same vein, v. 2 can be seen as a warning to the Quraysh that echoes 40:83, And when their messengers brought them clear proofs, they exulted in the knowledge they possessed, and that which they used to mock beset them, since the Quraysh were said to mock the Quran, as in v. 26: And those who disbelieve will say, “Listen not to this Quran, but speak dismissively of it, that haply you might prevail”.

    The sūrah begins with a brief discussion of the nature of the Quran (vv. 1– 4), which is followed by advice to the Prophet regarding those who refuse to pay it heed (vv. 5– 6), juxtaposing the disbelievers and the believers (vv. 7– 8). After calling for reflection upon the manner in which God created the heavens and the earth (vv. 9– 12), the sūrah invokes the calamities that befell the pre-Islamic Arabian tribes of ʿĀd and Thamūd as examples of the fate that awaits disbelievers in this world (vv. 13– 18), followed by a warning of the fate that awaits them in the Hereafter (vv. 19– 25). A discussion of the fate that awaits those who reject the Quran (vv. 26– 28) then transitions into another juxtaposition of the believers and the disbelievers (vv. 29– 32) and an exhortation to the believers to maintain respectful speech and conduct even with the disbelievers (vv. 33– 39). This is followed by a return to a discussion of the nature of the Quran and the fate that awaits those who reject it (vv. 40– 46). The final section (vv. 47– 54), which reflects upon the vagaries of the human condition, includes one of the most important verses for the discussion of the manner in which God reveals the truth to human beings (v. 53).
       

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    Item Number: 618
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Ghāfir (The Forgiver)
    Age: 1575
    Size: 155 x 90 mm
    Origin: Iran
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:
     
    A leaf from a beautiful handwritten, illuminated, Persian, Safavid Koran manuscript dated 1575 A.D. It contains verses from Surat Ghāfir (The Forgiver). It has 12 lines of text to the page in black strong hand naskhi script with full vowels and diacritical signs, gold ruled borders, surah headings in white ornamental ruja´ script on a gold ground within illuminated panels, blue centered gold roundels mark the 5th and 10th verses and marginal annotations in gold and red. 

    Although some sections of the work were in very poor condition, the majority has survived the ravages of time, though there is the usual light staining in the corners from devotional use. Condition of this leaf is fine. The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history.  

    Sūrah Ghāfir,  takes its name from the reference to God as the Forgiver of sins in v. 3, but it is also known as “The Believer” (al- Muʾ min ), because of the discussion of a believing man from the House of Pharaoh (v. 28). It is also known by the title “The Bounty” (al-Faḍ l ), because of the reference to God as Possessed of Bounty in v. 3.
     
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    Ghāfir is the first in a series of seven sūrah s whose opening verses begin with the separated Arabic letters ḥāʾ and mīm and are followed by a reference to the Quran. Revealed during the same period, these sūrah s are known collectively as the Ḥawāmīm, and as “The Brides”. Addressing several recurring themes, they provide solace to the Muslim community at a time of persecution, foretelling the triumph of the revelation and the demise of those who oppose it.
     
    The sūrah opens with an affirmation of the revelation and of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness (vv. 2– 3), followed by a repudiation of those who dispute the signs of God (vv. 4– 6), which becomes a recurring theme of the sūrah, and an extended prayer uttered by the angels for human beings (vv. 7– 9). Vv. 10– 20 then tell of the place of the disbelievers in the Hereafter, warning of their ultimate demise. This section serves as the thematic backdrop for an extended account of the story of Moses and Pharaoh (vv. 21– 50), the main feature of which is the story of a believing man from the House of Pharaoh who challenges Pharaoh’s opposition to Moses (vv. 28– 45).
     
    An affirmation of the Divine Aid that God sends upon His messengers (vv. 51– 60) concludes with a condemnation of those who are too arrogant to worship God (v. 60), which segues into a discussion of God’s Power over all of creation (vv. 61– 68). The sūrah then discusses the punishment that awaits the disbelievers (vv. 69– 76) and counsels the Prophet to have patience, citing the examples of prophets who prevailed before him (vv. 77– 78). After a reflection on some signs of God’s Generosity and Power (vv. 79– 82), the sūrah concludes with an assurance that those who oppose God’s messengers will be defeated in the end (vv. 83– 85).
      
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    Item Number: 617
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surah al-Anaam (The Cattle) 
    Age: 1796
    Origin: Iran
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    Handwritten Qur’an manuscript, of Persian origin, dated 1796 AD. It is one single paper with two pages, and contains verses from Surat al-Anʿām. The text is written with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy and and is illuminated with a Gold Leaf border. There is a beautiful Gold Lead Medallion mentioning the section in red, blue and white outside the border. The leaf is in good condition.
     
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    Revealed in the Makkan period, al-Anʿām clearly addresses the challenges faced by the Prophet and the Muslims engaged in a religious struggle with the idolatrous Makkans. The sūrah takes its name from the discussion of idolatrous ritual prohibitions on the consumption of certain kinds of cattle and the Quranic assertion, in response, that God puts no such restrictions on the cattle He has created and allowed for human consumption (vv. 136– 45). The primary concern of the sūrah is to refute through powerful arguments various kinds of idolatry in general— including the worship of idols, celestial bodies, and jinn— and to discredit the idolatrous and humanly invented ritual practices of the Makkans in particular. Many consider this sūrah to be a late Makkan one and thus to reflect the culmination of the Prophet’s struggle and effort to persuade the Makkans to abandon idolatry and follow the Quranic message prior to his migration from Makkah to Madinah in 622. The Prophet is directly addressed throughout the sūrah and given specific arguments and challenges to pose to the disbelievers in Makkah. Its verses collectively sum up the Quranic argument against all forms of idolatry.
     
    According to a ḥadīth, “Sūrat al-Anʿām was sent down all at once, accompanied by seventy thousand angels, hymning glorifications and praises”. A longer version of this ḥadīth cited by al-Zamakhsharī adds, “So whoever recites al-Anʿām, praise and blessings be upon him; these seventy thousand angels seek forgiveness for him with each verse of Sūrat al-Anʿām, day and night.” Another report mentions that one particular verse (v. 59, which begins, And with Him are the keys of the Unseen. None knows them but He ) was sent down with twelve thousand angels of its own. Some early authorities, however, considered certain verses, perhaps vv. 20, 23, 91, 93, 114, 141, and 151– 53, to have been revealed in Madinah. Some consider v. 145, which designates four kinds of meat forbidden to Muslims, to have been revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the Day of ʿArafah.
     
    The sūrah begins with a powerful statement of God as the universal and omniscient Creator (vv. 1– 3). After rejecting the Makkans’ excuses for not heeding the warning of the Prophet Muhammad, the sūrah continues with a reminder of the fate that befell previous generations who had ignored the warnings of the messengers God had sent them and a preview of the fate that awaits them in the Hereafter (vv. 4– 31). Vv. 32– 36 seek to console the Prophet in the face of the Makkans’ rejection, and vv. 37– 73 include a series of arguments and statements that the Prophet is instructed to present in the face of the idolaters’ continued rejection of the Quranic message. In vv. 74– 83, there is the account of Abraham’s argument against worshipping anything other than God, in which he points out to his people that even the celestial bodies, which they considered to have great power over the earth and its inhabitants, were ephemeral and changing. This pericope about Abraham is followed by a mention of the prophets and revelations that came after him, concluding with a mention of the Quran as part of, and a confirmer of, this prophetic and scriptural legacy (vv. 84– 92).
     
    Vv. 95– 99 discuss God as the giver of both life and death, in this world and the next. Several verses in the latter half of the sūrah address the arbitrary restrictions on the consumption of certain kinds of meat as observed by the Makkan idolaters— along with the pre-Islamic Makkan practice of “slaying their children” (vv. 137, 140)— and counters with a simpler set of dietary restrictions as revealed to the Prophet (vv. 116– 21, 136, 138– 50) and a concise list of Divinely imposed commands and prohibitions (vv. 151– 53). After further warnings to the Makkans about the consequences of rejecting the Quranic message, the sūrah concludes with a powerful statement of monotheistic belief and utter devotion to the One God that the Prophet is instructed to issue in the face of continuing Makkan resistance (vv. 161– 64). Perhaps by way of warning, the final verse (v. 165) invokes the idea that God causes generations to succeed one another in the life of the world, whose vagaries are merely a test of individual human character.

     

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    Item Number: 616
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Yā Sīn (Ya Sin)
    Age: 1725
    Origin: India
    Size: 191 x 120 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    A leaf from a Mughal Koran, India, dated 1725. It is one single paper with two pages, and contains verses from Surat Yā Sīn.There are eleven lines of clear naskhi script in black ink, gold discs between verses, sura headings in thuluth in white on gold panels, inner margins ruled in blue and gold, illuminated circular devices in margins. Repaired by being remargined at the bottom of each leaf not affecting text causing us to rate the condition of this leaf to under fine. 

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    There is consensus among all scholars that Yā Sīn is a Makkan sūrah from the early part of the middle Makkan period. Some maintain that the whole of the sūrah is Makkan, though many commentators believe that v. 12 is from the Madinan period. The sūrah takes its name from the mention of the Arabic letters yāʾ and sīn in the opening verse. Some also refer to it as “The Heart of the Quran,” after a well-known ḥadīth: “Everything has a heart, and the heart of the Quran is Yā Sīn . Whosoever recites Yā Sīn , God records for him the recitation of the Quran ten times for his recitation of it”.

    Seen as the heart of the Quran, this sūrah plays a very important role in traditional Islamic piety. Many Muslims recite Yā Sīn regularly as part of their supererogatory devotions, and it is often the only sūrah longer than a page or so that Muslims have memorized in full. A famous ḥadīth says, “Recite Yā Sīn over your dead”. It is thus recited for those who are close to death, those who have just died, and at the graves of loved ones. It is also recited for those who are sick, for another ḥadīth states, “Verily in the Quran there is a sūrah that intercedes through its recitation and forgives through its being heard— indeed, that is Sūrat Yā Sīn”. Yā Sīn is also recited by many Muslims after the performance of the obligatory prayers in the morning and the evening. Regarding the latter, another report, sometimes recorded as a ḥadīth , states, “Whosoever recites Sūrat Yā Sīn at night, desiring the Face of God, is forgiven during that night”. Although many believe that the exhortation to recite Yā Sīn in the morning is a ḥadīth , it most likely derives from a saying attributed to Ibn ʿ Abbās: “Whosoever recites Yā Sīn when he awakens is given ease for his day until the evening comes. And whosoever reads it in the midst of the night is given ease for his night until he awakens".

    Several scholars maintain that Yā Sīn is the heart of the Quran because it addresses its central teachings regarding God, prophethood, and the Hereafter. The sūrah begins with an address to the Prophet that clarifies both his mission and the nature of revelation (vv. 1– 12) followed by a parable regarding those who reject prophets (vv. 13– 30) that segues into a discussion of Resurrection and the signs of it in the natural world (vv. 31– 44). Responses to various objections common to the disbelievers and the consequences of them (vv. 45– 52) then lead into a discussion of the disparate ends of the disbelievers and the believers (vv. 53– 68), which concludes with another reflection on the nature of Muhammad’s prophethood (vv. 69– 70). The final section returns to a discussion of the signs in the created order that serve to inform one of God’s creative Power and ability to resurrect (vv. 71– 81) and concludes with an affirmation of God’s Omnipotence (vv. 82– 83).

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     Item Number: 615
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Muhammad al-Jazuli’s Dala’il al Khayrat wa Shawariq al-Anwar
    Age: 1790
    Origin: Talmason
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
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    Detailed Description:

    Handwritten Maghrebi double sided Arabic leaf from a manuscript that includes Muhammad al-Jazuli’s Dala’il al Khayrat wa Shawariq al-Anwar. The text sends salutations on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), It is North African, probably from Talmason, circa 1790. There are variable lines to the page written in Maghribi script, written by bin Suleyman bin Yacoub al-Najjar, at Talmasan, with titles and significant words picked out in various colors.. The leaf is in good condition.
     
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    The Dala’il al-Khayrat is the first major book in Islamic history which compiled litanies of peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). It is also the most popular and most universally acclaimed collection of litanies asking God to bless him. Among some Sunni religious orders, most notably the Shadhili-Jazuli order, its recitation is a daily practice. The work begins with the ninety nine names of God, and then the a collection of over one hundred names of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). It is popular in parts of the Islamic world amongst traditional Muslims - specifically North Africa, the Levant, Turkey, the Caucasus and the South Asia and is divided into sections for daily recitation.

    The legend behind the origin of the Dala’il al-Khayrat claims that al-Jazuli once awoke late for his morning prayers and began to look in vain for pure water to perform ritual ablutions. In the midst of his search al-Jazuli encountered a young girl who was aware of al-Jazuli's famed religiosity and was bewildered on why al-Jazuli could not find pure water. The girl then spat into a well which miraculously overflowed with pure sweet water for al-Jazuli to perform ablutions. Consequent to performing prayer, al-Jazuli inquired to the means by which the girl achieved such a high spiritual station. The girl replied it was simply by "Making constant prayer for God to bless the best of creation by the number of breaths and heartbeats." Al-Jazuli then resolved to write a work collecting litanies of prayers asking God to bless and show mercy and kindness to Muhammad  (ﷺ).

    Al-Jazuli then moved east to Medina where he would recite the whole of the Dala’il al-Khayrat twice daily at the Prophet Muhammad's  (ﷺ) grave in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. The Dala'il Khayrat has since been seen as a testament of love and passionate longing for Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
     
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    Item Number: 610
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Ibrahim (Abraham) & Surat al-Ḥijr (Hijr)
    Age: 1790
    Size: 365 x 210 mm
    Size including frame: 475 x 315 mm
    Origin: Banda, India
    Languages: Arabic and Persian
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
      
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    Detailed Description:

    A magnificent handwritten leaf from a Koran fragment. It originates from Banda, India, and is dated 1790 AD.  It contains verses from Surat Ibrahim (Abraham) and Surat al-Ḥijr (Hijr). There are eleven lines of strong black naskh script within gold clouds.  Gold roundels appear between verses. It also includes illuminated marginal medallions, markings after every tenth verse, a red Persian interlinear translation, surah headings in red, margins with Tafsir written in black and red. The final folio commentary is dated 1205. 

    The opening flyleaf is inscribed with a note reading: this copy of the Koran, formally the property of the Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda was delivered after the great victory obtained over Rebels and Mutineers by Major General Whitlocks Troops on the 19th of April 1858 to the Reverend A. Kinloch, the Chaplain of the Horse and present to him as a slight token of affectionate remembrance to the Reverend George Gleed the Vicar of Chalfont St. Peters, Bucks Banda Palace on April 29th 1858. A further note on the final flyleaf reads: This Copy of the Koran was taken from the apartments of Ali Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda after the occupation of his City and Palace by the Madras Column under Major General Whitlock.
     
    Condition of this leaf is Fine.
      
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    Ibrāhīm is the fifth in a series of six sūrah s whose opening verses include the letters alif, lām, and rāʾ , and which speak of the Book. It is said to have been revealed in Makkah, with the exception of vv. 28– 29, which belong to the Madinan period, as these two verses are usually considered to refer to the Battle of Badr (My). This sūrah takes its name from the mention of an episode in the life of Abraham (vv. 35– 41) in which he prays for the security of Makkah, protection from idolatry for himself and his children, prosperity for his progeny, and forgiveness for his parents and all believers on the Last Day.
     
    Among the key themes of this sūrah is the stark difference between gratitude and ingratitude for God’s Blessings (see vv. 5, 7– 8, 28, 32– 34, 37), the importance of patience (vv. 5, 12) and trust in God (vv. 11– 12), and the terrible nature of God’s Chastisement, whether in this world or in the next (vv. 16– 17, 29– 31, 42– 44, 48– 50). Another important teaching to be found throughout this sūrah is that those who prefer the life of this world over the Hereafter will end up as losers in the next life. Such people are typified by those who reject God’s messengers (vv. 3, 9– 10, 28– 30), are ungrateful to God for the many blessings that He has given to them (vv. 17– 18), take partners alongside God (v. 30), and succumb to Satan’s false promises (v. 22). The sūrah also emphasizes the importance of prophecy as a means of guiding people out of darkness into light (vv. 1, 5), but notes that whether they are guided or not is ultimately in God’s Hands (vv. 4, 21, 27, 37).
     
    As to Al-Ḥijr, it is the last in a series of six sūrahs whose opening verses include the letters alif, lām, and rāʾ , and which speak of the Book. Like the previous five sūrah s in this series, it belongs to the Makkan period (JJ) and seeks to address the Makkan idolaters’ negative reactions to the Prophet’s message. The sūrah begins with a discussion of the inevitability of God’s Punishment and the inescapability of His Decree, after whose declaration it will be too late to submit to God or defer His Chastisement (vv. 2– 5). It then offers responses to the Makkan idolaters’ challenge that the Prophet bring angels to them (vv. 7– 8) and reminds them that nothing the Prophet brings them would cause them to gain faith and believe (vv. 14– 15).
     
    The sūrah also seeks to console the Prophet in light of the insults and mockery (v. 7) he received from the Makkan idolaters (vv. 95– 97), reminding him that this was a common phenomenon among prophets (v. 11). The rebelliousness of the Makkan idolaters in face of the truth is then juxtaposed with the refusal of Iblīs to bow before Adam when Adam was created by God (vv. 28– 43). The sūrah goes on to recount the stories of the prophets Abraham (vv. 51– 60), Lot (vv. 61– 77), and Shuʿ ayb (vv. 78– 79). The account of the inhabitants of al-Ḥ ijr (vv. 80– 84), the community to whom the Prophet Ṣ āliḥ had been sent, then follows. They bear this name because they inhabited a rocky plain ( ḥ ijr, from which the sūrah derives its title). The sūrah ends by encouraging the Prophet to have forbearance, to worship, to be resolute in spreading the message, and to not grieve over his people’s rejection of it (vv. 88– 99).

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    Item Number: 609
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat al-Anbiya (The Prophets) & Surat-al Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
    Age: 1790
    Size: 365 x 210 mm
    Size including frame: 475 x 315 mm
    Origin: Banda, India
    Languages: Arabic and Persian
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     

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    Handwritten Qur’an manuscript from Banda, India, dated 1790 AD. It is one single paper with two pages, and contains verses from Surat al-Anbiyya (The Prophets) and Surat al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage). The text is written with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy and bold letters and includes marginal commentaries in Persian. The leaf is in good condition.
      
    A magnificent handwritten leaf from a Koran fragment. It originates from Banda, India, and is dated 1790 AD.  It contains verses from Surat al-Anbiyya (The Prophets) and Surat al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage). There are eleven lines of strong black naskh script within gold clouds.  Gold roundels appear between verses. It also includes illuminated marginal medallions, markings after every tenth verse, a red Persian interlinear translation, surah headings in red, margins with Tafsir written in black and red. The final folio commentary is dated 1205. 
    The opening flyleaf is inscribed with a note reading: this copy of the Koran, formally the property of the Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda was delivered after the great victory obtained over Rebels and Mutineers by Major General Whitlocks Troops on the 19th of April 1858 to the Reverend A. Kinloch, the Chaplain of the Horse and present to him as a slight token of affectionate remembrance to the Reverend George Gleed the Vicar of Chalfont St. Peters, Bucks Banda Palace on April 29th 1858. A further note on the final flyleaf reads: This Copy of the Koran was taken from the apartments of Ali Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda after the occupation of his City and Palace by the Madras Column under Major General Whitlock. 

    Condition of this leaf is Fine.

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    Detailed Description:
     
    Al-Anbiyāʾ , a Makkan sūrah, receives its name from the many stories of prophets told in it. The first section recounts the various accusations of falsehood and expressions of incredulity directed at the Prophet by the Quraysh (vv. 1– 10) and offers a reminder that peoples before him had been destroyed and could do nothing to stave off their punishment (vv. 11– 15). The impossibility of God taking a consort or having a child and the absurdity of more than one divinity in the universe are explained (vv. 16– 29), followed by a section asking human beings to contemplate the cosmos (vv. 30– 33). Human beings are reminded that all souls will taste death and will then be judged (vv. 34– 47).
     
    After a brief mention of Moses and Aaron (vv. 48– 50), a longer account of Abraham is given that includes his ruse of blaming the largest of his people’s idols for destroying the smaller ones to show them how empty their worship was and the attempt by his people to burn him alive in retaliation (vv. 51– 73). After mentioning Lot (vv. 74– 75) and Noah (vv. 76– 77), the sūrah narrates a story of David and Solomon in which David’s judgment is overturned by that of his son (vv. 78– 82). This is followed by accounts of Job (vv. 83– 84); Ishmael, Idrīs, and Dhu’l-Kifl (vv. 85– 86); Jonah (vv. 87– 88); and Zachariah, John, and Mary (vv. 89– 91).
     
    The last part of al-Anbiyāʾ addresses the end of the world and the coming of the Hereafter. A reminder of the tendency of religious communities to fragment when their members disagree among themselves is followed by an account of the coming of Gog and Magog, the ultimate end of idolaters and their idols in Hell, and the destruction of the cosmos and its renewal for the righteous (vv. 92– 104). The sūrah ends with a statement that the Prophet is a mercy to all creation, and a reminder both that he has given fair warning of what is to come and that he does not know when the final doom will come to pass (vv. 105– 12).
      
    As to Surat al-Hajj, some say it is Madinan except for vv. 52– 55, which are Makkan, while others say it is Makkan except for vv. 19– 22, which are from the Madinan period. Most say it is a mix of Makkan and Madinan verses (Q). According to one tradition, it was called one of the most remarkable of sūrahs for several reasons: it was revealed both at night and during the day, while on journey and while at home, and during war and during peace; it contains both abrogating and abrogated verses; and it has both muḥ kam (unambiguous) and mutashābih (symbolic or allegorical) verses (Q). It takes its name from the mention of the hHajj (pilgrimage) in v. 27 and also the broader discussion of it throughout.
     
    Al-Ḥajj opens with a warning of the terrors of the destruction of the world and the Resurrection (vv. 1– 4), which are compared to the individual life cycle of human beings (vv. 5– 7). The traits of the misguided are described and compared with those of the righteous through the parable of a garden and by describing their reward or punishment in the Hereafter (vv. 8– 25). The significance of the ḥ ajj is addressed in a passage that begins with a reminder that the rituals of the ḥ ajj were begun by Abraham and goes on to note that the true meaning of the rites of pilgrimage lies in the inner state of reverence (taqwā ) that reaches God, not sacrificial meat or other physical aspects of the Hajj (vv. 26– 37).
     
    The resistance to and rejection of other prophets by their peoples is mentioned in a passage that some commentators have explained in terms of the “story of the cranes,” more popularly known in the West as the “Satanic Verses,” which are connected to various passages of the Quran, but are often discussed in connection with v. 52 of this sūrah . This sūrah contains an important passage thought by many scholars to be the first verses revealed giving the Muslim community permission to resort to the use of force to defend itself against persecution (v. 39– 41); it also contains significant verses dealing with the relationship of Islam to other religions and the place of the Muslim community in history (vv. 17, 34, 67, 78).
     
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    Item Number: 608
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat al-Qasas (The Story)
    Age: 1790
    Size: 365 x 210 mm
    Size including frame: 475 x 315 mm
    Origin: Banda, India
    Languages: Arabic and Persian
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green

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    Detailed Description:

    A magnificent handwritten leaf from a Koran fragment. It originates from Banda, India, and is dated 1790 AD.  It contains verses from Surat Al-Qaṣaṣ (The Story). There are eleven lines of strong black naskh script within gold clouds.  Gold roundels appear between verses. It also includes illuminated marginal medallions, markings after every tenth verse, a red Persian interlinear translation, surah headings in red, margins with Tafsir written in black and red. The final folio commentary is dated 1205. 

    The opening flyleaf is inscribed with a note reading: this copy of the Koran, formally the property of the Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda was delivered after the great victory obtained over Rebels and Mutineers by Major General Whitlocks Troops on the 19th of April 1858 to the Reverend A. Kinloch, the Chaplain of the Horse and present to him as a slight token of affectionate remembrance to the Reverend George Gleed the Vicar of Chalfont St. Peters, Bucks Banda Palace on April 29th 1858. A further note on the final flyleaf reads: This Copy of the Koran was taken from the apartments of Ali Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda after the occupation of his City and Palace by the Madras Column under Major General Whitlock. 

    Condition of this leaf is Fine.

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    Most commentators consider al-Qaṣaṣ to be an entirely Makkan sūrah that was revealed after Sūrah 27, al-Naml. It takes its name from the story (qaṣ aṣ ) Moses tells his future father-in-law in v. 25 regarding his flight from Egypt.
     
    Al-Qaṣaṣ begins with the story of Moses and Pharaoh and describes the oppression suffered by the Children of Israel, leading Moses’ mother to cast him into the river, after which he was rescued and cared for by the family of Pharaoh and ultimately reunited with his mother (vv. 3– 13). This is followed by an account of Moses’ striking and killing an Egyptian who was quarreling with an Israelite and the subsequent flight of Moses from Egypt to Midian (vv. 14– 22). There Moses meets two sisters, one of whom he will come to marry, and finds refuge for many years in the employ of his father-in-law (vv. 23– 28). Then Moses encounters the fire from which he hears God speak to him; he has his first experience of the miracles he will perform in Egypt and requests that Aaron, his brother, be sent with him to confront Pharaoh (vv. 29– 35). The confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh includes the issue of the latter’s claim to divinity and his boast about building a structure to climb up to Heaven to encounter and challenge the God of Moses (vv. 36– 42).
     
    The Prophet Muhammad is told that he was not present when Moses received his revelations and that in the intervening period God sent prophets to other peoples, a reminder that only highlights the obstinacy and pride of the Prophet’s contemporaries who claimed to long for guidance from God, but who rejected His Prophet when he was sent (vv. 43– 50). They are contrasted with those who, when they hear the truth, believe in it (vv. 51– 55).
     
    The last part of the sūrah emphasizes the ephemerality of the world in relation to the Hereafter; Moses’ contemporary Korah is presented as the epitome of wickedness and worldly extravagance and pride. The sūrah ends with a reminder that this world is coming to an end and that all things will return to God (vv. 56– 88).

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    Item Number: 607
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat al-Dhariyat (The Scatterers)
    Age: 1790
    Size: 365 x 210 mm
    Size including frame: 475 x 315 mm
    Origin: Banda, India
    Languages: Arabic and Persian
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green

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    Detailed Description:
     
    A magnificent handwritten leaf from a Koran fragment. It originates from Banda, India, and is dated 1790 AD.  It contains verses from Surat al-Dhariyat (The Scatterers). There are eleven lines of strong black naskh script within gold clouds.  Gold roundels appear between verses. It also includes illuminated marginal medallions, markings after every tenth verse, a red Persian interlinear translation, surah headings in red, margins with Tafsir written in black and red. The final folio commentary is dated 1205. 
     
    The opening flyleaf is inscribed with a note reading: this copy of the Koran, formally the property of the Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda was delivered after the great victory obtained over Rebels and Mutineers by Major General Whitlocks Troops on the 19th of April 1858 to the Reverend A. Kinloch, the Chaplain of the Horse and present to him as a slight token of affectionate remembrance to the Reverend George Gleed the Vicar of Chalfont St. Peters, Bucks Banda Palace on April 29th 1858. A further note on the final flyleaf reads: This Copy of the Koran was taken from the apartments of Ali Bahadoor, Nawab of Banda after the occupation of his City and Palace by the Madras Column under Major General Whitlock. 

    Condition of this leaf is Fine.
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    A l-Dhāriyāt is a Makkan sūrah, most likely from the later Makkan period. The suurah takes its name from the mention of the winds that scatter in the first verse.
     
    After attesting to the Judgment in the opening lines (vv. 1– 6), the sūrah discusses the intellectual fallacies that lie at the heart of disbelief (vv. 7– 14) and contrasts the final end of those who conjecture with the final end of the reverent (vv. 15– 19). It then calls upon the signs within creation and the human soul as evidence of the Day of Judgment (vv. 20– 23). This is followed by references to the stories of Abraham, Lot, and Moses (vv. 24– 40), transitioning into a discussion of the pre-Islamic Arabian tribes of ʿ Ād and Thamūd (vv. 41– 45), and concluding with a reference to Noah (v. 46), who preceded all of the aforementioned tribes and peoples. The next passage (vv. 47– 55) begins with another allusion to the evidence of Divine Omnipotence provided by the natural order (vv. 47– 49) and provides counsel to the Prophet Muhammad. The sūrah concludes with a discussion of the relationship between the Divine and the human (vv. 56– 58) and a final warning to the disbelievers (vv. 59– 60).
     
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    Item Number: 488
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat  al-Ṣafāt
    Age: 1845
    Length: 14.0 cm x 20.0 cm
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:
     
    Handwritten leaf of an old Quran manuscript dated 1262 AH (1845 AD) . The text is framed inside a colored border and written with beautiful Arabic calligraphy. The verses are separated with red dots. This 1 leaf with 2 pages represents verses of Surat Al-Saffat (The Rangers). There is significant foxing at the borders and some ink blotches. There is little worming and no damage. The paper's condition is very good.
     
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    A Makkan sūrah, al-Ṣafāt is believed to have been revealed directly after Sūrah 6, al-Anʿām. It takes its name from the reference to those ranged in ranks in vv. 1 and 165, both of which refer to the angels. The sūrah can be seen as connected to the previous sūrah in that it tells the stories of several generations or civilizations that were destroyed for rejecting God’s messengers, material upon which readers or listeners are enjoined to reflect in 36:31: Have they not considered how many generations before them We destroyed, such that they return not unto them? After a brief reaffirmation of God’s Oneness and Omnipotence (vv. 1– 5), al-Ṣ āf āt describes the futility of the efforts of those who attempt to obtain knowledge of the Unseen through the jinn (vv. 6– 10). It then chastises the disbelievers for rejecting the Oneness of God, the prophethood of Muhammad, and the Resurrection, warning of the ignominious end they will face in the Hereafter and of the manner in which they will challenge and question one another regarding the fate that has befallen them (vv. 11– 39). This is followed by a description of the rewards God’s sincere servants receive in the Garden (vv. 40– 49) and the exchange they will have with the disbelievers they had known in this world, who are now in Hell (vv. 50– 60). A description of the punishments in the form of food and drink given to the denizens of Hell (vv. 61– 68) is followed by an explanation of their fate (vv. 69– 73). The sūrah then provides accounts of several prophets and the blessings God bestowed upon them: Noah (vv. 75– 82), Abraham (vv. 83– 113, a passage in which the near sacrifice of his son is also discussed, vv. 101– 8), Moses and Aaron (vv. 114– 22), Elias (Elijah; vv. 123– 32), Lot (vv. 133– 38), and Jonah (vv. 139– 48). In these accounts, it is only in the story of Jonah that the people repent (vv. 147– 48); the people associated with all the others are destroyed for having rejected God’s messenger. The discussion of the prophets is followed by a challenge to the worldview of the idolaters of the Prophet Muhammad’s time (vv. 149– 63) and a refutation in particular of the Divine powers they ascribe to the angels (vv. 164– 66). The Study Quran: The sūrah concludes with a final address to the disbelievers and a promise that the Prophet and his followers will triumph, as did the other prophets mentioned in the sūrah (vv. 167– 82).
     
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    Item Number: 486
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Al- al-Muʾminūn (The Believers)
    Age: 1880
    Length: 14.5 cm x 20.0 cm
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    Handwritten Ottoman Qur’an  manuscript dated 1298 AH (1880 AD). It is one single paper with two pages, and contains verses from Surat al-Muʾminūn (The Believers). The text is written with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy and bold letters. The condition of the paper is very good. The leaf exhibits foxing and worming. There is damage due to heavy metal in the ink but the text is not affected. 

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    Considered to be from the Makkan period (Q), Surah al-Muʾminūn begins by describing the virtues and righteous actions of those who believe; it then moves to a reminder of humanity’s origin from clay and, reminiscent of 22:5, recounts a human being’s development starting from a clot of blood and culminating in another creation (vv. 12– 14). After several verses describing the blessings of the world, the sūrah narrates the story of Noah, his struggles with the denial and rebuke of his people, and his journey in the ark (vv. 23– 41). Brief mention of Moses and Jesus follows, after which the sūrah dwells upon the human tendency to divide into religious groups (vv. 42– 54). Having mentioned the difficulties presented to previous messengers, al-Muʾminūn turns to the opponents of the Prophet Muhammad; their reasons for opposition are similar to those voiced by the people of Noah, and the Prophet’s people are reminded that he is no stranger to them (vv. 55– 69). The opposition to prophets by the affluent and powerful is a recurrent theme in this sūrah, something also seen elsewhere in the tendency of the “notables” to oppose the prophets (see also 7:59– 136; 7:60– 62c). The idolaters are addressed in a passage consisting of questions and answers regarding the relationship between God and creation (vv. 84– 89); this passage provides a linear argument, a form uncommon in the Quran in general, against believing in multiple gods. The sūrah concludes by warning of the impending Day of Judgment and the punishment of disbelievers who, upon coming face-to-face with the reality of their perdition, will desire to go back to the world in order to do good instead of evil, though it will be too late for them (vv. 99– 118). The grand and awesome nature of the Hereafter will make their life in the world seem to them as a day or part of a day (v. 113).
     
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    Item Number: 483
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Al-Tawbah (Repentance)
    Age: 1878
    Length: 17.5 cm x 24.5 cm
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    Ottoman era leaf that is a remnant of an old handwritten Qur’an manuscript . It is one single paper with two pages, and is part of a larger book dated 1296 AH (1878 AD). It contains verses from Surat Al-Tawbah (Repentance). The text is framed in a red colored border and done with bold letters. The dots between verses are made of gold. The leaf exhibits foxing and no worming.
     
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    The name of this sūrah, al-Tawbah, comes from the reference to repentance in v. 3, though some connect it with God’s “relenting” toward the Prophet and the believers as mentioned in vv. 117– 18 (Āl), since “repent” and “relent” render the same verb with a different preposition following it. Another common name for this sūrah is al-Barāʾ ah (“The Repudiation”), a word that appears in its first verse, and several other names are also mentioned by commentators. This Madinan sūrah contains some of the most important passages in the Quran concerning the conduct of war and political relations during peace time, opening with a passage about how and why the believers should fight the idolatrous Arabs and also certain groups among the People of the Book (vv. 1– 29), which is followed by a criticism of the corruption of religious leaders (vv. 29– 32). A long passage describes the trials and disagreements that took place within the community over setting out on a military campaign and expands upon the dissension created by the hypocrites in Madinah who did not wish to go out to fight alongside the Prophet (vv. 38– 106, 117– 27). Loyalty and allegiance are major themes in the latter part of this sūrah and are applied to the attitudes of the nomadic Arabs (vv. 97– 101), the efforts of some hypocrites to establish a competing mosque in Madinah (vv. 107– 110), and the wavering and weakness of some Muslims in their commitment to following the Prophet into battle (vv. 117– 18). The rules governing the zakāh, or alms, and the giving of charity also figure prominently in this sūrah (vv. 58– 60, 103– 4). This is the only sūrah of the Quran that does not begin with the basmalah, the formula In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful . It is reported that Ibn ʿ Abbās asked ʿ Alī ibn Abī Ṭ ālib why there was no basmalah at the start of this sūrah . He responded that the basmalah is a statement of security, and this sūrah begins with the severing of a covenant and a declaration of conflict, which indicate the opposite of a state of security. When it was pointed out to him that the Prophet sent letters beginning with the basmalah to call various hostile groups to embrace Islam, ʿ Alī ibn Abī Ṭ ālib responded that this was precisely a call to God, not the rescinding of a pact; the former leads to peace, the latter to war. Commentators note that it was a custom, even in pre-Islamic times, to omit In the Name of God in a message breaking a treaty.
     
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    Item Number: 620
     
    Manuscript Leaflet: Dala'il al-Khayrat by al-Jazuli
    Country of Origin: India
    Age: 1890
    Size: 204 x 130 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:
     
    This is a leaf from a remaindered (Dala'il al-Khayrat) prayer book, scripted in India, in 1878. It is from the famous book Dala'il al-Khayrat (meaning the Waymarks of Benefits and the Brilliant Burst of Lights in the Remembrance of Blessings on the Chosen Prophet). This inspired text is a famous collection of prayers on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), which was written by the Moroccan Islamic scholar Muhammad Sulaiman al-Jazuli ash Shadhili (died 1465). It contains thirteen lines scribed in a strong Naskhi script on a fine linen paper. It was written in Arabic with Persian translation in red ink between the lines. The holy name of Allah is in red ink. The headings are in gold as well as the borders. It contains gold rosettes at  the end of the verses. This manuscript originally was of very fine quality and may have belonged to nobility. The condition of this leaf is fine.

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    The Dala’il al-Khayrat is the first major book in Islamic history which compiled litanies of peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). It is also the most popular and most universally acclaimed collection of litanies asking God to bless him. Among some Sunni religious orders, most notably the Shadhili-Jazuli order, its recitation is a daily practice. The work begins with the ninety nine names of God, and then the a collection of over one hundred names of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). It is popular in parts of the Islamic world amongst traditional Muslims - specifically North Africa, the Levant, Turkey, the Caucasus and the South Asia and is divided into sections for daily recitation.

    The legend behind the origin of the Dala’il al-Khayrat claims that al-Jazuli once awoke late for his morning prayers and began to look in vain for pure water to perform ritual ablutions. In the midst of his search al-Jazuli encountered a young girl who was aware of al-Jazuli's famed religiosity and was bewildered on why al-Jazuli could not find pure water. The girl then spat into a well which miraculously overflowed with pure sweet water for al-Jazuli to perform ablutions. Consequent to performing prayer, al-Jazuli inquired to the means by which the girl achieved such a high spiritual station. The girl replied it was simply by "Making constant prayer for God to bless the best of creation by the number of breaths and heartbeats." Al-Jazuli then resolved to write a work collecting litanies of prayers asking God to bless and show mercy and kindness to Muhammad  (ﷺ).

    Al-Jazuli then moved east to Medina where he would recite the whole of the Dala’il al-Khayrat twice daily at the Prophet Muhammad's  (ﷺ) grave in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. The Dala'il Khayrat has since been seen as a testament of love and passionate longing for Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
      
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    Item Number: 621
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: 
    Surat al-Baqara (The Cow)
    Age: 1748
    Origin: India
    Size: 230 x 168 mm
    Size including frame: 349 x 288 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    A large, unusual Quran leaf from India, dated AH 1161/ AD 1748. The script is of Surat al-Baqara. There are fourteen lines of Naskhi script scribed in black ink. Diacritics and vowel points are in black while surah headings are in red. It contains catchwords in the margins. Condition of this leaf is below fine.

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    A l-Baqarah is from the Madinan period. It is named al-Baqarah, or “The Cow,” because of the cow mentioned in v. 67. It is the longest sūrah of the Quran, comprising one-twelfth of the entire text. In most illuminated manuscripts and printed editions of the Quran, the first seven verses of al-Baqarah appear on an illuminated page opposite another illuminated page containing the seven verses of the Fātiḥah, or “Opening,” the first chapter of the Quran. These two pages together form for most readers the first visual experience of the Quran as a physical book.

    Few subjects discussed in the Quran do not find some mention in al-Baqarah; topics include matters of theology, law, sacred history, metaphysics, cosmology, and the spiritual life. The sūrah opens with a general description of belief in the seen and Unseen, the multiplicity of prophets, and the imperative to give from what we possess, whether spiritual or material. After a section addressing the hypocrisy of the protestations and claims of those who disbelieve in God, the sūrah turns to an account of the creation of Adam and the fall from the Garden, including the status of the angels in relation to human beings and the role of Satan in Adam’s fall.

    The history of the Children of Israel figures prominently in this sūrah. Stressed are the blessings of God upon the Israelites throughout their history, beginning with one of the several accounts provided by the Quran describing the encounter between Moses and Pharaoh as well as the events at Mt. Sinai and the parable of the sacrificial cow (baqarah ), to which the sūrah owes its name. This history is interwoven with theological questions debated between Jews and Muslims, such as the duration of one’s stay in Hell, the status of the Archangel Gabriel, and other accusations and challenges exchanged between the two communities.

    Al-Baqarah is one of the most important sūrah s as far as the question of the status of other religions is concerned, addressing this matter from a theological and legal perspective and also as a question of sacred history. Abraham is discussed as a prophet who predated Judaism and Christianity, who established the Kaʿ bah as a temple of worship, and who was a ḥ anīf, or primordial monotheist.

    Important rituals and acts of worship are legislated in this sūrah, including the pilgrimage, the required fast during the month of Ramadan, and other matters such as the direction (qiblah ) one should face while reciting the canonical prayers. Other legal matters discussed are economic contracts, usury, marriage and divorce, the status of orphans, the causes and conduct of war, inheritance, alcohol consumption and gambling, and punishment for capital crimes. Some of the Quran’s most famous and most recited verses are found in this sūrah, including v. 255, called the Pedestal Verse (Āyat al-Kursī ), and the final two verses, which are important in Muslim devotional life.

    Concerning this sūrah the Prophet is reported to have said, “Everything has a zenith, and the zenith of the Quran is Sūrat al-Baqarah, and it has a verse which is the lord of the verses of the Quran, the Pedestal Verse [v. 255]”; “Truly Satan leaves a house when he hears Sūrat al-Baqarah recited in it”; and “Learn al-Baqarah . Holding to it is a blessing, leaving it is an affliction, and falsehood has no power over it.”
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    Item Number: 623
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari
    Age: Late 1700's
    Origin: India
    Size: 180 x 115 mm
    Size including frame: 300 x 225 mm
    Languages: Arabic and Persian
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    This beautiful leaf is from a prayer manuscript of Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari. The manuscript is originally from North India and is from the late 17th century. The script is in Arabic and Persian. It contains 7 lines to the page written in naskhi script with black ink. Significant words are shown out in red. It contains double interlinear gold rules, interlinear Persian translation in red ink, inner margins ruled in blue and two shades of gold. The 22 lines written diagonally in the outer margins of each page are in nadta'liq script in black ink with significant words and sentences picked out in red. It contains illuminated corner pieces, an outer margins ruled in blue, orange and two shades of gold and illuminated double-pages in various colors including gold. 

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    Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari (26 November 1350– 2 December 1429) was a distinguished and prolific scholar in the field of the qira'at of the Qur'an, whom al-Suyuti regarded as the "ultimate authority on these matters". His works on tajwid and qira'at are considered classics. The nisba (attributive title), Jazari, denotes an origin from Jazirat ibn 'Umar.

    Al-Jazari was born in Damascus on Friday 26 November 1350 (25 Ramadan 751 AH), at a time where his parents were long past the age of having children, yet his father (a merchant), had not given up all hope of having a child even after 40 years of marriage. It is said that Al-Jazari was born after his father's prayers for a son during the Hajj.

    He completed the memorization of the Qur'an at the age of 13 and learned the art of Qur'anic recitation at an early age. In Damascus, al-Jazari founded and headed Dar al-Qur'an, a school that specialized in Qur'anic sciences. He travelled to Mecca, Medina, Cairo and Alexandria where he took knowledge from its scholars and in 774 AH, he was authorized by his teacher Ibn Kathir to issue verdicts in Islamic law.[citation needed] He served as a qadi (judge) of Damascus in 793 AH and later in Shiraz where he died.

    Al-Jazari died at the age of 79 on Friday 2 December 1429 (5 Rabi' al-awwal 833 AH) in Shiraz, Iran.
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    Item Number: 624
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari
    Age: Late 1700's
    Origin: India
    Size: 170 x 115 mm
    Size including frame: 290 x 230 mm
    Languages: Arabic and Persian
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    This beautiful leaf is from a prayer manuscript of Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari. The manuscript is originally from North India and is from the late 17th century. The script is in Arabic and Persian. It contains 7 lines to the page written in naskhi script with black ink. Significant words are shown out in red. It contains double interlinear gold rules, interlinear Persian translation in red ink, inner margins ruled in blue and two shades of gold. The 22 lines written diagonally in the outer margins of each page are in nadta'liq script in black ink with significant words and sentences picked out in red. It contains illuminated corner pieces, an outer margins ruled in blue, orange and two shades of gold and illuminated double-pages in various colors including gold. 

    ____________________

    Abu al-Khayr Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Yusuf al-Jazari (26 November 1350– 2 December 1429) was a distinguished and prolific scholar in the field of the qira'at of the Qur'an, whom al-Suyuti regarded as the "ultimate authority on these matters". His works on tajwid and qira'at are considered classics. The nisba (attributive title), Jazari, denotes an origin from Jazirat ibn 'Umar.

    Al-Jazari was born in Damascus on Friday 26 November 1350 (25 Ramadan 751 AH), at a time where his parents were long past the age of having children, yet his father (a merchant), had not given up all hope of having a child even after 40 years of marriage. It is said that Al-Jazari was born after his father's prayers for a son during the Hajj.

    He completed the memorization of the Qur'an at the age of 13 and learned the art of Qur'anic recitation at an early age. In Damascus, al-Jazari founded and headed Dar al-Qur'an, a school that specialized in Qur'anic sciences. He travelled to Mecca, Medina, Cairo and Alexandria where he took knowledge from its scholars and in 774 AH, he was authorized by his teacher Ibn Kathir to issue verdicts in Islamic law.[citation needed] He served as a qadi (judge) of Damascus in 793 AH and later in Shiraz where he died.

    Al-Jazari died at the age of 79 on Friday 2 December 1429 (5 Rabi' al-awwal 833 AH) in Shiraz, Iran.
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    Item Number: 630
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat al-Fatiha (The Opening)
    Age: 1748
    Origin: India
    Size: 253 x 153 mm
    Size including frame: 368 x 270 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    A large, unusual Quran leaf from India, dated AH 1161/ AD 1748. The script is of Surat al-Fatiha (The Opening). There are six lines of Naskhi script scribed in black ink. Diacritics and vowel points are in black while surad headings are in red. It contains catchwords in the margins. Condition of this leaf is below fine.

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    A l-Fātiḥah is considered by the vast majority of scholars to be among the first sūrah s to have been revealed in Makkah. According to Mujāhid (d. 104/722– 23), one of the leading scholars among the second generation of Muslims, this sūrah was revealed in Madinah. Most scholars claim that this is impossible, however, as the Muslims would not have been able to perform their required prayers without it. The primary meaning of al-Fātiḥah is “The Opening,” which indicates the sūrah ’s function as “the opening of the Book” (Fātiḥ at al-kitāb ) and as the first sūrah to be recited in each cycle (rakʿah) of all the canonical prayers as well as the manner in which it serves as an opening for many functions in everyday Islamic life. It can also be taken as a reference to this sūrah’s ability to open one’s breast to faith in God.

    The Fātiḥah is often believed to be a synthesis of the Quran’s message and to be its most important sūrah. Hence it has been given the title Umm al-kitāb, “Mother of the Book,” a term also applied to other aspects of the Quran (3:7) and to the celestial archetype of the Quran and in fact all sacred scripture (see 13:39; 43:4). It is also known as “The Mother of the Quran” (IK, Ṭ ), a reference to its containing the meaning of the entire Quran (IK). Other titles are “The Seven Oft- Repeated” (al- Sabʿal-mathānī, 15:87); “The Cure” (al-Shifāʾ ), because it is said to have healing powers for both body and soul; and “The Foundation” (al-Asās), because it serves as a foundation for the whole of the Quran. Also known as Sūrat al-Ḥamd, “The Chapter of Praise,” and Sūrat al-Ṣalāh, “The Chapter of the Prayer,” the Fātiḥah is recited at the beginning of each cycle of prayer by all Sunnis and many Shiites. In Shiite law one is allowed to recite the Fātiḥ ah in the third and fourth cycles or to recite, “Glory be to God, and praise be to God. There is no god but God, and God is great.” It is also recited by Muslims on occasions as diverse as a funeral, a wedding, the birth of a child, the inauguration of an official event, the signing of contracts, and the commencement of an individual endeavor, such as the beginning of a journey. In some lands, funeral services are referred to as fātiḥah, because they mark an opening from one life to another.

    Many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad attribute an exalted status to the Fātiḥah . In one, the Prophet told a man that he would teach him the greatest sūrah; when asked what it was, the Prophet responded, “It is Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds, the seven oft-repeated, and the Mighty Quran [15:87] that I was given”. A famous ḥadīth qudsī — that is, a non-Quranic saying of God reported by the Prophet— states, “I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have that for which he prays. When the servant says, ‘Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, ’ God says, ‘My servant has praised Me.’ When the servant says, ‘The Compassionate, the Merciful, ’ God says, ‘My servant has magnified Me.’ When the servant says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgment, ’ God says, ‘My servant has glorified Me. . . . This is My portion and to him belongs what remains’”. Seen in this light, the Fātiḥ ah is more than the confessional prayer of Muslims. It is a prayer that encapsulates all the metaphysical and eschatological realities of which human beings must remain conscious; God asks human beings to recite it because it contains in principle the nature of God and the disposition God wishes them to have toward Him. The Fātiḥ ah thus has a threefold structure: the first three verses deal with the nature of God, the middle verse deals with the relationship between God and human beings, and the last three verses deal with the various states of human beings.

    Many other reports from the Prophet and his Companions indicate the great power that Muslims associate with this sūrah . In one the Prophet says, “By Him in Whose Hand lies my soul, in neither the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel, nor the Quran was the like of it revealed” (IK, Sh). According to another saying attributed by some to Mujāhid and by others to the Prophet himself, “Satan was frightened four times: when he was cursed by God; when he was expelled from the Garden; when Muhammad was sent [as a messenger]; and when the Fātiḥah was revealed.”

    The exalted status of the Fātiḥah has resulted in numerous independent commentaries upon it, some numbering hundreds of pages. Such commentaries, which could be said to constitute a subgenre of Quranic exegesis, often attempt to illustrate the manner in which the whole of the Quran is contained in this sūrah . According to a famous saying attributed to ʿ Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661), the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, who became the first Imam of Shiite Islam (632– 61) and the fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam (656– 61), “The whole of the Quran is contained in the Fātiḥ ah, the whole of the Fātiḥ ah in the basmalah [‘In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful’], the whole of the basmalah in the bāʾ [the opening letter], and the whole of the bāʾ in the diacritical point under the bāʾ .” This point can be understood to represent the first drop of ink from the Divine Pen (al-qalam; see 68:1c; 96:4c) with which God wrote the archetypes of all things upon the Preserved Tablet (al-lawḥ al-maḥfūẓ) before their descent into the realm of creation. In this sense, just as the basmalah marks the beginning of the Quran, so too does it mark the beginning of creation.

    1 In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. 2 Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, 3 the Compassionate, the Merciful, 4 Master of the Day of Judgment. 5 Thee we worship and from Thee we seek help. 6 Guide us upon the straight path, 7 the path of those whom Thou hast blessed, not of those who incur wrath, nor of those who are astray.
     
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    Item Number: 626
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Mariam (Mary)
    Origin: North Africa; Possibly Tunisia
    Age: 1825
    Size: 180 x 152 mm
    Size including frame: 298 x 269 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:
     
    Handwritten Maghrebi Qur’an manuscript leaf, possibly from Tunisia, dated 1825, of Surat Mariam (Mary).  It is a fragment of Quran containing religious commentary. It consists of fifteen lines written in a simple Maghribi script in red and black inks on a laid paper. Throughout the text there are numerous gilded points and rosettes and other marginal ornamentals.
     
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    Maryam is a Makkan sūrah believed to have been revealed after Sūrah 35, Fāṭir, although some report that vv. 58 and 71 were revealed in Madinah. The sūrah is named for Mary (Maryam ) the mother of Jesus, whose story it recounts in detail. This is the only sūrah named for a female figure, and indeed Mary has the distinction of being the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran; other female figures are identified only by their relation to others, such as the wife of Adam and the mother of Moses, or by their title, such as the Queen of Sheba.
    Since nearly all named figures in the Quran are considered prophets, and since Mary receives the message about her miraculous conception of Jesus, identified as God’s “Word,” from the Archangel Gabriel, the angel of revelation, a small minority of Islamic authorities, such as the Andalusian theologian Ibn Ḥazm (d. 456/1064) and the Persian Sufi Rūzbihān al-Baqlī (d. 606/1209), consider her to be a female prophet. However, since Mary is not explicitly identified as a prophet in the Quran and Islamic tradition generally holds that all prophets are male (based on the description of prophets as “men” in 12:109), most Muslim authorities do not consider Mary a prophet, but rather an exceptionally pious woman with the highest spiritual rank among women. In a ḥadīth, the Prophet names Mary as one of the four spiritually perfected women of the world.
     
    Mary represents a unique point of connection between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. She was born into a priestly Jewish family and dedicated to service in the Temple, but she was also the mother of Jesus and thus plays a central and miraculous role in the establishment of Christianity. In the Quran, Mary’s importance is indicated by the fairly substantial detail with which her story is recounted, both here and in 3:35– 48. She also plays a role of significance in certain forms of Islamic piety.
     
    This sūrah is reported to have played an important role in the history of the early Islamic community. After the Battle of Badr, in which many prominent Makkans were killed, the Makkan leaders sent a delegation to the Negus, the Christian king of Abyssinia, who had given refuge to a small group of the Prophet’s followers. The Makkan delegation demanded that the king hand over some of these Muslims, so that they could exact retribution upon them for the loss of those Makkans who died at Badr. The Negus summoned a delegation of the Muslims and asked them to recite something from the revelations that had been sent to the Prophet Muhammad. Jaʿ far ibn Abī Ṭ ālib (d. 7/629), the Prophet’s cousin and older brother of ʿ Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, came forth and recited from this sūrah . Upon hearing the Quran’s words regarding Mary and Jesus, the Negus and the religious leaders of his court began to weep profusely and refused to hand over the Muslims, indicating that the religious teachings of the Quran were deeply related to those of the Christian faith.
     
    Maryam has several unique characteristics that give it a distinct linguistic and thematic unity. It is one of the longest sūrah s to have a clearly defined rhyming pattern; sixty-seven of its ninety-eight verses end with the same final sound, and other, shorter passages contain separate, but related, rhyming patterns. Also in this sūrah, God is repeatedly and most commonly referred to by the Divine Name al-Raḥ mān (“the Compassionate”); nearly a third of all instances of this Divine Name in the Quran (i.e., other than in the opening basmalah formula) are located in this sūrah alone.
     
    The sūrah begins with substantial accounts of the related figures of Zachariah and John (vv. 2– 15) and of Mary and Jesus (vv. 16– 36), followed by more succinct accounts of Abraham (vv. 41– 50) and Moses (vv. 51– 53). These four accounts bear some common thematic elements, including God’s bestowal of prophetic children or relatives upon other prophets or sacred figures: God grants John to Zachariah, Jesus to Mary, Isaac and Jacob to Abraham, and Aaron to his brother Moses. In all four accounts these Divine “gifts” are granted only after Zachariah, Mary, Abraham, and Moses withdraw from their people and enter a state of separation from the world. The juxtaposition of speaking and silence also ties the accounts together: Zachariah and Mary’s temporary silence (vv. 10– 11, 26) is complemented by the infant Jesus’ miraculous ability to speak (vv. 29– 33).
     
    These four accounts are followed by a brief mention of other prophetic figures, including Ishmael (vv. 54– 55) and Idrīs (vv. 56– 57), and then by a warning that many who came after these prophets went astray and that only those who repent, believe, and work righteousness will enter the Garden (vv. 58– 63). After a reminder in v. 64 that revelation only comes to the Prophet by God’s Command, the sūrah proceeds to address the criticisms leveled against the Prophet and the Quranic message (vv. 65– 82). Vv. 88– 95 issue a strong rejection of the claims of those who say that God has begotten a child. The sūrah concludes in v. 98 with a sobering observation about the utter silence of earlier generations destroyed by God for their wrongdoing, from whom one no longer hears even the slightest sound.
     
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    Item Number: 628
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Al-Shūrā (The Councel)
    Age: 19th century
    Origin: India
    Size: 150 x 210 mm
    Size including frame: 315 x 250 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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    Detailed Description:

    This fine leaf is from an excellently preserved, 19th century Quran, possibly scribed in India. It contains verses from Surat Al-Shūrā (The Councel)The script is in naskh. It has a gold and polychrome border. Neat gold floral devices embellish the corners of each page. The blue medallions outside the border are particularly beautiful.

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    Al-Shūrā is considered to be a Makkan sūrah revealed directly after the previous sūrah, Fuṣṣilat (JJ). Al-Shūrā takes its name from v. 38, which describes their affair being counsel among them as a characteristic of the believers; it is also known by its first two verses, ḥā Mīm ʿAyn Sīn Qāf.

    The sūrah is framed by references to the continuity of Divine revelations (v. 3 and vv. 51– 52), each of which is followed by an assertion of God’s Omnipotence (v. 4 and v. 53). The continuity between the teachings of Islam and previous religions is also addressed in v. 7 and vv. 13– 15. This discourse culminates in vv. 51– 52, which are understood as a reference to the various modes by which God delivers revelation as well as an affirmation that the Prophet has received revelation in the same manner as did previous prophets. In relation to the discussion of revelation, this sūrah emphasizes God’s function as the Provider and Sustainer unto Whom belong the keys of the heavens and the earth (v. 12) and Who provides as He wills in accord with His Wisdom (vv. 11– 12, 19– 20, 26– 29, 32– 34, 49– 50), a characteristic that applies to the bestowal of wealth, offspring, and revelation. Nonetheless, most human beings seek sustenance elsewhere, taking protectors apart from Him (vv. 6, 9), arguing about God (vv. 16– 19), disputing the Hour (v. 18), and disputing His signs (v. 35). In this vein, the sūrah outlines the contrast between those who seek the harvest of this world and those who seek the harvest of the Hereafter (v. 20; cf. vv. 22, 36– 39) and emphasizes that no one has any protector beyond or apart from God (vv. 8– 9, 29, 44, 46).
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    Item Number: 627
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat  Yūnus (Jonah)
    Age: 1840
    Origin: India
    Size: 190 x 130 mm
    Size including frame: 295 x 230 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
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      Detailed Description:
      
    This fine leaf is from an excellently preserved, circa 1840 Koran, scribed in Kashmir about the time of Queen Victoria came to the throne of England. The script is in naskh on highly burnished paper, which has helped to preserve the manuscript in such a fine state. The layout incorporates the typical marginal devices to which the Kashmir scribes are devoted. Neat gold floral devices embellish the corners of each page.
     
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    Yūnus is the first in a series of six sūrah s whose opening verses include the letters alif, lām, and rāʾ, and which speak of the Book. With the possible exception of vv. 40, 94– 96, which are said to have been revealed in Madinah, this sūrah in all likelihood belongs to the early Makkan period, as the context of some of the verses seems to suggest a date near to the beginning of the Prophet’s mission. Some say it is to be dated sometime after the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension (al-isrāʾ wa’l-miʿ rāj).

    One of this sūrah’s main arguments, in response to the Makkan idolaters’ accusations, is that the Quran is of Divine Origin and the Prophet had no hand in composing it. Several verses decry the disbelievers’ labeling the Prophet a manifest sorcerer (v. 2) and saying that he has fabricated it (v. 38). The sūrah also argues that the real fabricators are those who reject God, and for them there awaits a terrible reckoning in the next life (vv. 60, 69). Their lie against God is related to the fact that they deny their own true nature, which is to believe in and serve God. The sūrah describes how even disbelievers manifest this true belief in God when affliction befalls them and they are left with no one to turn to except God; however, when they are safe, they forget God, return to their old ways, and are again left to their own machinations (vv. 22– 23).

    Another key theme of this sūrah is its response to the challenges made by the Makkan idolaters that the Prophet should hasten to bring upon them the Punishment of God if he is truthful in his claims (v. 11), or that he should bring a different Quran that does not condemn their gods and is thus more congenial to their ways of worship (vv. 15– 17).

    A good deal of emphasis is placed in this sūrah on the teaching that the ultimate return of all creatures is to God, just as their creation originated with Him (v. 56). Although the meeting with God after death is considered to be inevitable, those who are given only to the life of this world and who serve their various false gods will be punished for their disbelief (vv. 7, 52). Likewise, glad tidings (v. 2) are promised to the believers (see also vv. 4, 62– 64, 103), who are encouraged to be patient with the hardships through which the disbelievers put them (v. 109). It is the believers who will be engulfed in peace (v. 10), which is confirmed in God’s calling people to the Abode of Peace (v. 25).

    Another key theme is the futility of conjecture (vv. 36, 60, 66). Thus, the sūrah condemns such things as the Makkans’ belief in false gods as well as their anticipated intercession in the affairs of this world, when, in reality, intercession is only by God’s Leave and false gods have no role in the spiritual economy of things (vv. 3, 18). This is why in the Hereafter the false gods will reject those who used to serve them (vv. 28– 29), especially because these false gods have no ability to create or guide others (vv. 34– 35). Rather, God is the only One Who can provide for His creatures (v. 31).

    The sūrah also addresses the question of why guidance, which is considered to have a universal resonance, is received so differently. The answer is that disbelievers are opposed to the truth from the beginning and thus are not willing to listen (vv. 96– 97, 101). Yet, like those who turn to God when affliction visits them but who revert to their old ways once they are safe, there are people, like Pharaoh in v. 90, who will eventually acknowledge the truth, but too late. Ultimately, guidance is dependent upon God, and none can guide those who are misguided (vv. 42– 43, 99, 100).

    The sūrah ends by recounting the stories of Noah (vv. 71– 73) and Moses (vv. 75– 93). Unlike the communities of Noah, Moses, and other previous prophets, the people of the prophet Jonah (from mention of whom in v. 98 the sūrah receives its name) heeded the warning of their prophet and thereby averted punishment. This serves to illustrate to the Makkans and, by extension, people in general that it is not too late to accept the truth, and that if they do so, they will benefit themselves and avert punishment. 
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    Item Number: 631
      
    Manuscript Leaflet: Surat Yūnus (Jonah)
    Age: 1840
    Origin: India
    Size: 180 x 130 mm
    Size including frame: 285 x 230 mm
    Languages: Arabic
    Frame: Dark brown wood
    Mount: Green
     
    ____________________
     
     Detailed Description:
      
    This fine leaf is from an excellently preserved, circa 1840 Koran, scribed in Kashmir about the time of Queen Victoria came to the throne of England. The script is in naskh on highly burnished paper, which has helped to preserve the manuscript in such a fine state. The layout incorporates the typical marginal devices to which the Kashmir scribes are devoted. Neat gold floral devices embellish the corners of each page.
     
    ____________________
     
    Yūnus is the first in a series of six sūrah s whose opening verses include the letters alif, lām, and rāʾ, and which speak of the Book. With the possible exception of vv. 40, 94– 96, which are said to have been revealed in Madinah, this sūrah in all likelihood belongs to the early Makkan period, as the context of some of the verses seems to suggest a date near to the beginning of the Prophet’s mission. Some say it is to be dated sometime after the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension (al-isrāʾ wa’l-miʿ rāj).

    One of this sūrah’s main arguments, in response to the Makkan idolaters’ accusations, is that the Quran is of Divine Origin and the Prophet had no hand in composing it. Several verses decry the disbelievers’ labeling the Prophet a manifest sorcerer (v. 2) and saying that he has fabricated it (v. 38). The sūrah also argues that the real fabricators are those who reject God, and for them there awaits a terrible reckoning in the next life (vv. 60, 69). Their lie against God is related to the fact that they deny their own true nature, which is to believe in and serve God. The sūrah describes how even disbelievers manifest this true belief in God when affliction befalls them and they are left with no one to turn to except God; however, when they are safe, they forget God, return to their old ways, and are again left to their own machinations (vv. 22– 23).

    Another key theme of this sūrah is its response to the challenges made by the Makkan idolaters that the Prophet should hasten to bring upon them the Punishment of God if he is truthful in his claims (v. 11), or that he should bring a different Quran that does not condemn their gods and is thus more congenial to their ways of worship (vv. 15– 17).

    A good deal of emphasis is placed in this sūrah on the teaching that the ultimate return of all creatures is to God, just as their creation originated with Him (v. 56). Although the meeting with God after death is considered to be inevitable, those who are given only to the life of this world and who serve their various false gods will be punished for their disbelief (vv. 7, 52). Likewise, glad tidings (v. 2) are promised to the believers (see also vv. 4, 62– 64, 103), who are encouraged to be patient with the hardships through which the disbelievers put them (v. 109). It is the believers who will be engulfed in peace (v. 10), which is confirmed in God’s calling people to the Abode of Peace (v. 25).

    Another key theme is the futility of conjecture (vv. 36, 60, 66). Thus, the sūrah condemns such things as the Makkans’ belief in false gods as well as their anticipated intercession in the affairs of this world, when, in reality, intercession is only by God’s Leave and false gods have no role in the spiritual economy of things (vv. 3, 18). This is why in the Hereafter the false gods will reject those who used to serve them (vv. 28– 29), especially because these false gods have no ability to create or guide others (vv. 34– 35). Rather, God is the only One Who can provide for His creatures (v. 31).

    The sūrah also addresses the question of why guidance, which is considered to have a universal resonance, is received so differently. The answer is that disbelievers are opposed to the truth from the beginning and thus are not willing to listen (vv. 96– 97, 101). Yet, like those who turn to God when affliction visits them but who revert to their old ways once they are safe, there are people, like Pharaoh in v. 90, who will eventually acknowledge the truth, but too late. Ultimately, guidance is dependent upon God, and none can guide those who are misguided (vv. 42– 43, 99, 100).

    The sūrah ends by recounting the stories of Noah (vv. 71– 73) and Moses (vv. 75– 93). Unlike the communities of Noah, Moses, and other previous prophets, the people of the prophet Jonah (from mention of whom in v. 98 the sūrah receives its name) heeded the warning of their prophet and thereby averted punishment. This serves to illustrate to the Makkans and, by extension, people in general that it is not too late to accept the truth, and that if they do so, they will benefit themselves and avert punishment. 
    ____________________ 

      

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