Item Number: 607
Manuscript Leaflet: Surat al-Dhariyat (The Scatterers)
Size: 365 x 210 mm (inner)
475 x 315 mm (outer)
Origin: Banda, India
Languages: Arabic and Persian
Frame: Dark brown wood
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.
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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