Item Number: 620
Manuscript Leaflet: Dala'il al-Khayrat by al-Jazuli
Country of Origin: India
Size: 204 x 130 mm
Frame: Dark brown wood
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.
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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