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Antique, Indian Prayer Leaf Manuscript: al-Jazari (late 1700s)


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
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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