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Dala'il al-khayrat written in China

AL-JAZULI, Muhammad ibn Sulaiman.
Dalâ'il al-khayrat. [= "Waymarks of benefits"].
[Eastern Turkestan, now Xinjiang, China, early 17th century CE]. 4to (19 x 14 cm). Manuscript written in black ink on paper in Arabic script, with a red single- or double-line frame around each page, rubricated throughout, and two illustrations on pages 47 and 48) showing the "Ka'ba of Allah" (!) and the burial sites of the first three Rashidun Caliphs. The Arabic script is in the sini calligraphic style used in China, an archaic form mixing features of naskh and muhaqqaq. Contemporary(?) black, red and gold painted and lacquered leather over paper and cloth. The painted sides show floral designs in black and gold on a red background, in a black border with red wave designs. With remnants of leather on the brown cloth spine. [1], 337 pp.
€ 38,000
An extremely rare early 17th-century Turkestani example of the famous Sunni prayerbook "Dalail al-khayrat": an Arabic manuscript written in what is today Xinjiang, China.
The Dalail al-khayrat ("Waymarks of benefits" or "Proofs of good deeds"), an extensive book of poems in praise of the Prophet Muhammad, was compiled by the Moroccan Sufi scholar Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Jazuli (807-870 AH / 1405-1465 CE) and was quickly received throughout the Islamic world, functioning as a kind of Muslim catechism. The present manuscript, written in so distant an Islamic community as that of Eastern Turkestan, a territory dominated throughout by Mongols or Chinese, where Muslims were commonly viewed as strangers, gives striking evidence of the range and scope of a tradition lasting for almost six centuries: the utopia of Islam as the religion of oneness, aiming to unite all the Muslim peoples in a single community reaching from Europe to the Far East.
Occasional notes and/or corrections in the margins. With 4 leaves (pp. 12-19) that were not originally part of the manuscript, consisting of Arabic text (which is also rubricated) written on lilac-lined (printed) white paper with Chinese characters in the head margins of the pages. The numbering in Western Arabic numerals is most likely not contemporary, since the inserted pages are included in the consecutive page-numbering. With some annotations, some in Chinese characters on the front paste-down. The spine is worn, without affecting the integrity of the binding, the boards are somewhat worn but the painted designs remain clearly visible, edges somewhat frayed, the leaves are somewhat browned and stained, mainly finger staining in the bottom outer corners, showing the manuscript's popularity in extensive use. Otherwise the text is still very clearly legible and the whole is altogether well preserved.
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Islamic culture  >  Drawings, Manuscripts & Prints | Qurans & Islam
Middle east & islamic world  >  Central & West Asia