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Illustrated Manuscript of the Dala'il al-Khayrat (The Ways of Edification) of al-Jazuli

Arts of the Islamic World

The Dala’il al-Khayrat (The Ways of Edification) of the Sufi mystic Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli (d. 1465) is a prayer manual venerating the prophet Muhammad. The text includes a collection of prayers for the Prophet, a description of his tomb, his names and epithets, and other devotional material. It became the center of a popular religious brotherhood, the Ashab al-Dalil, which revolved around the mystical Islamic practice of dhikr, or recitation, of this book of religious piety.

This manuscript is an Ottoman copy of al-Jazuli’s text, opened to an illustrated page containing a depiction of Mecca. Situated at the center of the mosque courtyard, the Kacba—the focal point of Muslim prayer—is marked for recognition by its black and gold cloth, while Ottoman-style minarets punctuate the surrounding walls. This stylized depiction favors essential information over naturalistic representation, recalling a rich history of geographic manuscripts with similar illustrations in the Ottoman world dating back to the sixteenth century.
MEDIUM Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold; tooled and gilded leather binding
DATES late 18th- early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 6 3/8 x 4 1/8 in. (16.2 x 10.5 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Illustrated Manuscript of the Dala'il al-Khayrat (The Ways of Edification) of al-Jazuli, late 18th- early 19th century. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold; tooled and gilded leather binding, 6 3/8 x 4 1/8 in. (16.2 x 10.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson, 71.49.1
IMAGE page, 71.49.1_detail1_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2/1972
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