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Book of Prayers, Surat al-Yasin and Surat al-Fath

Ahmad Nairizi (active 1682–1739)

Illuminator:
(attributed to) Muhammad Hadi (d. ca. 1771)
Object Name:
Non-illustrated manuscript
Date:
dated A.H. 1132/A.D. 1719–20
Geography:
Iran, probably Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Binding: lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 9 3/4 in. (24.7 cm) W. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, 2003
Accession Number:
2003.239
  • Description

    This prayer book reflects the interaction between India and Iran in the eighteenth century. It contains the Surat al-Yasin and the Surat al-Fath (Victory) copied by the celebrated master of revival naskh, Ahmad Nairizi, with illuminations attributed to the renowned Muhammad Hadi. The color palette and decoration of naturalistic grape-bearing vines and vegetal scrolls in vibrant gold, pistachio green, and crimson resemble designs used in Mughal and Kashmiri manuscript illumination, architectural decoration, and decorative arts.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Binding is signed by Ahmad Nairizi and dated AH 1132/AD 1719–20

    Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in naskhi script on front cover:
    عن النبي صلی الله علیه و آله ألا / ادلکم علی سلاح ینج کیم من اعدائکم و یدر ارزاقکم قالوا / بلی قال تدعون ربکم باللیل و / النهار فإن سلاح المؤمن الدعاء / و قال
    The Prophet (May peace be upon him and his family) said: “Do you want me to show you the weapon [that] will protect you in the face of adversity
    and relieve your ailments?” They said: “Yes.” The Prophet said: “Pray to God night and day, as the [most powerful] weapon of the faithful is prayer . . .”

    Inscription in Arabic in naskhi script on back cover:
    قال الرضا علیه السلم لأصحابه / عل کیم بسلاح الانبیاء قیل / و ما سلاح الانبیاء قال الدعاء / و قال الصادق علیه السلم الدعاء / انفذ من السنان الحدید / حرره العبد احمد النیریزى في
    1132
    Al-Riza (May peace be upon him) said to his companions: “For [protection], use the weapon of the prophets.” They asked: “What is the weapon of prophets”;
    he said: “prayer.” And al-Sadiq (May peace be upon him) said: “Prayer is sharper than an iron spear.” Signed by the humble slave, Ahmad al-Nairizi in A.H. 1132 [A.D. 1719–20]

  • Provenance

    Private collection, Switzerland; [ Hamid Atighetchi, London, until 2003; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
454608:2

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