Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Poetry and Prayer

Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Poetry Ritual Prayer Recitation Calligraphy Personal Piety Digital Books

Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusraw of Delhi


Illustrated page from the Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusraw of Delhi

Inscribed: aml-i ‘Ali Quli (the work of ‘Ali Quli)
Mughal India, 1597–98


The medieval poet Amir Khusraw of Delhi (1253–1325) recounts the story of two divs (demons) who, out of boredom, wreak havoc on the world. Recognizing the danger of idleness, the wise king Solomon consigns them to a life of futile activity: filling the sea with sand and the desert with water. The inscription naming the artist ‘Ali Quli is composed in red ink at the bottom of the page.

Paper with ink, paint, and gold
W.624, fol. 94b