Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Poetry and Prayer

Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

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W.578: Litany of the Sea

This manuscript is a copy of the well-known prayer called Ḥizb al-baḥr ('Litany of the sea’) by Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shādhilī (d. 656 AH / 1258 CE), the founder of the Shādhilīya sufi order. Executed in the 11th century AH / 17th CE, this anonymous codex uses a number of large-size scripts, such as thuluth, muhaqqaq, rayhan, and tawqi‘. There is a waqf-entry in the name of Sultan ‘Uthmān Khān, son of Sultan Muṣṭafá Khān (reg. 1027-31 AH / 1618-22 CE), signed by Ibrāhīm Ḥanīf, inspector of awqāf (fol.2a).







Folio 7b

Folio from an Islamic Manuscript

The top and bottom panels of this illuminated finispiece are inscribed with the basmalah and ḥamdala in white thuluth script. All the other verses are in square kufic. The central lozenge contains the 'Throne Verse', 2: 255. The frame around the lozenge in green and black contains the basmala followed by Qur'anic verses (45: 36-37). The triangular segments are filled with the following square kufic inscriptions: (Top right) basmala; (Bottom right) Qur'an 112: 1-2; (Bottom left) Qur'an 112: 3- part of 4; (Top left) Qur'an 112: 4 (remaining to the end).

Folio 2b

Folio from an Islamic Manuscript

Naskh script in back ink on the text panels of this page is a popular bookhand which is used for both Qur’anic and non-Qur’anic texts.

Folio 2a

Folio from an Islamic Manuscript

On this page is inscribed a waqf entry (religious endowment) in the name of Sultan ‘Uthmān Khān, son of Sultan Muṣṭafá Khān (reg. 1027-31 AH / 1618-22 CE), signed by Ibrāhīm Ḥanīf.