SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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Mustafa al-Wasif

Turkey, ca. 1776
Turkey, ca. 1776

An illuminated Ottoman Quran. Octavo, contemporary full black calf, spine, upper and lower boards all embossed with gilt arabesque designs. A good example of an illustrated Ottoman Turkish Quran in Naskhi script, 320 leaves, 15 lines to a page, black ink on beige paper glossy paper, Sura headings written in white ink within rectangular gilt panels, margins ruled in black, red and gilt. Illuminated frontispiece in colours and gold marginal decorative illustrations, marginal decorative devices throughout. This Koran wad written by the master calligrapher Mustafa al-Wasif, and was completed in the year 1190 A.H. - which corresponds to 1776 A.D. The Quran, meaning 'the recitation', is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters, which are subdivided into verses. Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by God to the final Prophet, Muhammad, through the archangel Gabriel (Jibril), incrementally over a period of some 23 years, beginning in 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632; the year of his death. Muslims regard the Quran as Muhammad's most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood, and the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam, and ending with Muhammad. According to tradition, several of Muhammad's companions served as scribes and recorded the revelations.