Closer Look


Closer Look

Folio from a Dalâ’il al-Khayrât manuscript

by al-Juzuli

Nigeria or Western Sudan
early 20th Century 


    11.5 cm wide x 17.5 cm high

    Folio from a dispersed copy of Dalâ’il al-Khayrât.
    Inner margin of page edge is cut.
    Stiff, thick tan colored paper.
    Chain and rule lines are visible in the paper.
    No watermarks are visible. 
    According to the colophon from which this leaf originates, the 
    manuscript was copied by Muhammad al-Thani bin al-Haaj Muhammad al-Murham.  


    Section divider.
    Simple decorated page.
    Decorative border with line outlines in black ink with
    yellow, red and green ink infilling.
    Ten lines written in black ink.
    Markings in red ink.
    Written in a Sudani style Maghribi script (Ifriki script).
    Vowels and vocalization highlights in green, red and yellow ink.
    No interlinear or marginal notes present.
    Leaf is numbered 26 in pencil at the upper right corner of the page.
    Dealer (Griffon's Medieval Manuscripts, Inc.) catalog number 26435 
    written in pencil lower right corner of page.


    Five lines of text.
    Main text is written in black ink in Arabic.
    Text markings in green, yellow and red ink.
    The text is written in a Sudani style Maghribi script (Ifriqi script).
    No interlinear or marginal notes present.

Additional notes. 

     The Dalâ’il al-khayrât or "Guide to Good Deeds" or 
     "The Indications of Grace" is a collection of prayers 
     and devotions.  It was composed by Muhammad bin Sulay-man 
     al-Juzuli, a Moroccan, who died in 1465.
     Copies of this immensely popular work often included 
     illuminated pages showing paintings of Mecca and Medina.
     The work also includes an elaborate genealogy of the Prophet.
     Sudani is an Arabic script which is used in Sub-Saharan 
     West Africa.  It is a thick densly written linear script 
     which originated in the 13th century in Timbuktu.  This 
     type of West African Arabic script is also known as the 
     Ifriqi script.  It belongs to the Maghribi family of scripts.

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