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Milestones of the Divine Revelation
Al-Ḥusayn ibn Masʻūd al-Baghawī (circa 1044−circa 1117), nicknamed muḥyī al-sunnah (Reviver of the Prophet’s traditions), was a Shāfiʻi scholar and Qur’an exegete. He was born, and possibly died, in Bagh or Baghshor, an old town that was located in Khorasan between the ancient cities of Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) and Merv (near present-day Mary, Turkmenistan). Preserved in this manuscript copy is the second and last part of al-Baghawī’s maʻālim al-tanzīl (Milestones of the divine revelation), an exegesis of the Holy Qur’an ...
Dismantling the Essences of “The Most Wondrous of Existences”
This 40-page manuscript, Tahdim al-Arkan min Laysa fi-al-Imkan Abda’ mima Kan (Dismantling the essences of “The most wondrous of existences”), by Ibrāhīm ibn ʻOmar al-Biqāʻī (1406 or 1407−80) concerns a philosophical dispute in the Islamic world over the possibility of the Creator fashioning a more perfect world than the one that exists. This issue had been raised by the renowned philosopher-theologian al-Ghazzali (1058−1111), who answered in the affirmative. In this text, al-Biqāʻī refutes al-Ghazzali, stating that “it is impossible for God’s creation to be more perfect than ...
Accessible Introduction to the Prophets Mentioned in the Qur’an. Essay on the Rules for Use of “la-siyyama,” (“Especially”)
This Arabic manuscript contains two short works by the 18th-century Egyptian scholar Ahmad ibn Ahmad al-Suja’i. The first work, of seven pages, deals with prophets mentioned in the Qu’ran, who are described in verse with commentary. The individuals mentioned include some of the Old Testament prophets, such as Moses, Aaron, and Isaac. The second tract, of three pages, is entitled Risalah fi ahkam la-siyyama (Rules governing use of “especially”). It is a discussion of the meaning and proper usage of this idiom. Both works have been published in ...
Commentary of Husayn
Tafsīr-i Ḥusaynī (Commentary of Husayn) is a commentary on the Qur’an, transcribed in two volumes. The original commentary was written in 1504 (910 AH), but this copy was made in 1855–57 (1272–74 AH) by Wali ul Din. The first volume of this manuscript covers the chapters (surahs) in the Qur’an from Fatihah (Opening verse) to Kahf (The cave); the second volume the surahs from Maryam (Mary) to Al-Nās (The people). The manuscript is beautifully transcribed on handmade paper, with commentary devoted to each concept, word, or ...
Comment on the Lights of Revelations
This Ottoman manuscript is a ḥāshiyah (gloss) on the commentary on the Qur’an entitled Anwār al-tanzīl, which was composed by ‘Abd Allāh al-Bayḍawī, who died in about 685 AH (1286 AD). The gloss was written by Kemalpaşazade (died 940 AH [1533 AD]), and the present copy was transcribed from the author's holograph in 966 AH (1558 AD) by ‘Uthmān ibn Manṣūr. The text is written in Turkish Nasta’līq script in black ink, with the words qāla (I said) and aqūlu (I said), being indicators of quotations, in ...
The Eloquent Prosody in the 40 Verses
This manuscript is an Ottoman Turkish commentary on forty verses of the Qur'an, with hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) and verse citations by Okçuzade Mehmet Şahî, who died in 1039 AH (1629 AD). This copy was made in the 11th century AH (17th AD). The text is written in Naskh script in black and red ink. The waqf (bequest) stamp of al-Wazīr al-Shahīd ‘Alī Pāshā, dated 1130 AH (1717 AD), appears on folios 1a, 1b, and 2a. The name of a former owner, Sayyid Burhān al-Dīn, and ...