Beginning of Niẓāmī's "Khusraw va Shirin"


This illuminated folio contains the introductory praise dar tawhid-i Bari (to God and His Unity, or on the Unity of the Creator) of the second book of Niẓāmī Ganjavī's Khamsah (Quintet), entitled Khusraw va Shirin. It continues the text of the first two folios of the book, also held in the Library of Congress, and thus completes the praise of God typically found at the beginning of each book of the Khamsah. This first section is then followed, as seen on this folio, by an examination of the istidlal (proof) of God's presence and praise for the dar munajat-i Bari ta'ala (Exalted Creator). Written during the last few decades of the 12th century, the Khamsah consists of five books written in rhyming distichs. Along with Firdawsī's Shahnamah (Book of kings), the Khamsah stands out as one of the great monuments of medieval Persian poetry. It is about the love relationship of the last great Sasanian ruler, Khusraw Parvīz (590–628), and his beautiful mistress, Shirin, and many of the episodes in the story revolve around the complications caused by the king's ruses and the strength and faithfulness of his mistress. The illumination, text layout, and Nasta'liq script are typical of manuscripts made in the city of Shiraz during the second half of the 16th century. The script is written in four columns per page, each with 20 lines.

Last updated: December 24, 2013