Section of Mirkhwand's "Rawzat al-Safa'"


This fragment includes a section of the Rawzat al-Safaʼ (The garden of purity), a Persian historical encyclopedia composed by the prolific Timurid author Mirkhwand (Muhammad ibn Khavandshah Mir Khvand, 1433‒98). This particular excerpt begins with an invocation to Huwa al-ʻaziz (God, the Glorious) and then relates a particular episode in the life of the seventh Shiʻi imam Musai al-Kazim ibn Jaʻfar (circa 745‒99). The imam is described as going one day to a mountainous place where he sees a group of Christians looking for a rahib (monk) in a dayr (monastery) from which he had not exited for an entire year. Although the remaining portion of the story is lost, the last word va (and) and the number 12 in the lower-left corner hint that the text may have continued on a subsequent page. The text is executed in black taʻliq typical of the 18th and 19th centuries, while the theme of its text suggests an Indian Shiʻi milieu. Written diagonally on a cream-colored paper, the text panel is framed by a dark-green border outlined in red and backed by cardboard for strength.

Last updated: September 30, 2016