4 results in English
Ladders of Prophecy
This 16th century manuscript in Ottoman Turkish seeks to provide an encyclopedic overview of the life, times, and unique characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad. Included in its 720 pages of text are stories of early prophets mentioned in the Qurʼanand in Muslim tradition, information about Muhammad’s contemporaries, and lists of firsts associated with persons, events, and words. The author makes frequent use of hadiths from al-Bukhari, Abu Da’ud, and al-Tirmidhi. He cites the teachings of Sufi masters, such as Hasan al-Basri (died 728), the extreme ascetic Shaykh Abu ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Biographies of the Saints
This 16th century manuscript in Ottoman Turkish is a translation from the original Persian. The author is the famous mystic Farid al-Din al-‘Attar, best known for his Mantiq al-tayr (Conference of the birds), a mystical allegory written in verse. Shown here is Attar’s only known prose work. Widely admired for its hagiological content and literary style, it contains the biographies of 70 saints in the Islamic mystical tradition. Although the work is technically a collection of biographies, it interweaves fact and legend and adds excursions into the realm ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
India—Fakir with Monkeys
This photograph of an Indian fakir is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. In ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Prosody of Pearls that Limit the Deleterious Effects of the Abhorrent World
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Al-Durar al-manẓūmah fī taḍmīm al-dunyā al-muqabaḥah (The prosody of pearls that limit the deleterious effects of ...