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    Sale 13206

    Islamic Manuscripts Featuring The Mohamed Makiya Collection

    18 April 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 144

    AHMAD BIN MUHAMMAD BIN 'ABD AL-'AZIZ AL- HARRANI: KITAB DHU AL-QARNAYN SAHIB AL-GHARA'IB WA AL-'AJA'IB

    PROBABLY ANDALUSIA, 14TH/15TH CENTURY

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    AHMAD BIN MUHAMMAD BIN 'ABD AL-'AZIZ AL- HARRANI: KITAB DHU AL-QARNAYN SAHIB AL-GHARA'IB WA AL-'AJA'IB
    PROBABLY ANDALUSIA, 14TH/15TH CENTURY
    A compilation of sayings relating to Alexander the Great (Dhu al-Qarnayn), Arabic manuscript on paper, 94ff., plus two modern fly-leaves, each folio with 16ll. of sepia maghribi script, titles and important words in sepia, pink or blue, title page with large script, colophon with commission note, with cursory 'magic' square, in 19th century north African stamped morocco binding
    Folio 9 3/8 x 7 1/8in. (23.7 x 18.2cm.)


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    The present works is an account given by 'Abd al-Rahman bin Ziyad of sayings about Alexander he heard from the Prophet Muhammad directly. Alexander appears seventeen times in the Qur'an and was a popular figure in mediaeval Islam.

    The controlled script in which the present copy is written as well as the clear layout of the page appear to be Andalusian rather than north African. For a manuscript attributed to Andalusia, copied in a closely related style dated 1394 AD, see Christie's King Street, 14 October 2003, lot 23. That manuscript was a translation into Arabic of a treatise composed by Aristotle for his student, Alexander the Great. For another manuscript with very similar script, see Hadith Bayad wa Riyad, Almohad period, probably Seville, 13th century, in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Vat. Ar. 368, see J. D. Dodds, Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain, New York, 1992, pp. 312-13, no. 82.

    The colophon of our manuscript states that it was commissioned by Ahmad bin Qasim and intended 'for the Arabs' (wa qad Amar bi naskhha [..] Ahmad bin Qasim li'l-'arab). This may mean that the patron's social environment was not primarily Arab - it would support a Spanish Andalusian attribution for this manuscript.

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