• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7751

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    6 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 104

    SHEIKH AL-ISLAM FEYZULLAH EFENDI (1639-1703 AD) : KITAB AL-ADHKAR BI AL-'ISHA WA AL-ABKAR

    SIGNED HAFIZ 'UTHMAN, OTTOMAN TURKEY, LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    SHEIKH AL-ISLAM FEYZULLAH EFENDI (1639-1703 AD) : KITAB AL-ADHKAR BI AL-'ISHA WA AL-ABKAR
    SIGNED HAFIZ 'UTHMAN, OTTOMAN TURKEY, LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Religious commentary, Arabic manuscript on paper, 29ff. plus 2 fly-leaves, each folio with 10ll. of black naskh, with gold and polychrome verse markers, titles in red naskh, within gold and black ruled frames, catchwords, the opening folio with floral illuminated headpiece, 2 opening folios in a different hand, copious marginal notes, the colophon signed within gold illuminated cartouche, owner's stamps, in gilt brown and red morocco, minor smudging, back cover and last folio separate
    Text panel 4 3/8 x 2½in. (11.2 x 6.4cm.); folio 7 1/8 x 4 5/8 x 11.8cm.)


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    Feyzullah Effendi, the son of the mufti of Erzurum, studied hadith under the supervision of Muhammad Zahir bin 'Abdullah al-Maghribi. In 1678 he was appointed private tutor of Prince Ahmad (Ahmad III, r. 1703-1730) and in 1688 became Sheikh al-Islam. It has been noted that he had great influence on Sultan Mustafa II and Prince Ahmad as the greatest religious authority of his period. So strong was his influence that the famous 'Edirne Revolt' of 1703, was also by some chroniclers called the "Feyzullah Revolt". He wassubsequently killed by the janissaries following the revolt in Edirne.

    He built a mosque and a madrasa in Erzurum, a dar al-hadith in Damascus, a madrasa and library in Istanbul. His descendants, the Feyzullah-zade family, formed an almost semi-dynasty in the palace and were quite influencial in the 18th century. Hashiya ala anwar al-tanzil wa asrar al-ta'wil, Nasayih al-Muluk, Ta'liqat-i Sharh al-Aqaid, and Kitab al-Azkar are among his scholarly works (Koprulu, Orhan. "Feyzullah Efendi", Islam Ansiklopedisi, Vol. IV, Istanbul, 1978, pp.593-600).

    Born in Istanbul, 'Uthman bin 'Ali, better known as Hafiz 'Uthman (d.
    1698 AD), flourished under the patronage of the Grand Vizier
    Koprulu-zadeh Mustafa Pasha. He practised calligraphy with the Dervish 'Ali the Elder (d. 1673 AD), Suyolcu-zade Mustafa Eyyubi Effendi (d.
    1685 AD) and Nefes-zade Isma'il Effendi (d. 1679 AD). In the year 1694, he was appointed the calligraphy teacher of Sultan Mustafa II. He also taught Sultan Ahmed III before he came to power. 'Uthman was regarded as the 'Second Sheikh' (after Sheikh Hamdullah). He is known to have inscribed twenty-five copies of the Qur'an. There are some thirty albums and many other works by him in the collections of the Topkapi Palace and Royal Ottoman libraries as well as in other public and private collections.

    As a work by the Sheikh al-Islam, copied by the Hafiz 'Uthman, the court calligrapher, also the teacher of Sultan Mustafa II and Sultan Ahmad III, it may be proposed that this was written in the court and possibly for a royal patron.

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