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Page of disasters, from the Tarikh-i Alfi (History of a Thousand Years)

Page of disasters, from the Tarikh-i Alfi (History of a Thousand Years)

c. 1595

Part of a set. See all set records

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Overall: 41 x 22.6 cm (16 1/8 x 8 7/8 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1932.36.b



A distinctive feature of this manuscript is the descriptive painting surrounding the blocks of text. At the top of this page is a depiction of the sacred center of Islam, the black stone structure called the Ka‘ba in Mecca that the Prophet Muhammad cleansed of pre-Muslim idols. The Ka‘ba is the endpoint of the Islamic pilgrimage that all Muslims are enjoined to make at least once during their lifetime. Remarkably, Akbar’s name appears on the page of the book held by a devotee, where only prayers or Qur'anic passages should be found. During the time of the caliph who persecuted Shi‘ites, Mecca experienced a drought. Fountains of water now were dry, and pilgrims had to buy water that was carried there.

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