Dala’il al-Khayrat: Prayer Manuscripts From the 16th to 19th Centuries 🗓

 Date:  11 March 2016 – 31 December 2016  

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) IAMM  presented the “Dala’il al-Khayrat: Prayer Manuscripts From The 16th To 19th Centuries” exhibition that showcased its finest collection of one of the most important manuscripts in the Islamic World. The exhibition highlighted Dala’il al-Khayrat copies from its native land, Morocco to as far as East Turkistan and China. Dala’il al-Khayrat has inspired calligraphers, illuminators and painters of court ateliers in producing  sumptuous illustrated and illuminated manuscripts. These manuscripts reveals the history and the diverse art form of the Islamic World.

The exhibition was divided into a few sections, which begins with the history of Dala’il al-Khayrat and the author, Imam Al-Jazuli, whose ancestry was traced to Imam Hassan ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Among the highlights were the exquisite Moroccan copies of Dala’il al-Khayrat and also a rare monumental one-page Dala’il Al-Khayrat, signed by Alhafiz Mahbub Muhammad.

The visitors discovered the inside of Dala’il Al-Khayrat and really understand about the content, the 8 ahzab (days of recitation) and other main elements of the prayer books. There was also a special section on how to distinguish the regional characteristics of Dala’il al-Khayrat, showing beautiful masterpieces from North Africa, Central Asia, Turkey, Indian Subcontinent, China and South East Asia.

The most beautiful part of these manuscripts are the illustrated pages which consists the Rawda, Mimbar and also the illustration of Mecca and Madinah. At the beginning of this section Imam Al-Jazuli wrote: ‘This is the description of Al-Rawdah Al-Mubarakah (the Blessed Garden) in which the Prophet Muhammad (saw) is buried, together with his two companions Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra)’. In reference to this passage, illuminators and painters in the subsequent centuries have been encouraged to add an illustration, which later became the focal point of Dala’il al-Khayrat which also became the main attraction of this exhibition.

This exhibition was accompanied by a special catalogue that is available in our museum shop. For more details about the catalogue, please click here.