Lot 5
  • 5

Abi Muhammad Abdul-Haq Ibn al-Shaykh al-Imam Abi Bakr Ghaleb Ibn 'Atiyyah ah-Muharibi, al-Muharir al-Wajiz fi Tafsir Kitab Allah al-Aziz (commentary on the Qur'an), one volume only, North Africa or Andalusia, Almohad, 12th/13th century

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
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  • ink on paper, leather binding
  • 33.4 by 25.5cm.
Arabic manuscript on thick cream paper, 84 leaves plus 2 flyleaves, 39 lines to the page, written in small and elegant Andalusian script in brown ink, some lines written in larger script, later red leather binding

Catalogue Note

The present text begins with a commentary on surah ha-mim (XLI), and ends with surah al-haqqa (LXIX).

This commentary on the Qu'ran belongs to an interesting group of medieval Islamic manuscripts written in a rigorous and attractive 'Andalusian' hand, which originate from either Spain or the Maghrib. A related manuscript (a theological treatise written in Fez) was sold in these rooms 27 April 1994, lot 46, whilst a further volume from the same set of manuscripts as the present lot was sold in these rooms 6 October 2010, lot 26. The following lot is also an example of similar manuscript production from Spain or North Africa.

The present work can be compared to the second part of a manuscript copied by Yusuf Ibn Mubarak in September 1142 AD. According to the catalogue “the scribe copied the text professionally and correctly using the so-called Western Maghribi style, probably in Spain. A ferrous, walnut-based ink filtered into the paper and spread giving it a brownish tinge” (see Pages of Perfection, Milan, 1995, pp.128-129, no.10). This probably explains the brownish colour of the ink and paper in the manuscript to hand. The script can also be compared with that of Hadith bayad wa riyad, Almohad period, 13th century (see J. Dodds (ed.), Al-Andalus, New York, 1992, pp.312-313, no.82.

Ibn ‘Atiyyah was born in Granada in 481 AH/1088 AD, into a household often frequented by scholars who studied under his father. This atmosphere motivated him to study a wide variety of subjects from a young age. He later became a distinguished judge in Muria and was keen to serve the judicial system. The precise date of Ibn ‘Atiyyah’s death is disputed, but it is thought to have been in the mid-twelfth century. Thus, this tafsir can be considered an early copy of his work.