AN ANTHOLOGY OF MYSTICAL VERSE, COPIED BY ‘UMAR FAWZI AL-KUTAHI, TURKEY, OTTOMAN, DATED 1129 AH/1717 AD
Arabic and Ottoman Turkish on paper, 66 leaves, plus 2 fly-leaves, 19 lines to the page, written in naskh in black ink, text divided into two columns, ruled in grey, titles and important sentences in yellow, red and blue, f.1b with a polychrome and gold illuminated frame, several diagrams including Mecca on f.45a, in brown leather stamped binding
20.5 by 14.5cm.
The margins are generally clean with minor annotations throughout, stains and restorations, traces of molds, some smudges and losses the illuminations, minor restorations to the paper, European numerals written in pencil on the margins, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This volume consists of various devotional poems by an unrecorded poet whose pen-name is Meftun. Many of the verses are on the subject of abjad, the system by which the letters of the Arabic alphabet are given a numerical value. As here, the numerical values of various words were frequently assigned a mystical meaning. The mystical orientation of the poet is confirmed by the mention in the verses of the Naqshbandi Sufi order and of the Sufi leader Hajji Bektash Veli. The longest section in the manuscript is a group of devotional poems (ilahiyat) arranged alphabetically by rhyme according to the abjad sequence. Many of the poems are dated with abjad chronograms, including the final poem which appears to have been composed in 1055 AH (1645-46 AD).
The manuscript includes mystical diagrams including 'The Seal of Noble Prophecy', a genealogical tree of the Prophet and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs going back to Abraham, a diagram of the Prophets of revelation (Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, David) and their books (Qur’an, Bible, Torah, Psalms). The devotional poems are arranged in the shape of trees in praise of the Prophet, Companions, Jesus and Abraham.