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An illustration in the 1305-14
Jami‛ al-Tawarikh
by Rashid al-Din.

Universal History

or Compendium of Chronicles

Ğāmi‛ al-tavārīḫ. Rašīd al-Dīn Fazl-ullāh Hamadānī

Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel

A larger image of 'Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel', Jami' al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din

Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel.

Il-Khanid: Tabriz, 1307
Edinburgh University Library, MS. Or. 20

Shelfmark: Or.Ms.20
Holding Institution: University of Edinburgh
Title: Jami' al-Tawarikh (World History)
Alternate Title: Compendium of Chronicles
Subset Index: f.45v detail
Creator: Rashid al-Din Ṭabib
Creator Nationality: Iranian
Creator Role: Author

Detail of miniature from the Compendium of Chronicles by Rashid al-Din. Shows Muhammed receiving his first revelation from the Angel Gabriel. The prophet can be seen sitting on a group of rocks to the left of the image, while Gabriel is the winged figure on the left: the presence of wings indicates that this miniature was influenced by a Christian, as opposed to an Islamic, tradition, while the fact that they are attached to the arms, suggest that the miniature is from the Eastern, rather than Western, Churches.
Arguably the greatest treasure in the library, the Jami' al-Tawarikh, or Compendium of Chronicles, is a world history which encompasses a range of cultures, from China in the East, to Ireland in the West, from the time of Adam. It is written in the Naskh script and contains 70 illustrated folios. Written by the scholar and courtier Rashid al-Din (d.1318), there is some debate as to the exact date of this manuscript, but it was almost certainly completed within the author's lifetime, making it one of the earliest copies in existence. It is one of the three main sources for the life of Genghis Khan and is considered to be one of the most important medieval documents in the world.
Sources: Hukk, M (1925), A descriptive catalogue of the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library, Hertford. Talbot Rice, D. (1976), The Illustrations to the World History of Rashid al-Din, Edinburgh.

Source: Edinburgh University Library

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