North African Muslim Prayer Book
Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli (d. 1465).
Dala’il al-Khayrat wa Shawariq al-Anwar fi Dhikr al-Salat ‘ala al-Nabi al-Mukhtar. [With:] Wasiyyah and personal prayers.
[Algeria, 16th or 17th century].
Manuscript in Arabic on paper. (BRMS 30)
One of the most popular of all Muslim prayer books, the Dala’il al-Khayrat wa Shawariq al-Anwar fi Dhikr al-Salat ‘ala al- Nabi al-Mukhtar (“The Guide to Blessings and Enlightenment in Blessing the Chosen Prophet”) was originally compiled in Morocco during the fifteenth century. This daily devotional text is still used both for private prayer and for recitation at public ceremonies. The text, divided into sections for each day of the week, includes the ninety-nine beautiful names of God (Allah), numerous prayers, rhythmic invocations, poetic blessings dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad, a description of his tomb at Medina, and a litany of honorary names illuminating the Prophet’s qualities.
Prayer books in this square “pocket” format were especially popular among North African pilgrims to the two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. The manuscript is bound in a single piece of contemporary brown stamped goatskin, which wraps around to close the manuscript.