"Prophet Muhammad Preaching", Folio from a Maqtal-i Al-i Rasul of Lami'i Chelebi

Author: Lami'i Chelebi

Object Name: Folio from an illustrated manuscript

Date: late 16th century

Geography: Attributed to Turkey or Iraq

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions: H. 7 13/16 in. (19.8 cm)
W. 6 1/16 in. (15.4 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1955

Accession Number: 55.121.40


The text to which this detached page once belonged, entitled "The Murder of the House of the Prophet", tells the story of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn 'Ali, one of Muhammad's grandsons and 'Ali's son. His assasination at the battle of Karbala, in present-day Iraq, represented a turning point for the Muslim community and is the origin of the main division between the Sunni and Shi'i sects. In this illustration, the Prophet is seen preaching seated on a minbar, or pulpit, with 'Ali and his sons Hasan and Husayn on his left side. The holy characters are identified by their flaming haloes and are surrounded by an attentive audience. The text mentions that the scene takes place in the interior of the mosque in Medina.