Koran of Muley Zaidan

MS 1340 - Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)

Alternate Titles:

Koran des Muley Zaidan

Facsimile edition
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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Koran des Muley Zaidan

Type
Extent / Format

532 pages / 27.0 x 19.5 cm

Origin
Date
1599
Style
Genre
Language
Patron

Sultan Al-Mansur

Artist / School

Mabsut style

Illustrations

Richly decorated throughout. Mabsut style, with vocalisation in red, tasdid and sukuns in blue. The especially handsome titles of the suras are written in gold Kufic on a blue ground. Folios 1v, 2r, 264v and 265v are splendidly illuminated with Moorish mo

Former owners

Sultan Muley Zaydan

Short description

The Koran of Muley Zaidan is an Arabic manuscript with a truly exciting and eventful history. Although stored today in the El Escorial Library, it originally came from Morocco. Originating in the year 1599 at the behest of the Moroccan Sultan Ahmad Al-Mansur, the Koran earned its name from his son and successor, Sultan Muley Zaidan. Tragically, his library was seized by the Spanish in 1611 and thus eventually came to El Escorial. The Koran of Muley Zaidan is one of the most outstanding treasures in the famous library of the royal monastery!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Koran of Muley Zaidan

The Koran of Muley Zaidan is an Arabic manuscript with a truly exciting and eventful history. Although stored today in the El Escorial Library, it originally came from Morocco. Originating in the year 1599 at the behest of the Moroccan Sultan Ahmad Al-Mansur, the Koran earned its name from his son and successor, Sultan Muley Zaidan. Tragically, his library was seized by the Spanish in 1611 and thus eventually came to El Escorial. The Koran of Muley Zaidan is one of the most outstanding treasures in the famous library of the royal monastery!

A Magnificent Arabic Manuscript

The famous Arabic manuscript of the Koran of Muley Zaidan impresses with its splendid design. Rich embellishment is presented all over the 532 pages measuring 27 x 19.5 cm. The so-called Mabsut style manuscript is truly of exceptional quality. Alongside the text written in red and blue – red for the vocal utterances, blue for the shaddah and sukun – gold was also used. The marvelous gold script on a blue background adorns, inter alia, the titles of the Surahs. A few pages are even more elaborately adorned with fantastic ornamentation. Arab and Moorish forms characterize the artistic adornment of the manuscript.

A Commission of the Sultan of Morocco

This gorgeous Koran from El Escorial originally came from Morocco, specifically from the mosque of the Al-Badi Palace. It originated at the behest of Sultan Ahmad Al-Mansur, who ruled as Sultan of Morocco from 1578-1603. The exact date for the formation of the manuscript is recorded in the text. It is recorded on page 264 that work on the Koran of Muley Zaidan was completed on the 13th of the month of Rabi II of the year 1008 according to the Hijri calendar year, so November 2nd, 1599.

Spanish Plunder in El Escorial

After the death of its patron, the magnificent Koran came into the possession of Sultan Muley Zaidan, the son of Al-Mansur and Sultan of Morocco from 1603-1627. Muley Zaidan lent his name to the Koran and measurably shaped the rest of the manuscript’s history. When the Sultan wanted to have his library shipped, the ships were seized by the Spanish. Thus, the entire library of the Sultan of Morocco came to Spain in the year 1611 as plunder, first to Lisbon and finally to El Escorial. There has been a significant collection of Islamic books there ever since, of which the Koran of Muley Zaidan is assuredly the pinnacle.

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