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Manuscript/Mixed Material Ghazals of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi

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About this Item


  • Ghazals of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi


  • Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi

Created / Published

  • ca. 1500


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Uzbekistan
  • -  Tajikistan
  • -  Afghanistan
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Nasta'liq


  • -  Ghazals by Indian Persian poet, Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 725/1325) written in black nasta'liq script by the calligrapher Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi, active in the Timurid court of Sultan Husayn Bayqara (r. 1470-1506) in Herat.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 10.5 (w) x 18.6 (h) cm
  • -  In the bottom left corner of the rightmost column appears the artist's signature, which reads: mashaqahu al-'abd (written by the servant) Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi.
  • -  Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi (d. 920/1514) was active at the court of the last Timurid ruler Sultan Husayn Bayqara (r. 1470-1506) in Herat, where he was a contemporary of the famous painter Bihzad (d. 941/1535) and the prolific poet Jami (d. 897/1492). He was responsible for copying a number of royal manuscripts and composing inscriptions to be placed on royal buildings (Huart 1972: 221-222). A master of nasta'liq script, he also composed a treatise (risalah) on the rules of writing, the moral qualities of calligraphers, how to make ink and paper, and how to use the reed pen (qalam) and other writing implements (see Qadi Ahmad 1959: 106-125).
  • -  The ghazals are executed in black nasta'liq script in three columns. Written in diagonal, the verses appear on a beige paper and are framed by cloud bands on a background painted in gold. Several triangular panels fill in the spaces remaining at the intersection of the diagonal verses and the rectangular frame: these panels include inscriptions that specify that the remaining part of the poem (baqiyat [al-ghazal]) continues beyond the formal (spatial) separation. In other cases, such as at the top of the central column of text, a different ghazal is introduced by an inscription in red ink. The inscription reads: "also from him" (wa lahu aydan) and asks for God's forgiveness of Amir Khusraw's sins.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes a number of lyric poems (ghazals) composed by the Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 725/1325), whose pen-name or signature (takhallus) "Khusraw" appears at the top of the central column of diagonal verses.
  • -  This text calligraphed by Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi is framed by a wide border painted in gold and is pasted to a sheet of paper decorated by white, blue, and red marbling (abri or ebru). Although the original text was executed ca. 1500 in Herat, it was pasted to the marble paper at later date.
  • -  Script: nasta'liq
  • -  1-87-154.33


  • 1 volume ; 15.6 (w) x 22.9 (h) cm


  • Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714665

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The contents of the Library of Congress Selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions and are free to use and reuse.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division, Near East Section Persian Manuscript Collection

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi. Ghazals of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi. ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi. (ca. 1500) Ghazals of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi. Ghazals of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi. ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.