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Manuscript/Mixed Material Jami's "Nafahat al-Uns" (Lives of the Saints)

About this Item


  • Jami's "Nafahat al-Uns" (Lives of the Saints)

Created / Published

  • 16th century


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


  • -  From Jami's "Nafahat al-Uns" (Lives of the Saints), manuscript pages written in Persian Nasta'liq script from the Shaybanid court of Central Asia.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 7.2 (w) x 13.1 (h) cm
  • -  The Persian verses are written in black nasta'liq script in two columns on a beige paper. Verses are divided by a plain central gutter marked off by two gold vertical lines. An illuminated chapter heading towards the bottom of the text panel includes the section title about Sari Saqati written in white ink on a gold background.
  • -  The text panel is framed and pasted onto a larger sheet of paper decorated with flower and leaf motifs on a blue ground achieved through the use of a pounce. This kind of marginal decoration is found in a number of 16th-century manuscripts produced under Shaybanid patronage in Bukhara (in modern-day Uzbekistan) from ca. 1500-1550 (Gray 1979: 248-272). Other manuscripts, such as a copy of Bitikji's "Athar-i Muzaffar" made in 975/1568 (Topkapi Palace Library H. 1233), also makes use of pounced motifs as marginal decoration. For these reasons, it is possible to suggest that this manuscript was produced in Central Asia during the 16th century.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes a section from Jami's (d. 897/1492) hagiographical work entitled "Nafahat al-Uns" (Lives of the Saints), in which the lives of a number of Sufi saints are described. In this particular folio and its verso (1-88-154.119 V), Jami describes an event in the life of the Sufi shaykh Sari Saqati (d. 867). He was the teacher and maternal uncle of the famous mystic Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910) and composed many sayings on mystical unity (tawhid), love of God, and other spiritual matters. The biography is continued on the verso of this folio.
  • -  Script: nasta'liq
  • -  1-88-154.119


  • 1 volume ; 17.4 (w) x 26.7 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714669

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:

Jami's "Nafahat al-Uns" Lives of the Saints. 16th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Jami's "Nafahat al-Uns" Lives of the Saints. 16th Century. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jami's "Nafahat al-Uns" Lives of the Saints. 16th Century. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.