Infinite travel of the soul to the Sacred City and the Luminous City: visual depictions of Mecca and Medina in Dalā’il al-Hayrāt

  • Aida Smailbegović (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


This work deals with the tradition of copying and book illumination in Bosnia, but also with the tradition of book copying in general and its significance, focusing in particular on the perspective and contribution of Sufi circles. It then deals with the presentation of Dalā’il al-Hayrāt (Guidelines towards Good Deeds, in Ottoman Turkish: Delâ’ilü’l-Hayrat), a renowned compilation of prayers: its contents, prescribed conditions of usage, as well as the status ‘the Compilation’ enjoys throughout the Islamic world, especially among followers of the Sufi orders. It highlights the importance of ‘the Compilation’ as one of the best artistically illuminated manuscripts of Islamic origin. In addition, it describes the life of Šayh Abū ‘Abd Allàh Muḥammad Ibn Sulaymān al-Ğazūlī (died 870/1465), who collected all the documented traditional forms of blessings of the prophet of Islam in this compilation. Particular attention was paid to the third part of this work, where artistic depictions of Mecca and Medina are presented, an element that makes this work ever more intriguing and appealing. Visual depictions of the two holy cities of Islam given herein are based on two manuscript codices kept at the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo.