Registered: December 2004
Author: al-ar£r£, al-Qsim ibn 'Al£ ibn Muhammad ibn 'Umn
Shelf Number: Literature 2272
Dimensions: 25 x 18 cm
[Maqmt al-ar£r£] is a collection of short stories written in a special style. The stories are narrated by one of the wealthy Arabs, named [al-ri ibn Hammm], who described in each story one episode where he had been an eye witness. The hero of all these stories was [Ab Zayd al-Sar£]. He appears in the stories as an old man having literary talents, yet he was unable to earn his living. Thus, he left his birthplace [Sar] situated at the upper Europhrates and started deceiving people by different intrigues in a funny and amusing manner using his literary talents to achieve his purposes. The stories show at the same time the points of weakness in his society. The [Maqmt] had attracted the painters because of its superior literary style and its humour. Thus, painters illuminated its different copies with illustrations representing the events of each story. We can say that no other Arabic manuscript had ever been illustrated as the [Maqmt]. Many copies illustrated with many paintings are preserved in the libraries of Europe. The oldest one is the copy number 6094 at the National Library in Paris, written in 619H/1323AD and containing 39 illustrations. Also, the copy number 5847 in Paris written by [Yay ibn Mamd ibn Yay al-Wsi£] in 634H/1237AD, which contains 99 illustrations. In addition to some other copies in Paris, the British Museum in London, and some other places. (see : [asan al-B]: [al-Taw£r al-Islm£ f£ al-Ur al-Wus] pp. 105-108). The copy preserved at the great Mosque of [San] is a rare one written in clear [Nas¢] script, was finished in [afar] 1121H, and was written and illuminated by [Imd al-D£n Yay ibn Abd al-Ramn al-Al£]. Thus, this copy is considered as a recent copy when compared with the above mentioned copies. The gilded frames of the pages contain many illustrations. It contains fifty [Maqma], the first is [al-Maqma al-anniyya] and the last is [al-Maqma al-Baariyya]. The subject of each [Maqma] is written at its heading in red ink. Also, we find explanations for many words in between the lines in red ink.