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Islam An Opulent Prayer Anthology

'Ali ibn Sadr al-Din al-Husayni. Al-Kalim al-Tayyib wa al-Ghayth al-Sayyib [Good Words and Abundant Rain]. Iran, 19th century. NYPL, Spencer Collection.

In Iran, the production of religious texts in luxury copies continued through much of the 19th century. This example replicates a text composed in Isfahan during the second half of the 17th century under Safavid patronage. It contains prayers addressed to various Imams as well as prayers that offer protection from assorted calamities, including the plague. Its script recalls the style of Ahmad al-Nayrizi, and the opulence of its binding (shown here) and illumination testify to the skill of its makers.