Mir Havand's Garden of Sloth Miniature

Mir Havand's Garden of Sloth Miniature
Mir Havand's Garden of Sloth Miniature

In the 15th century, the scholar Mir Havand lived in a territory that today corresponds to the lands of Afghanistan andUzbekistan. And there he developed an intense intellectual life writing various works on historical themes in the Persian language. One of them was thisbook from the Garden of Sloth, in which he focused on the origins of theIslamic religionand the peoples who adopted this religion


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Undoubtedly a very interesting work, both for its texts and for the illustrations that accompany it. An example of which we see here in a representation in which Muhammad and Ali appear, who are removing the pagan idols that would be in the Kaaba of Mecca,the holy city par excellence for the Muslims.

In that city of today's Saudi Arabia is the Kaaba shown here, which has the shape of a large cube black. A construction that before this event occurred, was a pagan temple. In other words, the Muslims consider that the conquest of Mecca in the year 630 was a transcendental and historical event.

In addition to identifying the Kaaba, the figures of Prophet Muhammad and Alí are also distinguished. By the way, in some Islamic areas the representation of both men and women is absolutely prohibited.other living beings when dealing with religious issues. So there are not many works in which we can see this type of scene. And almost all of them are usually of Persian origin, where narrative miniatures were quite common, both of religious and literary events. In fact, this is a work that was very successful, so much so that it is not the original from Mir Havand's time, but a copy that was made between 1585 and 1595 in the city of Shiraz, in the extension of the current Iran. Although today this jewel is kept in the Iranian Museum of Islamic Art.

However, although Muhammad can be identified, being the only character in front of the Kaaba wearing his green dress, what he never has is a face. Something that is solved here with the veil covering her face, and where you can read "Oh, Mohammed".

In addition, while Christian saints usually appear with a golden ring or nimbus around their heads, in this case we can see that the prophet wears a kind of crown of flames, which alludes to the sacred character of he.

The flames also surround Ali's head, whose face cannot be distinguished either, unlike the rest of the characters in the scene. Ali was Muhammad's son-in-law and one of those who succeeded him at the head of Islam in the 7th century, however not all Muslims were supporters of him, so they ended up assassinating him. That was the beginning of the conflict between the Shia and Sunni branches. And Persia was always Shia, I mean, he believed that Ali was the most faithfulheir to Mohammed, which is why he appears here next to the prophet.

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