Stories of Sūrah Al-Kahf in Islamic Miniatures

Document Type : Original Article



The research aims to recognize the influence of mentioned historical stories at Quran on the artistic thoughts of the miniaturists in Islamic Manuscripts of medieval epoch and later 17th century. Questioning if all four fundamental narrations of Sūrah Al-kahf had illuminated on papers of manuscripts or not, with giving chosen examples of miniatures explaining their details, investigating the compatibility of those details with divine text at verses of the Sūrah.
The verses presented 4 main narrations; theme of The Companions of the Cave "Ashabu Al-Kahf "that leis between verses 9 –26, theme of the rich and the poor or the owner of 2 gardens that leis between verses 32 – 44, theme of Moses and Al-Al-Khiḍr that leis between verses 60–82, theme of Dhul-Qar-nayn with Gog and Magog between verses 83–98 from the same Sūrah. Although Sūrah Al kahf has another 5thstory of Iblis and Adam but this one is already repeated more times in other verses and chapters while the above 4 mentioned ones are only appeared across verses of Sūrah Alkahf which is the main topic of this article.
Not only previous investigations had been introduced stories of Quran, but also full versions of manuscripts presented with Prophets' narrations like Syir Al-nabi[1] and manuscript of Falnameh[2]. While it is assured that no research focusing on stories of Sūrah Al-kahf, as it has been enjoyed various advantages and remarkable rewards at Muslim belief which gave it especial promotion on social thoughts and traditions.
This encourages otherwise discussing history of Qur’an texts' reception and presentation through gate of Islamic miniature in the mentality of Muslim miniaturists in the medieval epoch.
Study bases on verses of the sūrah narrating those stories and illustrated manuscripts gave the interest to its episodes with analyzing its compatibility with the divine texts.


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