An 800 years Arabic Dietetic book!

I’ve spent the day reading Taqwīm al-ṣiḥḥah تقويم الصحّة, a manuscript written by Ibn Buṭlān, it was presented to Saladin’s son, الملك الظاهر, the King of Aleppo in 1213 AD. Basically, the book is a long mesmerizing chart that’s briefly reviewing many kinds of food, herbs, habits, even music, and sports!

All pages of the content are having the same design, for an instant, the following page is reviewing some types of fruits, and what are the cons and pros and why? And what’s the targeted age group.. plus much interesting information:


What’s the difference between الكمثرى and الأجاص ?

And here is an interesting clipping, which talks about Maqlouba on the section of dishes!

The section of bread types made me look exactly like this emoji: Exploding head

Secret harmony in Islamic manuscripts

This is a big research that I’m working on, I’m so thrilled to dig more to reveal more and more stories from our own history. Here I’m sharing a piece that amused me, it’s a spread from Ibn al-Nafis book: Compendium of the Canon of Medicine which he wrote around 1240 CE – 1288 CE, I added some guiding graphics to emphasis my findings.

Enjoy looking!

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Islamic Seals Design

I was impressed with this amazing collection of Islamic seals on different manuscripts from various Islamic cultures and ages, this database was collected by Chester Beatty Library in Dublin from their own fine archive of manuscripts, more than 2600 seal impressions were found and documented!

Yes, 2600!

I’ve picked some of them to share with you, copy rights are reserved to Chester Beatty Library:

 

My next little project is to make one seal for my name inspired by these designs.. stay tuned!

 

Arabic Margin Art!

My favorite book seller has called me few days ago to see his new (historic) collection of Arabic manuscripts and books, it was a leather bag contains couple of tens of different manuscript from different origins, and another five books that are totally handwritten. The subjects of these books and manuscripts were about Islamic religious provisions and some Arabic language grammar.

I was amazed by two books from the collection, they have got a very unique styles for the margins, which was an important space in each Arabic book, so the author or the scholar could write more comments and highlights that are connected with the page content. The source of one of them was Dagestan, 1903,  and the other book is unknown, but I assume it’s from the same region and the same time period.

In this post I’ll share some beautiful pictures of this “Margin Art” with my commentary on them.

The unknown book:

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– An ordinary spread view of the book, you can see the main body text, and there is some really size text between its lines, and of course you can see the margins and how were they been utilized.

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