Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
One of three pages from an album of calligraphy
Work Type
album folio
18th-19th centuries
Ottoman period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink and gold on paper, with border of marbled paper
24.8 x 15.2 cm (9 3/4 x 6 in.)
[Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., New York, 15 June 1979, lot 170], sold; to Edwin Binney, 3rd, California (1979-1986), bequest; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Stored at the San Diego Museum of Art from some time before 1986 until 1991, then at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1991-2011.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Edwin Binney, 3rd Collection of Turkish Art at the Harvard Art Museums
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This is one of three pages from an album of calligraphy written in naskh and thuluth scripts in horizontal format. The other sides of the original folios were most likely removed to be sold separately. Calligraphic works written in horizontal format with a combination of two (large and small) scripts on the same page, possibly to be included in albums, were typical for Ottoman calligraphers, especially after Hafiz Osman in the 17th century. It became a standard for Ottoman calligraphers to write kit’as (rectangular calligraphic work generally using two scripts) and receive icazet (certificate of competence and permission to teach calligraphy to others) from their masters directly on that page. We do not know the name of the scribe who created this or the other two folios. The texts are various examples of Arabic hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad).

The text on this folio contains sections from two hadith:
I. Sahih Bukhari, 98, #7494

The Prophet said, "Allah says: 'I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me.] If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; [and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.' "]

II. Tirmidhi, al-Jami-us-Sahih, 4:607, #2411

Abdullah ibn Umar narrates that the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not talk a lot without remembrance of Allah, because much talk without remembrance of Allah is hardness of heart. And the one who is farthest from Allah is he who has a hard heart.”

The frames on either side of the smaller script were usually reserved for illumination. Here no illumination is applied and the emphasis has been just on the calligraphy itself. There is a thin strip of blue marbled paper serving as a frame around the calligraphy. A second thicker strip of speckled paper in tan color surrounds the inner one. A catchword can be seen on the upper left corner of the page. As the other two Binney folios this folio has been sliced and four lines of calligraphy and part of a damaged illumination have been pasted on the back.
Related Works

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