[THE MEDIEVAL ISLAMIC MANUSCRIPTS] Tuhfe-i ihvân [i.e., A gift to the friends]

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ANONYMOUS, [Probably Constantinople], AH 855 [AD 1451/52].

Contemporary full morocco of the late 15th or early 16th century with traditional flap (miklep), mystical sun on the boards. Demy 8vo. (21 x 16 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). [514] p., 15 lines on each page. Loose flap, occasionally light stains on some pages, and marginal browning. Overall, a very good manuscript.

An early and very rare 15th-century manuscript, written by measured naskh script in black and red ink on polished paper without a watermark, completed in AH 855 [AD 1451/52]. This remarkable manuscript was dedicated and presented to Sultan Mehmet II in the introduction. No register of copyist and author.

This is the earliest example known of the title (sole manuscript copy dated AH 860 [AD 1456] is registered 06 Mil Yz B 1080 in the manuscript collection of the Turkish National Library), consisting of eight parts, referring to the eight heavens in Islamic belief. In the first chapter, titled "The Characteristics of the Throne and its Greatness", the attributes of the Throne, the Kurs, the Tablet, the Pen, and the Greatest Angels who are closest to Allah are explained. In the second chapter titled "Skies and Heavens", the skies and heavens are mentioned, and their attributes are listed. The title of the third chapter is "hell, oxen, fish, the torments of hell and places". Here, hell, its various torments, places, underground oxen, and fish are described. The title of the fourth chapter is “Unity of Allah, faith, Islam and goodness”. In this section, the topics in the title are mentioned with stories and jokes. In the fifth chapter, the subjects of repentance, asceticism, and piety are discussed. The sixth chapter is about the rewards of ablution, prayer, and rosary. In the seventh chapter, fearing God, remembering death, and preparing for death are discussed. In the eighth and last chapter, titled "Circumstances of the Doomsday, coming and going, scales, Sirat, calculation, the book", these subjects are discussed.

Tuhfe-i ihvân, or Tuhfetü’l-ihvân was written in an instructive, plain language and simple style so that people from the public could understand it, without any concern for art. Although the author wanted to be excused for writing his work in Turkish, he used words such as heaven and hell in small numbers and preferred their Turkish versions. It can be evaluated that the author knows Arabic and Persian very well, as well as Turkish, as he gives their Turkish interpretations or meanings by saying "so" after the quoted verses and hadiths and writes some Persian verse expressions in Turkish verse.