‘First Sirah in Turkish: Darir’s Siyer-i Nebi and Its Illustrated Copies’ w/ Dr Esra Egüz
Erzurumlu Mustafa Darir was a Turkish poet and writer who lived in the 14th century. His major and most well-known text is Siretü’n-nebi, which narrates the life of the Prophet. His work indicates that he met the Sultan of Mamluk in Egypt in 1377. By narrating religious, historical, and epic events, he attracted the attention of those listening to him, and thus entered the Mamluk sultan’s palace.
He narrated the life of the Prophet, the battles of the Islamic army, and the conquests of Damascus, Egypt, and Iraq in the presence of the sultan for five years. As soon as he received the order to write a book about the Prophet’s life, he considered the sources. Since he was visually impaired, he listened to the Arabic sirahs of Ebu’l-Hasan al-Bakri, Ibn Ishaq, and Ibn Hisham, and wrote his work based on them. He completed his work in 1388 and presented it to Barquq.
The sirah of Darir has been read by the public for centuries. There are approximately 100 handwritten copies known to exist. Some of these copies were illustrated by the order of Sultan Murad III during the Ottoman period, which are now in the Topkapı Palace Museum Library, New York Public Library, and Dublin Chester Beatty Library.
In this talk, Dr Egüz discusses Darir’s Sirah and shows examples of copies with miniature paintings.