Ali with his Sword Dhu'l-Faqar at the Battle of Badr

1594-95 (AH 1003)

Chester Beatty

Chester Beatty

This painting is from the fourth volume of what was originally a six-volume manuscript of the Siyar-i Nabi (The Life of the Prophet), produced for the Ottoman sultan Murad III. (One volume is now lost; of the other four, one is in New York and three are in Istanbul.) The manuscript is unusual in being an illustrated life of the Prophet Muhammad: the original six-volume manuscript is estimated to have contained over 800 illustrations, most of which portray Muhammad, but always very respectfully with his face fully veiled, wearing a green robe and engulfed (either his whole body or his head only) by a flaming halo. Included in the booty the Prophet received from the Battle of Badr was the sword of an unbeliever named al-As bin Munabbin. This sword eventually passed to Ali, and is regarded as an attribute of him and a symbol of his followers. (The artist has erroneously depicted Ali at the Battle of Badr with the sword, though at the time it was not yet in his possession.)

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  • Title: Ali with his Sword Dhu'l-Faqar at the Battle of Badr
  • Date Created: 1594-95 (AH 1003)
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Location Created: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Original Source: Chester Beatty Library
  • Rights: © Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
  • Collection Number: CBL T 419, f.225b
  • Additional Description: Siyar-i nabi (The Life of the Prophet)