100 outstanding manuscript masterpieces of Uzbekistan
The project “100 outstanding handwritten masterpieces of Uzbekistan” aims to reduce the distance and time, provide an opportunity to get in touch with the great written masterpieces and more fully explore the heritage of the outstanding ancestors of the land of Uzbekistan. The facsimile edition of ancient manuscripts will create the conditions for their subsequent study. From this point of view, the significance of the project “100 outstanding handwritten masterpieces of uzbekistan” for the national culture is difficult to overestimate.
These works of such scholars as Ibn Sina, Biruni and al-Kharezmi, manuscripts of historians Sharafiddina ali Yazdi, Mirhond and Khondamir, outstanding religious texts by Imam al-Bukhari, Nakshbandi, Termizi and Maturidi, literature masterpieces of Nakshbandi, Navai and Babur.
This series of world – famous names is quite long. Today we have an important task – to reduce distance and time, allow the cultural community of Uzbekistan to come into contact with the great legacy of its past. The goals of the new draft are in line with the initiatives of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, outlined in the President’s decrees “On measures to further improve the storage, research and promotion of ancient written sources” as of May 24, 2017, “On the establishment of Center for Research of Uzbekistan’s cultural wealth located overseas under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan” as of June 20, 2017, “On measures to organize the Center for Islamic Culture in Uzbekistan under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan” as of June 23, 2017, “On the program of comprehensive measures to develop the system of publication and distribution of book products, to improve the culture of reading” as of 13 September 2017, to ensure that the tasks assigned to the Republican Commission for the Coordination of Research on Uzbekistan’s Cultural Wealth Abroad, as well as the task of introducing a broad foreign public, population of the country, particularly, young people, with the invaluable spiritual wealth of the Uzbek people and contribution of the scholars of the Uzbek land in the development of world civilization, scrupulous study, creation and regular updating of the registry – complete database of the cultural values of Uzbekistan.
In 2018, the project “Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan in the World Collections” created a facsimile of the Kattalangar Quran from the collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. As part of humanitarian actions, more than 100 copies of the manuscript were distributed free of charge to libraries and museums around the world, including the Koran was presented to the King of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
According to experts, the total volume of the Kattalangar Quran could be 206 pages. To date, only 97 pages have been preserved, or about half of the volume of the unique manuscript. The history of the appearance of 81 pages of the Koran in Russia is unknown and under what circumstances they were transferred to the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. Subsequent studies showed that 16 pages of the manuscript are stored in Uzbekistan – in Tashkent and Bukhara. Currently, the fate of more than half the pages of the unique manuscript remains unknown.
The most truthful and complete description of the life and work of the great ruler and commander Amir Temur is “Zafarname” (“Book of Victories”) Sharaf ad-din Ali Yazdi, which is now kept in the collection of the British Library.
The central place in the work of Sharaf al-Din Ali Yazdi “Zafarnama” is given to Amir Temur. Yazdi describes him as successful in business and victorious in wars, a commander, merciful to the common people, and implacable to traitors and enemies. Almost immediately after completion, the manuscript became one of the most popular works dedicated to the Temurid historical era, and the best artists of that time were involved in its illustration. Magnificent illustrations for the Herat list of manuscripts were created by the famous Herat miniaturist Kamoliddin Behzod. In the miniatures of this cycle, an unknown artist from the Shiraz school created vivid and convincing images of Amir Temur, worthy of his literary source.
“Devoni Husaini” is the creation of the representative of the Temurids dynasty Sultan Hussein Baykara (1438 – 1506), is considered one of the unique masterpieces of the heritage of medieval literature. The ruler, who created under the pseudonym Husseini, mainly wrote his works in the classical Uzbek language. It is assumed that the book was rewritten by the famous calligrapher of his time, who gained fame thanks to the writing of the manuscripts of Alisher Navoi by Sultan Ali Mashhadi. “Devoni Husaini” was rewritten in nastalik handwriting, decorated with royal ornaments, and the pages were strewn with grains of gold.
One of the most valuable and rare finds in the history of book art of the Temurids era, written in Uyghur script, is the manuscript “Mirage” (“Ascension”), created in 1436 by the personal order of the fourth son of Amir Temur Shahrukh Mirzo – the father of the great astronomer Mirzo Ulugbek. Made by skillful calligraphers and miniaturists, it is currently stored in the French National Library in Paris (under Turc 190/1513 II) and is one of the rarest manuscripts in its collection and the pride of this library.
“The Mirage” is a religious and philosophical work that tells of the mystical journey of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) through the seven heavenly spheres. Its Arabic and Persian versions were widespread in the Middle Ages. However, the Turkic translation was made in the era of the Temurids. The unique manuscript preserved in the Paris collection is the earliest copy of the Turkic “Mirage”. For this reason, the manuscript is an invaluable legacy.
“Temur Tuzuklari” is an essay of a historical and legal nature and consists of two parts. The first sets out an autobiography of Amir Temur himself, starting from the age of seven, – all the events related to his life, political and military activities.
The second part – “Tuzukat” – is a kind of instruction on the structure of the state and the army, the duties of rulers and officials, who should have possessed qualities such as insight, courage and enterprise, as well as rules of conduct for subjects based on the concepts of fidelity and devotion. Among other things, the structure of the judicial system was fixed, the rights of soldiers, the common people and the poor, as well as the population of the conquered territories, were consolidated.
The historical significance of this document lies primarily in the fact that Amir Temur introduced the concept of the inviolability of the law, and also paid special attention to issues of moral purity and morality.
“Rauzat al-safa fi sirat al-anbiya wa-l-muluk wa-l-hulafa” (Garden of Purity regarding the Life of Prophets, Kings and Caliphs) is the fundamental work of one of the prominent historians of the Temurid era Mir Muhammad ibn Sayyid Burhan ad-Din Khond-Shah Ibn Kamal ad-Din Mahmoud al-Balkhi (Mirhond).
Mirhond lived and worked in Herat, one of the capital cities of the Temurid possessions, during the reign of Sultan Hussein Baykara (1469 – 1506), one of the most prominent representatives of the famous dynasty.
As a court historian, Mirhond enjoyed the continued patronage of Alisher Navoi, another iconic personality of that era, who was not only a citizen, statesman, poet and philanthropist, but also a friend of Hussein Baykara. It is known that Navoi supported the grandson of Mirhond, Hondamir. It was at the initiative of Navoi that Mirhond began work on writing chronicles of universal history – from the creation of the world to the events of 1522 – 1523.