Mohammed and his Family

A leaf from the Maqtal-i al-i Rasul, now in the Metropolitan Museum.
It is an Ottoman creation from the end of 16th century, made in Baghdad. family
Colors and gilt on paper;
7 3/4 x 6 1/16 in. (19.8 x 15.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955 (55.121.40)

It comes from a book called The Murder of the House of the Prophet, which tells the history of the husband and children of Fatima; the 'martyrdom' of Hussein ibn Ali, one of Mohammed's grandsons and Ali's son. Shiites followed the family of Mohammed; Sunnis do not. Hussein's killing at the battle of Karbala, in Iraq, was the great schism between the two main Muslim communities, and led to their division into Sunnis and Shites.

Here Mohammed can be seen preaching, seated on the minbar in a mosque at Medina. Ali and his sons Hasan and Hussein are to the right of him. The holy figures are iconographically clarified by their flaming. The faces of Ali and his sons are fully depicted; Mohammed's in heavily veiled so that his features are not visible.

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