© Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia © Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia © Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Name of Object:

Khamsa by Nizami


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Holding Museum:

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia


Hegira 904-5 / AD 1498-9

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Paper bound in leather with gilt-stamping


27.6 x 16cm

Period / Dynasty:





This is a lavishly illustrated and illuminated manuscript of Nizami’s Khamsa in a painterly Turkoman style that was produced in Iran in AH 904-5 (AD 1498-99). The Khamsa is a quintet book composed by Abu Muhammad Ilyas ibn Yusuf ibn Mu’ayyad (AH 535–605 / AD 1141–1209) known as Nizami, who is one of the greatest romantic poets of Persian literature. It is written in rhyming couplets known as masnavi. Nizami’s quintet consists of didactic work and four romances, whose heroes have a historical origin. The stories are as follow: Makhzan al-Asrar (The Treasury of Secrets), Khusraw va Shirin (Khusraw and Shirin), Layla va Majnun (Layla and Majnun), Haft Paykar (The Seven Beauties) and Iskandarnama (The Story of Iskandar).

Selected bibliography:

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Symbols Of Power And Beauty: The collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur: IAMM Publications, 2015: 18-19, 162-163.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Al-Quran: The Sacred Art of Revelation, Kuala Lumpur: IAMM Publications, 2004: 104–107. Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, IAMM Guide Book, Kuala Lumpur: IAMM Publications, 2014: 32.

Citation of this web page:

 "Khamsa by Nizami" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;my;Mus21;12;en&id=leatherwork

MWNF Working Number: MY1 12