Miniature from a copy of al-Sarai’s Nahj al-Faradis (The Paths of Paradise). “The Prophet Muhammad Meets Malik at the Gates of Hell” (recto)
Iran, Herat; c. 1465
Leaf: 41.1 × 29.7 cm
The museum’s five other paintings from this Timurid manuscript illustrate the Prophet Muhammad’s encounters with angels on his way to Paradise and depict its gates.
In this miniature, Muhammad has continued his journey. He is shown with eyes lowered as he is met by Malik, the gatekeeper to Hell (Jahannam), who is armed with a club, and Gabriel, who looks rather downcast. They stand on either side of the red Gates of Hell, beyond which we can see its eternally blazing flames.
The reverse shows the Prophet and Gabriel inside Hell), where they behold the terrifying Zaqqum Tree and sinners whose tongues are being cut out by demons with red skin.
“The Prophet Muhammad Beholds the Demonic Tree, called Zaqqum” (14/2004v)
Inv. no. 14/2014 recto & verso