The art of paper and leather cutting: Qat‛ı

Qat or qat‛ı means “to cut” in the dictionary. Qat‛ı is the art of decoration which is done by gouging out a writing, motif or figure on a paper or leather and then pasting it onto another paper or piece of leather. A work of art done in this way is named “qaatıa” or “muqatta”; its artist is called “qaatı‛” and “qattaa‛”. The part that is gouged from a pattern is called male-carving; the cavity formed thereof is called female-carving. These two figures can be pasted on separate surfaces and…

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Bookbinding 

Bookbinding dates back to very old times. Before the invention of paper, the texts written on parchment and papyrus were kept as roll in wooden cases or boxes. In order to keep the texts safe, which were written on wax tablets and papyrus, wooden lids were used and a kind of binding was performed by fastening these lids from both sides with strings. Then, after the parchment was started to be used, the parchment was folded and made into forms, and then stitched and bound. With the invention of paper…

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Namazgâh and prayer in the open field

The word “namazgâh” – which means ‘place of prayer’ – is a compound of Persian word ‘namaz’ and preposition ‘gâh’ – which mean prayer and place respectively. Muslims have esteemed the prayer (i.e. salah) very much for centuries. And they have not neglected this worship even in the most difficult conditions including travelling. In Ottoman times, the places that were built in the countryside where there was no nearby mosque or masjid were called ‘namazgah.’ They are outdoor places of worship that are mostly used in summers and allocated for…

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Edirne historical hospital: Dar al Shifa

Dar al Shifa , as it is used in the Ottoman, can be described in the simplest term as the place that offers health service to public. “Darussifa” is also named “Shifakhane,” “Mâristan,” “Bîmaristan,” “Dârüssıhha,” “Dârülâfiya,” “Me’menülistirahe” and “Dârüttıb” in Anatolia. Having gathered under the name of Dar al Shifa , these institutions became reliable healthcare organizations that had trusted and reassuring staff. These healthcare organizations offered health service without any discrimination of religion, language and race. It was always a condition for the doctors to work here that they…

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Qur’an Copies from Revelation to Ottoman Era

The writing of the Qur’an took its finest form in the 19th and 20th centuries with “Ayat Barkanar” and “Tawafuq” styles. As it’s known, our Holy Qur’an began to be revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Laylat al Qadr in 610. Our Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) dictated all the verses that revealed through 23 years to wahy (revelation) scribes. When the Prophet (pbuh) passed away, all the verses of the Holy Qur’an had been written. As it’s known, during Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra)’s khilafah era, a committee of the companions…

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The luminous colour of Ramadan: ‘Mahyas’

Mahya is an exciting Ramadan tradition enhancing the atmosphere of the blessed month. Mahya is accepted as the herald of Ramadan in our old culture. As good news of Ramadan, it smiled to Muslims with its sparkling face. The tradition of mahya still continues although there are not many masters of it nowadays. In the era of Ottomans, a special importance was attributed to it and never neglected. The aims of this tradition with written messages are to direct people at kindness, to promote good deeds and to encourage children…

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