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Hamza Kills the Leader of the Qaf, People who have Elephant Ears

December 31, 1556
Mirza Firuz Shah
Akbar 1556–1605




The Hamzanama is based on a story from a centuries-old oral tradition. It tells of Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib (c. 569–625), the uncle of the prophet Muhammad (c. 570–632). The historical Hamza was opposed to Islam at first until he converted in 615, after which he became one of its most ardent advocate. The historical facts were embroidered over the centuries with a variety of fictional events. The tales of the Hamzanama are about the struggles of the Muslims against the “infidels” and the attempt to convert them; likewise legendary sorcerers, demons and fairies, daring heroes, brave women and trickster spies, who are said to have played a role in the life of the Amir Hamza. They were commissioned by Akbar, the “Great” (r. 1556–1605), probably the most influential of all Mughal rulers, and were created between 1557 and 1577 in his court workshops. It is renowned as one of the most important works of painting in the Islamic world. Today a total of 200 out of the original 1 400 folios of Akbar’s Hamzanama have been preserved in various collections worldwide. The MAK has the greatest quantity, with 60 folios. This incongruence in preservation and the many oral versions of Hamza’s story prevent a more precise determination of the sequence of the folios. Details Title: Folio from the Hamzanama (Volume 1–5): During a campaign Hamza kills the leader of the Qaf, people who have elephant ears Creator: Akbar Date Created: 1557–1577 Location: India Subject Keywords: Library and Works on Paper External Link: MAK – Museum of Applied Arts Material and Technology: Cotton, paper, tempera, water color, India ink Inventory Number: BI 8770-18r Dimensions: 70 x 55 cm Artist: Akbar.


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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