Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Wadh.Minasian 356 (The Ferdowsi Library, Wadham College, University of Oxford)

Oriental Manuscripts Minasian Collection


Summary of Contents: Būstān, or Saʿdī'nāmah, is an ethical, philosophical, and mystical masnavi in Persian literature. As mentioned in the preface to Būstān, Saʿdī versified this poem in 655 AH, between the two eids of Fiṭr and Qurbān, in honour of Abū Bikr ibn Saʿd ibn Zangī, the Salghurid ruler during 623-658 AH. Saʿdī did not give it a title, but refers to it within the text as 'Nām'burdār-i ganj'. Old editions of this masnavi had a title of 'Saʿdī'nāmah', but recent and new copiers have called it Būstān to correspond with his other work in prose, Gulistān. The poem is versified in the poetry measure known as 'mutaqārib mus̱amman maḥẕūf'. It includes short narratives in a preface and ten chapters, as follows: Chapter 1: عدل و تدبیر رأی Chapter 2: احسان Chapter 3: عشق و مستی و شور Chapter 4: تواضع Chapter 5: رضا Chapter 6: قناعت Chapter 7: عالم تربیت Chapter 8: شکر بر عافیت Chapter 9: توبه و راه صواب Chapter 10: مناجات و ختم کتاب. Many commentaries have been written on this work over time in Persian, Turkish, and Western languages such as Latin, French, German, Dutch, and English. According to the edition presented by Ghulām'Ḥusayn Yūsifī based on the genuine copy of Bodmer Library, Cologny (Geneva), the number of verses is 4011. However, others have noted it to contain even up to approximately 5000 verses.
Language(s): Persian


Title: Būstān
Incipit: بنام خدای جهان‌آفرین / حکیم سخن در زبان آفرین
Explicit: بضاعت نیاوردم الا امید / خدایا ز عفوم مکن ناامید
Colophon: یلوح الخط فی القرطاس دهراً / و کاتبه رمیم فی التراب


Sequence Number in the Persian Catalogue:

  • FAW 111

Similar copies in other libraries:

  • NLI, 2/485
  • MAJ, 8/57
  • MAL, 2/59

Similar manuscripts listed in other catalogues:

  • FAM, 2663
  • DEN, 2/535

Printed editions:

  • Printed repeatedly in Iran.

On the Web:

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Western paper (plain), natural buff, varying thickness (regular, thick), one size; single-line decorative frame.
Extent: 156 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 20 × 14.5 cm.
Dimensions (written): 14 × 8 cm.


Page edges rebound at the beginning and middle of the copy; signs of water damage on paper.


14 lines per page in 2 columns.


Cursive Nastʿalīq, one hand, regular. Anonymous

Additions: Oval, illegible stamp. Octagonal stamp: … فتحعلی


Black leather, 15 × 21 cm, front + back cover, single layer of leather only.

Decorated, tooled edges.


Damage on spine


Origin: Unknown place of origin; 19th century AH; 13th century CE

Provenance and Acquisition

Donated to The Ferdowsi Library by Dr Caro Minasian in 1972.

Record Sources

This record was created based on the information published in: Mir-Ansari, Ali, Catalogue of the Persian and Arabic Manuscripts in the Ferdowsi Library, Wadham College, University of Oxford (Minasian Collection), Tehran: Miras-e Maktoob, 2016.


Entry to the Library is permitted upon presentation of a valid university ID card (for admissions procedures, please visit Wadham College Library, Persian Studies Section). Please Contact persian.library@wadham.ox.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Key to bibliographical abbreviations of alternative versions:


AQR: Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi; FAW: Ferdowsi Library, Wadham College, University of Oxford (Minasian Collection); GIE: Great Islamic Encyclopedia Library, Manuscripts; GIP: Great Islamic Encyclopedia Library, Photographed and Microfilmed Manuscripts; GUL: Library of Ayatollah Gulpayigani; LAH: Library of Ayatollah Ha'iri (Library of Faydiyya Seminary); MAJ: Library, Museum and Documentation Center of the Islamic Consultative Assembly; MAL: Malek National Museum and Library; MNL: Mar'ashi Najafi Library; NLI: National Library of Iran; SEP: Sepahsalar (Shahid Motahari) Mosque and School of Tehran; TCL: Tabriz Central Public Library; UTA: Library of Literature Faculty, University of Tehran; UTL: Central Library of University of Tehran.


ALZ: الذریعه; ARP: فهرست کتاب‌های چاپی عربی; COM: فهرست مشترک نسخه‌های خطی فارسی; DEN: فهرستواره دست‌نوشته‌های ایران (دنا); FAM: فهرست نسخه‌های خطی فارسی; FAP: فهرست کتاب‌های چاپی فارسی; FIH: فهرستواره کتاب‌های فارسی; KAS: کشف الظنون عن اسامی الکتب و الفنون; RAY: ریحانة الادب فی تراجمِ المعروفین بالکنیة او اللّقب; TAB: طبقات اعلام الشیعه.

Funding of Cataloguing

Wadham College (University of Oxford)


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