Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 969 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Works on Sufism and esoteric sciences (Persian, Arabic, and Hindavi), 6 works (a-f)


Summary of Contents: Collection of miscellaneous works on Sufism and the esoteric sciences, labelled on the outside Bīst ṭāriq-i ṣūfīyah and Jung-i panjah on the inside. Only item d is dated 16 Rajab RY 2 of Aḥmad Shāh ibn Muḥammad Shāh (1162)/2 July 1749. Rough and irregular shikastah āmīz and taʿlīq hands in thin watery ink. Binding damaged: paper boards edged with leather and covered by combed marbled (abrī) paper on outside; tears and corners delaminating, damaged spine; wormholes; two labels. Condition fragile.
1. ff. 1r-2r

Item a.

Untitled treatise by an unnamed author, informally labelled Bīst ṭāriq-i ṣūfīyah, setting out in twenty entries Ṣūfī usage or iṣṭilāḥ of terms with theosophical importance, citing several well-known Ṣūfī authorities.

Jadval ruling and over-lining of important terms in red by a later hand.

Annotations in margins.

Not dated at end.

Language(s): Persian
2. ff. 2r-10r

Item b.

Untitled work by an unnamed author explaining significant Ṣūfī terms extracted from the unidentified works of the early Ṣūfī saint and author, Sulṭān Abū Saʿīd ibn Abū al-Khayr (d. 440/1049).

Not dated at end.

Language(s): Persian
3. ff. 10v-19r

Item c.

Untitled collection of aphorisms on Ṣūfī concepts attributed to a certain Khvājah Khvurd, whose name Levy incorrectly reads as Khvājah Javād.

Not dated at end.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic
4. ff. 20r-46v
Language(s): Persian

Item d.

Abridged extracts from a Ṣūfī work identified as Miṣbāḥ al-arvāḥ and attributed in concluding remarks to Shaykh Maḥmūd Shabistarī (d. 720/1320), author of the Gulshan-i rāz.

The present extracts consist of four bāb.

Dated colophon (f. 46v): completed by Muḥāsin ʿAlī and others on Thursday, 16 Rajab RY 2 of Aḥmad Shāh ibn Muḥammad Shāh (1162)/2 July 1749.

Beneath the colophon is an inverted portion of a Hindavī text labelled Gīt, consisting of four abyāt ending with the same rhyme scheme, mentioning Navvāb Khānkhānān and his son, along with several Indic deities. The beginning of each line is damaged.

5. ff. 47r-49r
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item e.

Untitled extract from a larger unidentified Ṣūfī treatise on the esoteric arts, consisting of four categories: 1) hīmiyā; 2) rīmiyā; 3) sīmiyā; 4) kīmiyā.

The work is focussed primarily on metempsychosis, transmigration, and spirit possession.

The text of the first folio is written obliquely and horizontally thereafter.

Not dated at end.

Added below is a brief, but incomplete, recipe for confectionary.

6. ff. 50r-58v
Language(s): Persian, Arabic, and Urdu

Item f.

Lunar hijrī menology of days of the month for the death or ʿurs (without mentioning year) of Ṣūfī shaykhs and saints.

The author is not mentioned.

Not dated at end.

Note at end on finger postures and mantras from Hindī or Sanskrit.

This work is followed by several other works, including: (f. 59v) a brief Arabic prayer written in the archaic bihārī script; (f. 60r) Arabic mukhammas by Shāh Mardān ʿAlī on religious and worldly subjects; (ff. 60v-61r) a Persian mas̲navī entitled Fāl-i Sikandarī; (f. 61v) note commenting on the malfūẓ of the saint Makhdūm Jahāniyān, that is, Sayyid Jalāl al-Dīn Ḥusayn Bukhārī (d. 1383), followed below by the inverted text of a draft letter to an unspecified addressee. Not dated at end.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 61 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 165 × 133 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 16 Rajab 1162, RY 2 of Aḥmad Shāh ibn Muḥammad Shāh AH; 2 July 1749 CE ; India

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, vol. 3. Available on British Library Digitised Manuscripts, manuscript number: MSS Eur E207/4_f066r


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