Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15962 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Mazhar al-‘aja’ib


1 copy of Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib by ‘Aṭṭār-i Tuni

A masnavi poem concerning the life and merits of the Caliph and Imam ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib. Although this work was formerly attributed toFarīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār, it has been established that it is in fact by ‘Aṭṭār-i Tuni, a Shī‘ī author of the 9th/15th century. On this subject see e.g. Rypka, HIL, p. 238. Detailed rebuttal of the attribution to Farīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār of various other poems is to be found in Sa‘īd Nafīsī, Justūjū dar aḥvāl va āsār-i Farīd al-Dīn-i ‘Aṭṭār-i Nayshābūrī (Tehran, 1320/1941).

For details of 17 other manuscripts of Maẓhar al-‘ajā’ib see FNKhF IV, pp. 3317-8 (33 copies of his Dīvān are listed in FNKhF III, pp. 2445-7. The reading given below for the text of the second miṣrā‘ is surely preferable to that quoted by Munzavī, which is zānki Ū hast āshkār va Ū nihān. Munzavī also appears sceptical to be about the now-accepted view of the poem’s authorship. A lithograph edition was published at Tehran in 1323/1944-5.

Other contents: f. 163v-165v, part of a masnavī poem praising ‘Alī, perhaps by the same author, lacking the beginning; 165v-166v, another short mas̲navī, also perhaps by ‘Aṭṭār Tūnī, entitled Dar guftan-i nay-i Najm al-Dīn-i Kubrà… ḥāl-i khwud'rā farmāyad; the reference is to the founder of the Kubravī Sufi Order (d. 617/1220: see EI2 V, pp. 300-1), who is also mentioned in Maẓhar al-‘ajā’ib itself.

Front and back covers: old handwritten library labels reading ‘Masnavī-i ‘Aṭṭār’ (front) and ‘No. 2’ (back).

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: The folios have been badly remargined with paper that is thinner and a lighter shade of beige, and there is slight worm damage in margins.
Extent: 164 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 210 × 132 mm.
Dimensions (written): 123 × 64 mm.

Original Arabic foliation correct.



15 lines.


Good nastaʻlīq.


Illuminated heading in gold and polychrome, of reasonable quality, f. 1v; text enclosed in gold cloudbands, 1v-2r. Red text frames and headings



Original brown morocco binding with gilt tooled medallions (most of the gilt is now lost) and flap.


Origin: 18th century CE Probably 18th century.

Provenance and Acquisition


Purchased at Bonhams sale 1 May 2003, lot 85.

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


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Funding of Cataloguing



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