Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 16039 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Bahr al-firasat


1 copy of Baḥr al-firāsat al-lāfiẓ fī sharḥ Dīvān Ḥāfiẓ by ‘Abd Allāh Khvīshgī Chishtī ‘Ubaydī

A commentary on the inner meanings of lines in the Dīvān of the great mystical poet Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfiẓof Shiraz. By ‘Abd Allāh Khvīshgī Chishtī called ‘Ubaydī. His commentary was written for the deceased Mughal emperor Shāh Jahān, in whose praise verses occur in the middle of the author’s preface (f. 2v-3v). The bayts are arranged and explained in alphabetical order of the rhyming letters.

Other manuscripts of this work: Munzavī, in FNKhF II/1, p. 1061; both are 13th/19th century copies preserved at the Majlis Library in Tehran; and Marshall, no 42ii: Kapurthala 123 (see OCM, iii, 4, p. 21); Peshawar 1028; PUL ii 387.

The present manuscript is incomplete, breaking off in the letter mīm and lacking the index compiled by Nūr al-Dīn, or Nūr al-Anvār, Suhravardī which is mentioned by Munzavī.

Other contents: f. 1r, three bayts of verse, unattributed; 2r, the numerals 786, this being the abjad value of the letters composing the Basmalah; 4r, two bayts of verse, in large nasta‘līq; 225v-227r, added on Wednesday 6 Zū Qa‘dah (i.e. Zū l-Qa‘dah) 13[3?]6/23 August 1918 (?), comprising verses on Ango-Indian relations including criticism of the British, entitled Pīshīngū’ī-i Shāh Ni‘mat Allāh-i Qādirī r h, popularly supposed to contain cryptic predictions of various subsequent events. See H. Algar, “Ni‘mat-Allāhiyya”, EI2 VIII, pp. 44-48.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Indian paper with a greyish tinge, slightly brittle.
Extent: 227 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 230 × 140 mm.
Dimensions (written): 170 × 95 mm.

Unreliable old foliation in Arabic.


Incomplete. A number of folios have been repaired with patches, and a few contain small holes.


18 lines.


Good professional nasta‘līq.


Red headings and overlinings. Light orange text frames. Text area lightly gold-sprinkled.



Black leather binding with blind tooled medallions.


Origin: 1700 - 1750 CE ; India. Undated, perhaps early 18th century.

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly manuscript no. 100 in the collection of the British Turcologist C.S. Mundy.


Purchased from Sam Gedge, Mar 2004

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Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.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