Or 16160 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)
Shabar al-Asmā’ al-Ilāhiyya
A lengthy litany of Sufi invocations (awrād), including numerous Divine Names. No particular Ṭarīqa (Order) is mentioned, but the character of the text suggests an origin in one of the more sophisticated branches of Indian Sufism. The title, Shabar al-Asmāʾ al-Ilāhīyah, has been derived from the author's preface. Both the text and the explanatory material is in Arabic, together with a full interlinear Persian translation.
The claims made in the preface, f. 1v-3v, suggests that these awrād or litanies were compiled for use by disciples aspiring to acquire particular forms of gnosis (maʿrifah) and spiritual powers. This is borne out by the wording of some of the litanies, as in this excerpt (f. 29r): ‘Yā Kabīr Anta llaz̲ī la tahtadī al-ʿuqūl li-vaṣf ʿaẓamatih... Yā Kabīr ballighnā ilà daraja intahamat al-ʿuqul ilayhā fa-naḥmadak (sic) va nashkurak va nasjudak (sic) s̲amma bi-iqāmat laṭīfatik fī maqām Qāb Qawsayn ʿin taltafit ilà kāʾin rūḥī aw malakī’.
Another notable feature is the inclusion in some innovations of single Arabic letters some of which are not found among the opening letters (al-muqaṭṭaʿāt) in the Qurʾān, as in the following example (f. 39r): ‘Fa-innahum mutaṣarrifūn fīhā ʿalà vajh rizak bi-quvvat al-ḥurūf al-sabʿah al-ṣādirah min sirr nūrik mukayyafatan bi-kayfīyat hāz̲ih al-ṣuvar al-vaqfīyah al-mushakhkhaṣah min JRBMKhTDZ (?)’.
A third distinctive characteristic is the inclusion of Divine Names not found among the canonical 99, such as Zakī, Ṭāhir, Naqī, Kāf, Dayyān, and Maḥmūd.
The spiritual figure with whom this interesting text appears to be associated is the one whose elegant and elaborate ownership inscription appears on f. 1r. Including his epithets and those of his Fatḥer, he is Khādim al-Fuqarāʾ Masīḥ al-ʿĀrifīn Ḥifẓ Allāh ibn Quṭb al-Aqṭāb Mawlānā Faqīr Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ḥanafī al-ʿAlavī al-Hāshimī al-Jalāl'ābādī. This suggests an origin in Afghanistan or, more probably, the adjoining part of India (now Pakistan).
Begins: ‘Basmalah... Ba-Nām-i Khudā-yi nīk-bakhshandah bakhshāyandah... Ammā baʿd Ḥamida Llāh (sic) allaz̲ī rattaba al-mawjūdāt va al-ṣalāt va al-salām ʿalà Rasūlih maʿ Rusulih va tavābiʿih fī al-bidāyāt va al-nihāyāt fa-iʿlam anna tartīb Daʿvāt shabar al-Asmāʾ al-Ilāhīyah an yaghtasil...’
Ends: ‘Anta al-Marjū li-kashf hāz̲ā al-muṣab... Hā-Alif (x 10)... Aqimnī bi-ṣidq al-ʿubūdīyah bayn yadayk... Āmīn (x 5)... Va ṣallà Llāh ʿalà khayr khalqih Muḥammadin va ālih al-ṭayyibīn al-ṭāhirīn... Lā ilāha illā Llāh Muḥammad Rasūl Allāh... bi-raḥmatik ya Arḥam al-rāḥimīn’
Other contents: f. 1r, ownership inscription, in Arabic, of Ḥifẓ Allāh ibn Faqīr Allah (see above), who bought the manuscript on 2 Rajab 1290/26 August 1873.
Northern India or Afghanistan. Later 13th/19th century, not later than 1290/1873.
Arabic text in vocalised naskh; Persian in nastaʿlīq. Persian text and all headings in red. 9 + 9 lines. Text frames: gold and black. Illuminated headpiece of good quality, f. 1v. Thin beige paper, highly sized. 95 folios, plus 1 blank and 3 flyleaves each at the front and back. 302 x 184 mm.; text area 216 x 122 mm. Original brown leather binding, with ogival central medallion and pendants all with black floral motifs against a gilt ground; border lines in gold.
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