Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 16174 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

'Abd al-Haqq Dihlavi's al-Maṭlab al-a‘lā fī sharḥ Asmā’ Allāh al-ḥusnā


1 copy of al-Maṭlab al-aʿlà fī sharḥ Asmāʾ Allāh al-ḥusnà by ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq ibn Sayf al-Dīn Dihlavī, 1551-1642

Language(s): Persian

A commentary on the Divine Names (Asmāʾ Allāh al-ḥusnà), by the renowned Indian scholar ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq ibn Sayf al-Dīn Dihlavī (d. 1052/1642). For this author see N. H. Zaidi, ‘‘Abd al-Ḥaqq Dehlawī’, EIr I, pp. 113-4; İ.H. İnal, ‘Dihlevi, Abdulhak b. Seyfeddin’, TDVİA 9, pp. 291-3. None of these sources mentions the existence of the present commentary, which must therefore be presumed to be rare. The title echoes that of the well-known work on the same subject by Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, al-Maqṣad al-asnà.

The Maṭlab is preceded by a well-known religious qaṣīda in Arabic, on f. 1v-9v. Each bayt is followed by a verse commentary in Persian, in rubāʿī (quatrain) form.

One of the most interesting features of this treatise is the introductory discourse (f. 11v-19r) in which the author discusses eleven questions relating to the Divine Names, such as whether they are actually limited to ninety-nine in number.

Poem begins (f. 1v): ‘Anā l-Mawjūdu fa-ṭlubnī tajidnī / fa-in taṭlub sivāʾī lam tajidnī, Manam mawjūd ay ṭālib kujāʾī? / chirā dar ḥaz̤rat-i Mā nayāʾī?, Majūʾī ghayr-i Mā hīch gāhī / agar shāʾistah-'i dargāh-i Māʾī...’

Text begins (f. 10v): ‘Basmalah... Subḥān Allāh tanazzahat Z̲ātuh taqaddasat ṣifātuh va asmāʾuh va al-Ḥamd li-Allāh jall Jalāluh ʿamm ṭivāluh va lā ilāh illā Allāh ʿazz sulṭānuh va ʿaẓum burhānuh... Ammā baʿd... Īn muntakhabatī ast dar sharḥ-i Asmāʾ-i ḥusnà kih javāhir-i khazāʾin-i ilāhī va khazāʾin-i javāhir-i nā-mutanāhī-i Ūyand...’

Ends: ‘Khāṣṣiyyat... Har kih ra ranjī yā dardī yā masḥaqqatī pīsh āyad sī va sih hazār bār bakhvānad iṭmīnān-i (sic) bāṭin paydā āyad. Va agar nīm shab yā nīm rūz mudāvamat namāyad zabān-i ḥāsidān va dushmanān bastah gardad va ghaẓab-i sulṭān mundafiʿ shavad. Va Allāh aʿlam bi-al-ṣavāb’

Other contents: front endpaper, incorrect title inscription Ashiʿʿat al-Lamaʿāt; f. 1r, miscellaneous notes and scribbles.

India. Completed at the time of ʿaṣr on Friday, 20 Zū al-Qaʿdah 1097/8 October 1686.

Fine small nastaʿlīq. 13 lines. Red text frames on f. 1-9. Off-white paper, heavily sized, with small wormholes in the margins; f. 1-9, dark beige paper with more substantial worming, all repaired. 81 folios. 195 x 109 mm.; text lines 105 x 59 mm. (131 x 59 on f. 1-9). Maroon morocco binding overlaid with marbled paper.

Purchased from Probsthain, London.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 81 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 195 × 109 mm.



Origin: 17th century AH ; India

Record Sources

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


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