Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 16179 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Muḥammad Bāqir Mūsavī's treatise on liquor


1 copy of Risālah dar bayān-i aqsām-i sharāb by Muḥammad Bāqir ibn Muḥammad Riz̤āʾ Mūsavī

A rare treatise on the various categories of alcoholic liquor, how to prepare and consume them, and their beneficial and harmful properties.

This work, comprising a muqaddimah, ten faṣl, and a khātimah, was dedicated to the Safavid Shāh Sulaymān (Ṣafī II, reg. 1077-1105/1666-94) by Muḥammad Bāqir ibn Muḥammad Riz̤āʾ Mūsavī.

The full title – or description – as given in the preface is: Risālah dar bayān-i aqsām-i sharāb va ān'chih muṭāʿalliq ba-ān bāshad az ādāb-i khvurdan va ṭarīq-i sākhtan va manāfiʿ va maz̤arr va ghayr-i ān. The author states in the khātimah (conclusion) that his objective was to enable answers to be given to members of the royal court, and that to avoid the risk of tedium he had omitted much of his supporting evidence.

For four other works by Muḥammad Bāqir, court physician to Shāh Sulaymān and his successor Ḥusayn I (reg. 1105-35/1694-1722) see Storey PL II/2 E pp. 264-5). Munzavī (FNKhF III, p. 426) records only one other copy of this work, in the library of Fakhr al-Dīn Naṣīrī (microfilm in Tehran University Central Library and Documentation Centre). The present manuscript contains a few marginal annotations, mostly in the hand of the copyist.

Begins: ‘Basmalah... Sitāyash Īzadī rā kih īn nuh khum-i mīnā az sahbā-yi ḥikmatash ibrāz va dar jūsh va anjuman-i kāʾināt ba-yaktāʾī-i gūyā va khāmūsh az jām-i jahān namā-yi maʿrifatash...’

Ends: ‘va khumār-i nakbat naṣīb-i ʿadū-yi bad sigālash bād ba-Rabb al-ʿibād... Bar ārad rūzgārash az sih lab kām / Lab-i yār va lab-i jūy va lab-i jām. Tammat bi-al-khayr va al-ẓafar’

Other contents: f. 37r-v, verses inscribed. The bound volume also contains a lithographed book on medicine, Qānūn al-ʿilāj by Sayyid ʿAlī ibn Sayyid Muḥammad al-Ḥusaynī al-Tabrīzī (Tabriz 1270/1853): see Storey PL II/2 E pp. 306-7.

No colophon. Later 11th/17th century.

Good nastaʿlīq. 14 lines. Headings in gold. Text frames in gold and black. Folios 1v and 2r have interlinear gilding; f. 1v has an illuminated headpiece, now rather worn, of good quality. Thin, slightly brittle off-white paper. Dark brown damp staining in lower corners and faint staining in upper corners of all folios. 37 folios. 177 x 92 mm.; text area 120 x 50 mm. Black leather binding, rather worn, with simple blind ornamentation of vertical and horizontal parallel lines.

Purchased from A. Kazzaz.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 37 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 177 × 92 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 17th century CE ; Iran

Record Sources

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


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