Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 16427 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Jami's Yusuf va Zulaikha


1 copy of Yūsuf va Zulaykhā by Jāmī, 1414-1492

The mystical allegorical masnavī poem based on the narrative of the Prophet Joseph (Yūsuf) and the Egyptian minister’s wife, Zulaykhā. By ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492): see C. Huart and H. Massé, ‘Djāmī, Mawlānā Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān’, EI2 I, pp. 421-2.

For other manuscripts of this poem see FNKhF IV, pp. 3331-40. For other copies in the BL, including copies of Jāmī’s Haft awrang (collected masnavīs), see Rieu, BM II, pp. 645-6, 648-9, 877 and S pp. 189-190; Meredith-Owens, Handlist, pp. 38 (Judaeo-Persian), 57, 59, 67, 71-72, 74-75; Ethé, IOL I, cols. 746, 755, 759-761, 1567-8; II, col. 17.

Begins: Iláhī ghuncha-’i ummīd bugshāy * gulī az rawża-’i javīd bunmāy

Ends: Zabānrā gūshmāl-i khāmushī dih * ki hast az har chi gū’ī khāmushī bih

Other contents: occasional marginal notes, extensive on f. 42r; front endpaper and f. 1v, owners’ descriptions of the volume; 2r, 14 lines of Persian text, probably of later date, obscured by pasting a thin sheet of paper over the folio; 86r, 107r, 107v, etc., obscured seal impressions; 128v, numerous scribbles, and a non-calligraphic rendering of the last bayt of the poem.

Colophon, f. 128v. Copied at Samarkand in 972/1564-5 by Muḥammad Ḥusayn ibn Khwāja Sayf al-Dīn ‘Alī.

Calligraphic nasta‘līq. 15 lines. Episode headings in gold. Double-page illuminated text double opening of high quality, f. 2v-3r, with elegant and unusual ink drawings of birds in the margins. Text frames: green, gold, black, blue. Beige oriental paper, smooth and of medium thickness, worn and with some waterstaining in the margins. On f. 49r there is a blank space, occupying the equivalent of 11 lines, almost certainly intended to accommodate a miniature painting depicting Zulaykhā purchasing Yūsuf in the slave market. 128 folios; old pagination, 252 [+1] p. 224 x 134 mm.; 137 x 67 mm. Morocco binding in reddish mid-brown, with good blind impressed ornamentation with vegetal motifs and small radial patterns, probably from Samarkand and possibly original although perhaps later.

Purchased from A al-Shakri, 16 February 2007.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 128 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 224 × 134 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 972 (1564 - 1565) AH Samarqand, Uzbek Empire ; Samarkand

Record Sources

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


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