Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 853 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Miscellaneous works on divination and Persian grammar, 12 items (a-l)


Summary of Contents: Miscellaneous collection of Persian and Urdu works on divination, magic, spagiric and therapeutic medicine, as well as Persian grammar. The manuscript suffers from poor orthography and frequent errors in diacritic markings (except item k). Volume not dated; item k dated (11 Rajab 1260/27 July 1844) in Lucknow; item e bears an incomplete date, completed in Rampur, and it is likely other parts of the volume were completed by the same scribe and his circle. Bold to neat scribal nastaʿlīq, by multiple hands. Annotations in margins and interlinear spaces. Stamped and Persian foliation (item k paginated). Binding damaged (combed marbled papers on pasteboard with brown leather edges and spine, broken), labelled. Folios detached; cropped and wormholes. Condition moderately fragile.
1. ff. 1v-22v

Item a.

Untitled treatise on magic and divination, especially amulets and formulae averting the effects of the evil eye, based on sources attributed to the sixth imam, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, by an unnamed author.

Not dated at end.

Numerous tables and diagrams throughout.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic
2. ff. 23r-29v

Item b.

Untitled divinatory treatise on calendric prognostications, especially the criteria for auspicious and inauspicious days, in accordance with Shīʿī aḥādīs̲ or traditions of the Twelve Imams and the Prophet’s family, by the prominent Safavid scholar, Muḥammad Bāqir ibn Muḥammad Taqī Majlisī of Iṣfahān (d. 1111/1699).

Not dated at end.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic
3. ff. 30r-32r

Item c.

Divinatory treatise on the interpretation of dreams based on traditions relating to the Prophet Yūsuf (the biblical Joseph), by an unnamed author.

The work comprises twelve bāb.

Not dated at end.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic
4. ff. 32r-37r
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item d.

Divinatory treatise on the interpretation of dreams in accordance with references from the Qurʾān, apparently by the Shīʿī scholar, Shaykh Mufīd, that is, Abū Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Nuʿmān al-ʿUkbarī al-Baghdādī (d. 413/1022).

The work is followed by the analysis of another dream related by the sixth imam, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, and other talismanic prescriptions and prayers.

Not dated at end.

5. ff. 37v-303r
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item e.

Medical and magical treatise on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including descriptions of amulets averting illness, by Ḥakīm Amīn al-Dīn Ḥusayn Khān ibn Ḥakīm Masīḥ al-Zamān Khān Iṣfahānī.

The work is divided into two parts termed ḥukm, with further subdivisions, and concluding with a khātimah.

Partially dated colophon (f. 303r): written at speed by Sikandar Shāh at Muṣṭafá'[ā]bād known as Rāmpūr (Lāmpūr[sic], Uttar Pradesh State, India), Friday, 12 Jumād[á] al-Ākhar [year not stated].

Bold scribal nastaʿlīq changing to a more elegant hand after folio 144 to the end.

Unbound loose folio between folios 196-197.

6. ff. 303v-325r
Language(s): Persian, Arabic, and Urdu

Item f.

Untitled collection of miscellaneous excerpts on medical prescriptions, recipes for cryptography and writing in cyphers, hunting birds, preparing pigments (especially vermillion), incense, refining copper oxides, preparations for mercury and its ingestion, salts, purgatives, opiates, chūran (spiced digestive powder), enemas, preparations for fireworks, as well as recipes and prescriptions from the Mujarrabāt-i Akbarī and Ḥakīm Z̲akāʾ Allāh Khān, some of which are attributed to rulers like the Timurid or Mughal Emperor Shāh ʿĀlam.

Not dated at end.

7. ff. 326v-333v
Language(s): Urdu

Item g.

Urdu medical treatise on intermittent fever, possibly based on an English medical text, by an unnamed author. Although lacking a formal title, the concluding passage informally refers to the work as Risālah-'i muʿālajah-'i tap ba-ṭawr-i raʾī-yi Firang.

Not dated at end.

8. ff. 334v-389r
Language(s): Urdu, Persian and Arabic

Item h.

Urdu treatise on the detailed rules of Persian grammar, vocabulary, and letters of the alphabet, by Naz̲īr al-Dīn Ḥasan Qurashī[sic] Hāshimī “Shāʾiq” ibn Shāh Ghulām Muḥyī al-Dīn Uvaysī , written in Bareilly, during the reign of Navvāb Aḥmad Yār Khān Bahādur ibn Navvāb Z̲ū al-Fiqār al-Dawlah Bahādur Dilāvarjang.

The chronogrammatic title dates the work to 1226/1811.

The work consists of a muqaddimah containing a lengthy mas̲navī on grammar, followed by three bāb in prose, and a khātimah.

Not dated at end.

Annotations in margins occasionally laid out in designs.

Neat and occasionally cramped nastaʿlīq, occasionally organised into gridded tables.

9. ff. 390r-391r
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item i.

Untitled versified treatise in qiṭʿah form on the rules of grammar and letters of the alphabet, by an unnamed author.

Not dated at end.

Dense interlinear annotations.

10. ff. 391r-396r
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item j.

Untitled collection of versified comments and principles in mas̲navī form on the rules of Persian grammar and letters of the alphabet, by an unnamed author.

Not dated at end.

Occasional interlinear annotations.

11. ff. 397r-405v
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item k.

Printed lithograph of a medical treatise on the treatment of hayz̤ah or cholera by Mawlavī Ḥakīm Aṣghar Ḥusayn Ṣāḥib Farrukh'ābādī.

Details of imprint on ornamented front cover (f. 397r) and augmented in colophon (f. 405v): printed at the dār al-ṭabʿ Ḥasanī in Lakhnaʾū (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. India), by Mīr Ḥasan Riz̤avī of Maḥmūd'nagar, 11 Rajab 1260/27 July 1844.

Paginated 1-18.

Diagram on folio 404v.

12. ff. 406r-408v
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Item l.

Untitled collection of miscellaneous notes on talismans, magic, spagiric medicine, and horoscopes, by an unnamed author.

Not dated at end.


Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 408 ff. (+4)
Dimensions (leaf): 288 × 170 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 11 Rajab 1260 AH; 27 July 1844 CE Lucknow, Rampur (Uttar Pradesh, India) ; India

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, vol. 3. Available on British Library Digitised Manuscripts, manuscript number: MSS Eur E207/31_f038r


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.


Funding of Cataloguing



Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.