Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Add MS 25900 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Additional Manuscripts


1 copy of Khamsah-ʼi Niẓāmī by 2 authors

Language(s): Persian


For a more detailed description see Rieu 1876-83, page 570.
For a more detailed description see Titley 1977, page 137.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 316 ff
Dimensions (leaf): 19.1 × 12.1 cm.



Written in a minute and elegant nastaʿlīq


19 miniatures,

5 Illumination

f. 3v A prince and his retinue being entertained at night in a garden.

f. 4r Preparations for a banquet.

f. 18r Sulṭān Sanjar and the old woman.

f. 41r Shīrīn looking at the portrait of Khusrau watched by Shāpūr (dated AH 846).

f. 44v Khusrau watching Shīrīn bathing.

f. 70r Farhād carrying Shīrīn and her horse. Sculptures on the rocks.

f. 77v A servant laying a carpet before Khusrau's horse as he arrives at Shīrīn's castle. (Inscription gives the date Rajab 898 and a quatrain).

f. 110v Lailā and Majnūn at school. (Inscriptions: on the architrave: Hasten to prayer before food and hasten to repentence before death. Below: A believer in the mosque is like a fish in water).

f. 114v Majnūn at the Ka'bah with his father and other pilgrims. (Inscriptions: above door: Hasten to prayer before food. Above: Ḳuranic text).

f. 121v Battle of the tribes watched by Majnūn (Bihzād).

f. 130v Majnūn with the animals in the desert.

f. 161r Bahrām Gūr killing the dragon (Bihzād).

f. 173r Bahrām Gūr with the Indian Princess in the Black Pavilion.

f. 188r Māhān confronted by dīvs finds his horse transformed into a seven-headed dragon. (Story told by the Princess of Khvarazm).

f. 231v Battle between Iskandar and Dārā (Bihzād).

f. 234v Iskandar comforting the dying Dārā.

f. 245v Nūshābeh recognising Iskandar by his portrait. (Inscription: The gate of the afflicted ones through which God comes).

f. 250v Iskandar visiting the hermit.

f. 271v Iskandar lassoing Kintāl, the Russian champion.


Bound in painted covers


Origin: Herat; 846 AH

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Ch. Rieu: Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum. London, 1879-1883


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.

Digital Images

BL Digitised Manuscripts (full digital facsimile)

Funding of Cataloguing



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