Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 249 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Miscellaneous poems on Islamic doctrine and Sufism, 3 items (a-c)


Summary of Contents: Miscellaneous collection of mas̲navīs on Islamic doctrine and Sufism, comprised of the items from at least two separate sources from divergent periods. Volume not dated; item a) dateable to the late fifteenth century, based on the antiquity of the nastaʿlīq hand typical of west Iran under Jalayirid influence. Early west Iranian scribal nastaʿlīq and later rough nastaʿlīq, by multiple hands. Annotations. Stamped and pencil foliation. Lacking original binding. Binding damaged (decorative printed paper over exterior pasteboards with brown leather corners and edging), labelled. Folios unbound; cropped, stained, transferred text, smudging, wormholes, later repairs. Condition fragile.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

1. ff. 1v-54r
Language(s): Persian

Delhi Persian 249a.

Rare theological treatise in mas̲navī form (consisting of 3000 couplets) propounding Sunnī doctrines in accordance with the ideas of Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī(d. 324/936), by Shaykh Maḥmūd Shabistarī(d. 720/1320) writing in 700/1301.

The poem comprises eight bāb, each subdivided by three faṣl, and is based on a prose recension.

Not dated at end. Dateable to the late fifteenth century.

Ghazal by Masʿūd Saʿd Salmānadded on the opening folio (1r), by a later owner.

2. ff. 55v-104v

Delhi Persian 249b.

Sufi treatise in mas̲navī form on the principles of mysticism by Shaykh Maḥmūd Shabistarī (d. 720/1320).

Not dated at end.

Rough nastaʿlīq.

Annotations and corrections in margins.

Language(s): Persian
3. ff. 105v-142r

Delhi Persian 249c.

Sufi treatise in mas̲navī form on aspects of obedience to Islam tenets composed over the course of six months in 709/1309 by Shaykh Maḥmūd Chishtī( Chishtarī[sic]), intended for the guidance of requesting friends.

Not dated at end.

This is followed by a densely written note on Islamic ritual.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 142 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 152 × 105 mm.



Origin: Undated, item (a) possibly late 14th century India and Iran

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased by the Government of India at sale organised by Delhi Prize Agents, 1859; administrative deposit India Office Library, 1876


Government of India


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Funding of Cataloguing



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