Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 102 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of al-Khulāṣah al-Alfiyyah by Ibn Mālik, Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd Allāh

Language(s): Arabic & Persian

Explicit: فـحمد الله مصليا على *** محمد خير نبي امر سلا *** وآله العز الكرام البررة *** وصحبه المنتجبين الخيرة

There is a magic square (wafq) on f61 (which is one of the loose folios). It is a four by four magic square. Each row (vertical or horizontal or diagonal) adds up to 238. Above this there is a note which includes letters and numbers and appears to be written in a kind of abbreviation or code.

On f62v (part of the same loose folio as f61 which has the magic square) has a five line prayer addressed to ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib in Persian and in the same rough shikastah script as the note on f97v.

The manuscript is not foliated except for the final folio with the explicit.

On f97v there are two further notes, one of which describes the contents of the MS in a very rough shikastah script and the other, in minute naskh, is an invocation to God.

The MS is dated 7th Jumādā al-al-Ākhar 1129 AH (19 May 1717 AD).

Colophon: في يوم من الشهر جمد الآخر 1129 من الهجرة
Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. قال محمد هو ابن مالك *** أحمد ربي الله خير مالك.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Thin dark-cream coloured woven paper.
Extent: ff. iii+97+iii
Dimensions (leaf): 155 × 105 mm.
Dimensions (written): 120 × 60 mm.

European numerals in pencil; manuscript is only foliated on f97r.


The manuscript is in relatively poor condition. Whilst the text block is well maintained, the binding is seriously damaged and several folios are loose and others are almost loose. There is some worm damage to the manusript and several folios have been taped due to rips or wear-and-tear. There are also some smudges and discoloured folios.


Uniform layout of nine lines, each line representing one short rajaz verse line.


Neat black naskh script with rubrications.



The first fifty folios are copiously annotated in Persian in minute nastaʿlīq script between ff1-51. Across the MS there are some lines which have been vocalised.


Red leather binding with floral design on the spine.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 7_Jumada al-Thani_1129 AH; 19 May 1717 CE ; Calcutta

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. According to Wilkins, this manuscript was presented by Lady Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p. 67 no. CII.


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



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