Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 113 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Ṭayf al-Khayāl by Muḥammad Muʾmin ibn al-Ḥājj Muḥammad Qāsim al-Jazāʾiri

Language(s): Arabic

The author is not well known, but there is a long entry on him in Agā Buzurg Tihrānī’s al-Dharīʿah ilā taṣānīf al-Shī`ah, which provides some information about his life and works. The waqf notice on f5r explains that the author of the work is also its scribe and the person who wrote the substantial commentaries on it. The text is completely surrounded on every page by lengthy comments and additions.

The scribe of the text (also its author) records in the margin where he has reached each day, showing us the progress.

Most of the seals relate to the same man, the author of the work, Muḥammad Muʾmin ibn al-Ḥājj Muḥammad qāsim al-Jazāʾirī al-Shīrāzī who, after moving to India, took the name Muʾmin ʿAlī Khān and worked, it would appear, for Jahāndār Shāh before he became emperor and also Bahādur Shāh I as he has different seals which name him as the fidvī of both men. There are also his personal seals throughout the manuscript, which alternately bear his name in India ( Mu’min ʿAlī Khān) and his previous name (Muḥammad Muʾmin) as well as the title Ḥakīm al-Mamālik. He has also written a long waqf notice on f5r, which describes the production of the manuscript. This waqf notice was later superseded by another on f1r which appears to correct the original, although some of the text is effaced. Seals are also found throughout the work and all relate to Muʾmin ʿAlī Khān. His seals on f1r and f5r show the date as 1121 (1709-10). There is another Mu’min ʿAlī Khān seal on f1v with the year 1124 (1712) and on the same page a further seal bearing the legend “ʿAbd al-Malik Asad Allāh Khan Bahādur” with the date 1117 (1706), who must presumably have had possession of the manuscript before returning it to the author.

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. الحمد لله رافع درجات العلماء إلى سماك السماء ومفضل مرادهم على دماء الشهداء يوم الغرض بين الملا
Explicit: فها أنا أرجو اسبال اذيال العفو على هفواتي وإصلاح ما وقع في مطاوى الكلمات من عثراتي فمن عفى وأصلح فاجره علي الله والحمد لوليه في أولاه واخراه
Colophon: قد اتفق الفراغ من تسويةد هذه الأوراق بيد مؤلفه العبد الأثم المفتاق محمد مؤمن بن الحاج المكرم الموقر المعظم محمد قاسم الجزائري محتدا الشيرازي مولدا عفي الله تعالى عن سيئا تهما وضاعف يوم الحساب ما وبر من حسنا تهما في ظهر يوم السبت الثامن عشر من شهر شوال خاتم بالخير والإقبال أحد شهور السنة السادسة عشر يعد ماية والف من الهجرة النبوية خامدا مصليا وتاريخه كما نظمته في الأبيات السابقة كمال السجع فس طيف الخيال وقد كان الشروه فيه في العشر الأوسط من الشهر العاشرين السنة الرابعة من العشر الثامن من المائة الثانية بعد الألف وكانت مدة الاشتغال بتأليف هذا الكتاب لشريف المستطاب المسمى بطيف الخيال في مناظرة العلم والمال سنتين طما اشرت إليه في الأبيات المذكورة آنفا هذا مع تشوش البال بالأهوال وتشتت الحال بالحلول الترحال ومفارقة الوالد والوالد والعيال والحمد لله سبحانه على كل حال والصلوة والإسلام على خير خلقه محمد وآله خير آل ما لمع في الأرض آل وسطح في القلك هلاك وأنشد مؤلف هذا الكتاب

There are two headpieces which are illuminated with a floral pattern on alternating red, blue and gold cupola shape with blue and red ink decoration above. The copula on f1v has “Fihris Maṭālib Kitāb Ṭayf al-Khayāl” written in red calligraphy inside the illuminated rectangle below the copula image. In the box on f5v, it says “Risālat Ṭayf al-Khayāl fī munaẓarat al-ʿilm wa-l-māl” this being the title of the work. The main text of the Risālah is found within a gilded textbox, around which the commentary is written transversely.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Brown woven paper. Some folios are a pink coloured.
Extent: ff.vi+398+25+vi
Dimensions (leaf): 270 × 170 mm.
Dimensions (written): 170 × 80 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Good condition. Detached binding.


Ff.5v-398r is the main contents then 25 extra pages of comments by the same author. The text is written in the textblock with comments transversely written across the page.


Neat black naskh script with red rubrications. Comments are in a very small nastaʿlīq style script.



The text is principally composed of marginalia, as every page is covered in additions.


Red leather European-style Indian binding with circular patterned margins.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 18_Shawwāl_1116 AH; 13 February 1705 CE ; India

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 Sir William 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. 73-4 no. CXIII


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Funding of Cataloguing



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