Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 84 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian

Part of a Hanafi legal text


1 copy of Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūrī by al-Qudūrī, Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad

Language(s): ff1-74 and ff76-203 in Arabic; f75 in Persian.

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. كتاب البيوع. البيع ينعقد بالإيجاب والقبول إذا كانا بلفظ الماضي نحو أن يقول أحدهما بعتُ والآخر اشتريتُ.
Explicit: ومن أوصى بثلث ماله ولا مال له ثم اكتسب مالا استحق الموصى له ثلث ما يملكه عند الموت.
Colophon: تمر هذا الكتاب المسمى بالقدوري إلى كتاب الفرائض

Part (dealing with contracts) of a Ḥanafī legal text

On folio 1v, William Jones has written the following title page (unsigned): "The first part contains the Spiritual law & the last chap. of the 2nd p. is a treatise on Inheritance: both are here omitted. Alkudúrì. An excellent Arabian Law Book on which the Hidayah is a comment. An Abridgement of Law - as a parallel to Menu - Institutes of Mohammedan Law: by Abú'lhasan Ahmed of Baghdād surnamed Alkudúrí: Abu'lhasan Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ibn Jā`far Albaghdādi".

Where he writes "An Abridgment of Law," he had written (but crossed out) above it "abridged, but of high priority". Where he crossed this out, he also wrote "no".

On the endpaper, "Mr Wilkins's Catal. No. 137b." is written, appending this manuscript in his catalogue to MS RSPA 83, which is of the same text.

f75 is a separate folio which is foreign to the text, it being two poems (one ghazal and one dūbayt) on inheritance by Ḥāfiẓ. Jones has annotated the folio, "N. 2 Illegitimacy: پسر کنیزک" and he has placed a cross next to the fourth and sixth lines of the first poem.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Very thin woven paper. Endpaper watermarked "C Taylor" (front) and "GR" with Britannia insignia (back).
Extent: ff 203+i
Dimensions (leaf): 290 × 195 mm.
Dimensions (written): 200 × 115 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Plentiful worm damage to folios throughout the manuscript, including to the binding.

ff202-3 has the most extensive worm damage.

f200v is stained extensively with red ink, which appears to be correcting a different marking with some disruption to legibility.

f75 (the separate folio) has been burned along the left-hand side and separated from its original manuscript.

There is a large reddish stain on f98r.


1 column of 5 lines per page, uniformly laid out across the manuscript (excepting f75).


Fine, small black naskh with rubrications. Vocalised throughout. F75 is written in nastaʿlīq.



Jones has annotated this manuscript, translating the titles of certain books and adding their sequential number in Roman numerals, e.g. "Kitāb al-buyūʿ" (f2v) is translated as "Book I: On Barter and Sale". Occasionally, he also indicates the relevant section in al-Marghīnānī's Hidāyah as well.

Towards the end of the manuscript, there are an increasing number of Arabic annotations (in a different script), usually explaining in the margins elements of the text.

Catchwords are uniformly present on every page.


Red leather European style Indian binding wirh gilt border.

Accompanying Material



Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. This manuscript (MS RSPA 84) was presented by Lady Jones, according to Wilkins' Catalogue.

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.61 no.LXXXIV


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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