Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 89 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian

Fatāwā ʿĀlamgīrī, vol 3


1 copy of Fatāwā ʿĀlamgīrī

Language(s): Arabic

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم رب يسر ويعم بالخير؟ كتاب البيوع وفيه عشرون بابا. الباب الأول في تعريف البيع وركنه وشرطه وحكمه وأنواعه.
Explicit: وإن يقول وأخذت أختي نصبها من تلك الأموال.

The third volume of an important collection of judicial decisions made by order of Aurangzeb.

On f6v William Jones has written "W. Jones", and next to the heading, he has written "Fetāvi 'Alamgirī Book III, Part 1". Above, someone has written "huwā" in Arabic script.

Index (ffi-ii) which does not match up to this MS but rather to MS RSPA 90, the second part of this work. The index for this MS is found in MS RSPA 90.

Ownership seal on f7r, bearing the legend Abū al-Fatḥ Muḥammad Akram al-Dīn, dated 1107, regnal year 39 (1695) as also found on MS RSPA 88 and RSPA 90.


Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Text written on light cream coloured woven paper.
Extent: ff.ii+496+ii
Dimensions (leaf): 305 × 200 mm.
Dimensions (written): 200 × 110 mm.

European numerals in pencil. From f7 onwards, there are also Perso-Arabic numeral foliations (beginning f1) in black ink.


Whilst the text block is in relatively good condition, being largely repaired from their (extensive) worm damage, the binding is almost completely broken. The MS as it stands is in two main parts, where the binding has completely ripped apart. Further ff.284-291 has come loose from the binding.


Uniform layout of one column per side consisting of 23 lines per column. Colums are bordered by thin-line blue, gold and red textboxes.  


Neat black-ink naskh with rubrications and red-ink indexing.


Illuminated gold heading (f6v).


Occasional missed words or corrections of spelling errors. Catchwords are present on every page.


Brown leather European style Indian binding with gilded floral decoration down the spine. Broken in two places entirely; several pages are loose. The endbands are also almost entirely broken.  

Accompanying Material



Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. According to Wilkins, the MSS of Fatāwā ʿĀlamgīrīwere presented to the Royal Society 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. 63 no. LXXXIX


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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