Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 56 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Asrār-i Maʿnavī va Anvār-i Maghnavī by Muʿīn al-Dīn ʿAbd Allāh Ghulām al-Khwīshagī al-Chishtī

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: سچاس کبریا آساس خداوندیرا که کلام مردمانرا بسوی نظم و نثر منقسم ساخت
Explicit: در شرح دفتر اول مثنوی معنوی مولوی روم در وقت مراجعت از وکم بقصه قصور که موطن اصلی است تحریر یافت
Colophon: شرح دفتر اول مثنوی معنوی بتاریخ نهم شهر ربیع الاول سنه ۲ از جلوس محمد شاه پادشاه غازی تحریر یافت

It is presumed this is an autograph copy of the text, of which there are no known other copies.

The author was known for his commentaries, including three on the Dīvān of Ḥāfiẓ.

Jones notes on f1r that he bought this manuscript on 4th November 1783 in the same lot as the Commentary on Ḥāfiẓ, this being (presumably) MS RSPA 57, for 5 rupees.

There is the same seal on the manuscript twice, once on f1r and once on f257r, that of Ghulām Shīv (seal dated 1157AH), with an ownership note that he bought it on the 9th of Muḥarram of the 27th year of Muḥammad Shāh's reign (r.1719-1748), 1158AH, meaning he bought the manuscript on the date of February 11th 1745.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Strong and thick cream woven paper.
Extent: ff.ii+257+iv
Dimensions (leaf): 300 × 180 mm.
Dimensions (written): 210 × 105 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Excellent condition.



Black ink nastaʿlīq with rubrications.



Very occasionally there are some marginal notes in Persian. On some folios (e.g. f51v, f52r, f4r) William Jones has also annotated by means of underlining and highlighting with crosses and curly brackets.


Standard India Office half-leather binding with wine-coloured marbled endpapers.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 9_Rabīʿ al-Awwal_1133 AH; 8 January 1721 CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. 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.51-2 no.LVI


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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