Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 1062 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Commentary on Makhzan al-asrar


1 copy of Makhzan al-asrār by Muḥammad ibn Qivām ibn Rustam ibn Aḥmad ibn Maḥmūd al-Balkhī

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Fragment from an untitled commentary on select couplets (1310 of 3263) in Niẓāmī’s Makhzan al-asrār, a mas̲navī from his larger quintet or Khamsah, written by the grammarian and lexicographer of Persian, Muḥammad ibn Qivām ibn Rustam ibn Aḥmad ibn Maḥmūd al-Balkhī, known as Karkhī (flourishing 795/1392-3).

The work is organised into nineteen discourses or maqālāt.

Defective at beginning.

Composite manuscript comprising several early and later parts of radically different dimensions.

Dated colophon (f. 223r): completed by Sayyid Ẓarīf ibn Sayyid Muḥammad Yūsuf, Wednesday, 1 Rajab in RY 46 of Emperor Shāh Awrangzīb [ʿĀlamgīr I], 1113 (written as 1311)/2 December 1701. The quality of the work may indicate this is a later copy of an earlier manuscript, with the colophon copied here verbatim.

Stamped foliation.

Rough nastaʿlīq by several hands on rough paper.

This work is followed by a detached folio (224) from an unrelated manuscript, comprising a fragment from a length petition addressed to an unnamed ruler in refined prose with quotations from the Qurʾān. Not dated.

This work is followed by yet another detached bifolium (f. 225) from an unrelated manuscript comprising a work on Islamic ritual, the status of the Prophet Muḥammad, and mentioning a letter from [Shaykh] Khūb Allāh addressed to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Junaydī. Not dated.

Lacking binding.

Loose folded paper wrapper (ledger, Acquittance Roll for the Committee for the Examination of Mooh[amma]dan & Hindoo Law Officers, dated 18 June 1831, Calcutta); watermarked (initials UEIC, J Whatman Balston & Co, 182[8]); torn, stained, and incomplete.

Folios unbound, disordered with lacunae; cropped, stains, smudging, wormholes, later repairs.

Condition fragile.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 223 ff. (+4)
Dimensions (leaf): 219 × 168 mm.



Origin: 1_Rajab_1113 AH; 2 December 1701 CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased by the Government of India at sale organised by Delhi Prize Agents, 1859; administrative deposit India Office Library, 1876


Government of India

Record Sources

Based on description in Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, vol. 3. Available on British Library Digitised Manuscripts, manuscript number: MSS Eur E207/12_f088r, f. 88r.


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



Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.