Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 1263 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library


Valad'nāmah by Sulṭān Valad

Language(s): Persian, Arabic
Colophon: Dated colophon, damaged (f. 104r): completed by (obliterated), 10 Rajab 697 (23 April 1298). Probably completed in Konya, Seljuk Anatolia.

Early and rare copy of the lengthy Sufi treatise in mas̲navī form by Mawlavī Bahāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad known as Sulṭān Valad (d. 761/1360), the founder of the Mevlevi (Mawlavī) Sufi Order.

According to the brief opening prose preface (f. 1v), the author composed this work in imitation of his father Mawlavī Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī Rūmī’s Mas̲navī-yi maʿnavī at the request of companions.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 105 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 225 × 188 mm.


Condition poor. Opening and end defaced by water stains, smudging, fading, and excessive wormholes, with later repairs. Excessively cropped. Gauze overlay. Folios mounted on guards.


Written in 4 columns, with 25 lines per page.


Squat and rounded cursive naskh with tawqīʿ/taʿlīq-style ligatures, arranged in four columns. Rubrications, rulings in brown ink.

  • Combinations of Arabic and Persian annotations on opening flyleaves.
  • Folio 1Dr contains 14 inscriptions, many of which refer to identifiable officials. These include:
    • Signed note by Prince Dārā Shikūh, son of Shāh Jahān, stating that the manuscript is an autograph copy of Sulṭan Valad.
    • An inspection dated 30 Rajab year 32 (of Shah Jahan, 3 May 1658).
    • Description and transfer of volume from Luṭf Allāh to Muḥammad Manṣūr dated 3 Muḥarram year 1 (of Aurangzeb, 1 Oct 1658).
    • Transfer to Mun'im Beg dated 6 Rajab year 19 (1087, 14 Sept 1676).
    • Inspection dated 20 Muharram year 26 (19 Jan 1683). Certified by the slave (al-ʻabd) ʻAbd Allāh Chalabī.
    • Transfer from Muḥāfiẓ Khān to Muḥammad Ḥāfiẓ dated 20 Muḥarram year 23 (of Muḥammad Shāh, 23 April 1741).
  • Folio 104r contains an undated note by a former owner Amān Allāh Mīr ʻAlī and a valuation of Rs. 15.
  • Folio 104v includes various notes and verses.
  • Folio 105r records a transfer to Lutf Allah, accountant (mushrif) dated 14 Ramaz̤ān 1069 (5 June 1659) and a valuation of 20 muhr.
Loan record:
  • Rear endpaper has a loans slip recording that the volume was lent to Sir Denison Ross on 2.7.37 and returned 2.2.38.


IOL red leather binding, stamp dated 16 Mar 1936.


Partially preserved circular seal of official of Dārā Shukūh: ... Muḥammad Dārā Shikūhī (f. 1Dr).

Circular seal: Sayyid 'Alī al-Ḥusaynī murīd-i 'Ālam'gīr Pādshāh 106[9] sanah aḥad (1658/59) (f. 1Dr).

Circular seal: ʻAbd Allāh khānah'zād-i ʻĀlam'gīr Pādshāh sanah [109]3 [1682/83] (f. 1Dr).

Circular seal: Qābil Khān, khānah'zād-i 'Ālam'gīr Pādshāh 1097 (1685/86) (f. 1Dr).

Black Government of India Delhi MSS oval stamp (ff. 1Dr, 104v).


Origin: 697 AH (1298) ; Turkey, Seljuk Anatolia, Konya?

Provenance and Acquisition

Belonged to Dara Shikuh (his signed note and undated seal of one of his officials (f. 1Dr).

Passed into the Imperial Library under Aurangzeb in 1658 and remained there at least until 1741 (transfer dated 20 Safar RY 23 (of Muḥammad Shāh, 7 May 1741) from Muhāfiz̤ Khān to Muḥammad Ḥāfiẓ).

Subsequently belonged to one Amān Allāh Mīr ʻAlī (f. 104v).

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 C.A. Storey's description in Drafts for Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, vol. III, Mss Eur E207/15, ff. 98-106.


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Funding of Cataloguing



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