Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 584A (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Taz̤kirat al-awliyāʼ by Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār


Summary of Contents: Biographies of sufi saints, here totalling 71, copied by the famous 16th century calligrapher Sulṭān Muḥammad Khandān, apparently for the library of the Timurid nobleman ʻAlī Shīr Navāʼī
Title: تذكرة الاولياء
Colophon: Completed by Muḥammad Khandān in AH 920 (1514/15).

Folios 6v-8r includes a list of 73 saints

An inscription on the shamsah (f. 1r) says that the manuscript was copied for the library of Amīr Kabīr Ṣāḥib-i Tadbīr ʻAlī Shīr, ie. the Timurid statesman ʻAlī Shīr Navāʼī who, however, died in 1501, well before the date of completion of the manuscript.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Original brown paper remounted on white paper, perhaps in the 18th century.
Extent: ff. ii+380
Dimensions (leaf): 300 × 180 mm.
Dimensions (written): 186 × 105 mm.

Persian foliation.


Catchwords throughout on the bottom-left corners of the verso.


15 lines to a page.


Nastaʻlīq; copied in black ink, with headings and overlinings in red. Copied by Sulṭān Muḥammad Khandān


Folio 1r: eight-pointed polychrome inscribed shamsah on a blue and gold ground.

Folios 1v-2r: text in cloud bands on gold background, illuminated polychrome headpiece, margins decorated with gold floral design.


Folios i-ii: two letters measuring 214 x 135 and 233 x 98 mm which had been inserted between ff. 40 and 41.


18th or 19th century red leather binding with embossed floriate paper border.


Black Government of India Delhi MSS stamp on ff. 1r and 380v.


Origin: 920 (1514/15) AH ; probably Herat, Afghanistan

Provenance and Acquisition

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

Acquired by the Government of India in 1876

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 207/9, ff 100-101. Revised by Ursula Sims-Williams


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Funding of Cataloguing



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