Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 4577 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library


1 copy of Abvāb al-jinān by Vāʻiẓ Qazvīnī, Muḥammad Rafīʻ, 1617 or 18-1678 or 9

A well-written copy of the first 656 of the well-known ethical compendium, planned in eight abwāb of which only two have survived

This part of the work has been lithographed in Persia and India [ 405-6; Arberry 1937 a, page 16. ]

The following note is pasted on the inside back cover: "Prince Jamh 0 Deen's compliments to Lady Seymour and he has the pleasure of sending the accompanying Manuscript, which is a curiosity written in the time of Mohammud Shaw Amprah [sic] of India, in the city of Delhi nearly two century [sic] ago and, he hopes she will kindly accept the same. 20 No[vem]ber/37." This statement is, of course, quite inaccurate. The Abvāb al-jinān is dedicated to Shah 'Abbas II of Persia (d. 1077/1667): Muḥammad Shāh was Emperor at Delhi from 1131 to 1161

Language(s): Persian


For a more detailed description see Arberry 1939, pages 368-9.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 181ff
Dimensions (leaf): 10.1 × 6.1 in.
Dimensions (written): 8.3 × 4.5 in.


Good Indian nastaʻtīq


pretty 'unwan, foll. 1b-2a decorated with gilt flower-patterns


Margins ruled

European paper, water-marked


Indian binding


Origin: 18th century CE

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on A. J. Arberry: Hand-List of Islamic Manuscripts acquired by the India Office Library, 1936–8. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (New Series) (1939), 71: pp 353-396


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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