Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15759 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Risalah dar hay'at


1 copy of Risālah dar hay’at

An untitled treatise on the basics of astronomy and geometry comprising a muqaddimah, two maqālahs, and (unannounced in the author’s preface) a khātimah.

This work is not identifiable as one in published catalogues. Its plan and incipit, however, resemble those of the treatise by ‘Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad Qūshchī (d. 879/1474) generally known as Risālah-’i hay’at, from which it may in part be derived.

Contents: Maqālah 1 (f. 6v-33v): Dar bayān-i ajrām-i ‘ulvī; on the heavenly bodies. Maqālah 2 (33v-59r): Dar bayān-i hay’at-i zamīn va qismat-i ū bi-aqālīm; on the composition of the Earth, and its division into climes. Khātimah (57v-59r): Dar ma‘rifat-i ab‘ād va ajrām; on determining dimensions and mass.

Other contents: f. 1r, apparently a brief exercise in naskhī calligraphy; 1v, verses in praise of ‘Alī, in shikastah, and an Arabic prayer for healing, both introduced in Persian; 3r, verses by ʻUrfī (b. 963/1555-6) and others, including a mnemonic poem on the zodiac sign names of the months, a definition in Arabic of al-falak al-a‘ẓam, and a note dated 1237/1821; 32v, a doodle; 59r, description of the astrolabe; 59v, quotations from works on geometry, lines of verses blessing the Prophet, and others concerning Ibn Sīnā; 60r, an extract from a treatise concerning astrolabes; 60v, ruba'is attributed to the Sufi master Abū Sa‘īd ibn Abī l-Khayr (d. 440/1049), and other verses in Arabic.

The present manuscript contains copious marginal notes, most of which are in Arabic, throughout.

Ownership seals on f. 3r, 28r, 54v, 59r.

Title supplied.

Language(s): Persian with marginal notes mostly in Arabic

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: European laid paper, lightly waterstained in the upper margin; folios 1-2 and back endpapers are blue.
Extent: 60 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 198 × 137 mm.


15 lines per page.


Cursive naskhī.


Headings in red. Numerous diagrams, mostly in black and red.


Copious marginal notes throughout.


Dark maroon morocco covers with ogival central medallion and pendants front and back.


Origin: 17th century CE ; India (?)

Provenance and Acquisition


Acquired from Bonham's sale 11 October 2000, Lot 9

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


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Funding of Cataloguing



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