Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 12 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: Illustrated copy of Abū al-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanāʼī al-Ghaznavī's Ḥadīqat al-ḥaqīqah (The Walled Garden of Truth), a mystical Sufi epic.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 318 folios
Dimensions (leaf): 23.8 × 13.3 cm.
Dimensions (written): 16.5 × 7 cm.




7 miniatures, three of which are double-page compositions, in the Shiraz style at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

There are illuminated headings on folios 2b (preface) and 10b (beginning of text). The text of these folios and the facing pages are also decorated. The central column ruling of each page is not formed of the usual pair of fine gold lines outlined in black and instead features a pair of fine gold lines flanked by pale green lines.


Fairly modern oriental binding of dark red leather, inlaid with gilt medallions and pendants. The spine is inscribed with HUDDEEKA HUKEEM SUNNAIE. The original doublures, of fairly rough gilt cut-out work on various coloured backgrounds, have been incorporated, but are somewhat damaged.


Origin: Dated the End of Rajab the revered, the year 1016 (1607 CE) AH

Provenance and Acquisition

There are colophons on folios 10a and 317a. The former gives the scribes name, Muhammad al-Qiwami. The latter gives the date.

Formerly part of the collection of the first European editor of the Shahnama of Firdawsi (Calcutta, 1829),Turner Macan (1792-1836). The manuscript then became part of the collection of the Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865). Bland’s oriental manuscripts were sold through Bernard Quaritch in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993. Identification of provenance based on manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s.

Codicological description based on B.W. Robinson, Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library: A Descriptive Catalogue (London, 1980).


The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute


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