Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 13 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This composite text includes the Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaqīqah va Sharī‘at al-Ṭarīqah (Garden of Truth and Rules of the Way) along with a shorter work entitled Sayr al-‘Ibād ila'l-Ma‘ād (The Way of Worship Unto the Hereafter) by Abū al-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanāʼī al-Ghaznavī, d. ca. 1150. The style of the first work tremendously impacted later poets, especially Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī. An unidentified scribe beautifully copied this manuscript, which features three delicately illuminated headpieces, but regrettably neither signed nor dated the colophon, although he probably completed it in either Iran or India in the early 17th century.
1. Folios 1b–14a
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): الحمد لله الخبیر الخفیات الضمایر الحکیم بحسیبات السرایر المتره عن الامثال و التطایر المقدس عن آن بدیر که الابصار و البصائر و الصلوة علی نبیه الداعی الامیة الی النعیم و الذخایر رسوله الشفیع العل الصغایر والک.
Explicit: برگ ۱۴ر (folio 14a): از نشانه گرده است پش از وفات دستماز آن کو تا هست.
Colophon: No colophon
Language(s): Persian

A table of contents for the two works in the volume immediately follows

2. Folios 14b–364a
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱۴پ (folio 14b): ای درون پرور برون آرای * وی خردبخش بی‌خرد بخشای.
Explicit: برگ ۳۶۴ر (folio 364a): صدهزاران ثنا چو آب زلال * از رهی باد بر محمد و آل.
Colophon: ‌No colophon.
Language(s): Persian
3. Folios 364b–382a
Incipit: برگ ۳۶۴پ (folio 364b): م‍رح‍ب‍ا ای‌ ب‍ری‍د س‍ل‍طان‌ وش‌ * ت‍خ‍ت‍ت‌ از آب‌ و ت‍اج‍ت‌ از آتش.
Explicit: برگ ۳۸۲ر (folio 382a): گفتم آن نور کیست گفتا نور * بو المفاخر محمد منصور.
Colophon: No colophon
Language(s): Persian
4. folios 382a–383a
Author: Anonymous
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۳۸۲ر (folio 382a): این فضیلت که بر سلطان اغظم پادشاه معظم ملک الهند و السند ابو المحارب بهرام شاه به مسعود به ابراهیم محمود...
Explicit: برگ ۳۸۳ر (folio 383a): بنمای ره راست بر آن کین بوشت * بگشای در فتح بخواندهٔ او
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

For the earliest full version of Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaqīqah known to survive, see Rylands Persian MS 843, as well as two others, Persian MS 12 and 106.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Folios 1 to 92 of thin-weight, cross-grained, ivory-coloured paper; however, thereafter comparatively heighy-weight stock, all possibly handmade in Greater Iran or the Indian subcontinent.
Extent: 384 folios, six flyleaves (ff. iii + 384 + iii).
Dimensions (leaf): 250 × 144 mm.
Dimensions (written): 173 × 71 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides when catalogued, which repeats folio 164Aa, hence under by one.


Undetermined due to extensive repairs and rebinding. Catchwords throughout on the lower left corners of the b sides.


Extensive insect damage and historical repairs to the margins and gutters from folios 1–92. Thereafter in better condition. Note the fold-out on the fore-edge of folio 29.


Written in 1 and 2 columns with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written primarly in black nasta‘līq script with subheaders in red naskh.


Highly refined illuminated headings on folios 1b (preface) and 14b (beginning of text), and a smaller one 364b which commences the second work.

Marginal ruling throughout in gold outlined with double black lines, and a thinner gold line outlined with single black lines, bounded by a single line in ultramarine.

Marginalia: Marginal notes in black nasta‘līq script with shikastah ligatures.
  • Folio 1a: inscribed by former owner ‘Alī Najm al-Dīn dated to the 44th year of the reign of ‘Ālamgīr I (1700–1701 CE), adjacent to his seal impression:

    مالک سنائی الحدیقه علی نجم الدین در تاریخ سنه ۴۴ جلوس عالمگیری

    Mālik Sanā'ī al-Ḥadīqah, ‘Alī Najm al-Dīn dar tārīkh-i sana 44 julūs-i ‘Ālamgīrī.

Bookplates and Pasted Catalogue Entry:
  • The left pastedown: Pasted entry from the library sale catalogue of former owner William Platel (d. 1808), sold in London by Leigh & Sotheby on 13 Dec. 1810 (p. 44 lot. 1465): ‘Hadikatussanai: the Garden of Praise: A Collection of Poems on various Subjects, but chiefly Moral, dedicated to Bihram Shah, Sultan of Ghazna, in a beautiful hand, rare condition, and elegantly bound, 1 vol.’
  • The left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘F/11’, ‘Bland MSS No. 23’.


Probably in London, possibly for former owner William Platel. Resewn on 5 raised cords, laced into the pasteboard. Edges trimmed and fully gilt, with European decorative front-bead endbands sewn in light blue and bright green silk threads at head and tail. Covered full crimson Levant-grained morocco goatskin leather, tight-backed.

Fully gilt, 'run-up' spine with thick-and-thin diagonals on the raised bands and headcaps, with triple line fillet with a diagonal dots with solid lines on either side framing the panels. Central oval radiating sunburt rosettes set above a two fronds and surmounted by laurels, with octafoil floral motifs on either side and fleurons in the corners. Titled ‘THE GARDEN OF PRAISE’ on a maroon skiver leather label. Boards tooled with the same triple solid-dotted fillet around the perimetres, with a complex meander and small foliate decorative rolls, with quatrefoil motifs on the corners, all in gold. Board edges tooled bear the same thick-and thin diagonal roll as on the spine, with interior dentelles tooled with a decorative roll featuring a 'rose-thistle-shamrock' design, all in gold. Made endpapers of dark blue coated paper with European laid handmade papers measuring ~1mm between laid lines and 24 between chain lines. These evidently replaced the blue silk flyleaves described when Joseph Butterworth Bulmer Clarke, (ca. 1797–1854) sold his father's collection. 231 × 137 × 20 mm.

In good condition, with some slight abrasion to the spine, headcaps, with the upper corners bumped. Areas of the gilt edge appear blocked in the gutters.


Folio 1a bears one partially-legible, round black seal impression, intaglio-cut nasta‘līq script script in two stacked lines, belonging to former owner possibly ‘Alī Najm al-Dīn, dated 1080 AH (1669–70 CE), below his notation: ‘معین(؟) نجم الدین علی ١٠٨٠’ 9.5 × 12 mm.


Origin: Possibly completed in either Greater Iran or the Indian subcontinent; undated by likely early–mid 17th century.

Provenance and Acquisition

Previously owned by one ‘Alī Najm al-Dīn, possibly the youngest of the Sayyid Brothers, Najm al-Dīn ‘Alī Khān, who effectively controlled the Mughal empire after the Emperor ‘Alamgīr's death in 1707 until the rise of Muḥammad Shāh in 1717, at which point the volume apparently entered into the Mughal royal library, until the reign of Shāh ‘Ālam II (b. 1728, r. 1760–1806).

Subsequently acquired by William Platel Esq. (d. 1808) of Peterborough from the Mughal library, after whose death the London firm of Leigh & Sotheby sold it in their sale commencing 13 Dec. 1810, where Richard Priestley (fl. ca. 1803–1817) purchased it on 20 Dec. 1810 for £1, 11 shillings (p. 43 lot. 1449).

Possibly purchased from Priestley by Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832), after whose death his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke (d. 1855) inherited the volume and describes it in a catalogue that he published in 1835.

The next year on 20 June 1836, Clarke's son auctioned his father's collection through the London firm of Sotheby & Son where bookseller William Straker purchased it for £3-13s-1d.

Probably sold by Straker to Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880).

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript handlist by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the volume in hand.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.


    François de Blois, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. V, Pt. 2 (London, Luzac, 1994), pp. 522–530.
    J. T. P. de Bruijn, Of Piety and Poetry: The Interaction of Religion and Literature in the Life and Works of Ḥakīm Sanā'ī of Ghazna. Leiden:Brill, 1983.
    J. T. P. de Bruijn, 'Ḥadīqat aL-Ḥaqīqah wa Šarīʿat al-Ṭarīqah', Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 4 (2003), pp. 441–442.
    J. B. B. Clarke, A Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of the European and Asiatic Manuscripts in the Library of the late Dr. Adam Clarke, F.S.A., M.R.I.A. (London: J. Murrary, 1835), pp. 235–236, no. o2, pl. VII.
    Leigh and Sotheby, A Catalogue of the Library of the Late William Platel, Esq. of Peterborough: Also His Entire and Interesting Collection of Manuscripts, in the Persian, Arabic, Hindustani, Hindwi, Bangali, Tamul, Malabaric, Telingi and Armenian Languages; for the Most Part Perfect and in Fine Condition, Having Formed Part of the Library of the Late Mogul Emperor Shah Aalum. Likewise, His Very Extraordinary Collection of Oriental Coins, in Copper, Silver and Gold, with Some Few English. Which Will Be Sold by Auction, by Leigh and S. Sotheby, Booksellers, at Their House, No. 145, Strand, Opposite Catherine Street, on Thursday, December 13, 1810, and Eight Following Days, at 12 O'clock, (Sunday Excepted.) To Be Viewed on Monday, December 10, and Catalogues (Price 6d) to Be Had at the Place of Sale (London: Leigh and Sotheby, 1810) p. 43, no. 1449.
    G. Ouseley, Biographical Notices of Persian Poets; with Critical and Explanatory Remarks... (London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1846), pp. 184–187.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), pp. 549b–551a [BL Add. 16777–16778, Add. 25329, 26150, and Or. 358,].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Vol I. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), cols. 463–467, no. 528–535 [Bodl. Elliott 151–154, Ouseley 315, Ouseley Add. 37 and 88].
    Sotheby and Son, Catalogue of the Highly Interesting and Valuable Collection of European and Asiatic Manuscripts of the late Dr. Adam Clarke, F.S.A., M.R.I.A. (London: [Printed by Compton and Richie], 1836), p. 17, no. 126.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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