Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 233 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The third of four volumes of the Kīmiyā-yi Saʻādat (Alchemy of Happiness), together with Persian MS 231 (Vol. 1), 232 (Vol. 2), and 234 (Vol. 4). A significant Persian orthodox Sufi treatise on religious obligations and moral duties by Muḥammad al-Ghazzālī (ca. 1058–1111), renowned as Hujjat al-Islam (Proof of Islam) on account of his extensive knowledge of the Shafi‘ī school of Islamic law among other topics. Author of about one hundred books and treatises, mainly in Arabic as well as several in Persian, including the present work, which he redacted, translated, and abridged from his much lengthier Arabic work Iḥyā’ ‘Ulūm al-Dīn (Revival of the Religious Sciences). This volume contains the third Rukn (Pillar) subtitled Mahlakāt (Perils), divided into ten Aṣl (Elements).
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): رکن سوم از ارکان عقبات راه دین که انرا مهلکات گویند که آن چیست و چندست و علاج آن بر چه وجه است و مدار این رکن نیز بر ده اصل است
Language(s): Persian
1b (196)
Title: Aṣl 1
Title: اندر ریاضت نفس و طهارت از خوی بد
14a (209)
Title: Aṣl 2
Title: علاج شهوت و شکم و فرح است وشره آن
23a (218)
Title: Aṣl 3
Title: علاج شرط سخن و آفت زبان
36b (233)
Title: Aṣl 4
Title: علاج بیماری خشم و حسد و حقد
43a (240)
Title: Aṣl 5
Title: علاج دوستی دنیا
48b (245)
Title: Aṣl 6
Title: علاج دوستی مال و آفت بخل
63a (260)
Title: Aṣl 7
Title: علاج دوستی جاه و حشمت
69a (265)
Title: Aṣl 8
Title: علاج ریا و نفاق در عبادت
84a (280)
Title: Aṣl 9
Title: اندرعلاج کبر و عجب
97b (293)
Title: Aṣl 10
Title: علاج غرور و غفلت

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 108 folios, 2 flyleaves (ff. i + 108 + i).
Dimensions (leaf): 292 × 170 mm.
Dimensions (written): 145 × 105 mm.
Foliation: Foliated with Arabic figures 196 to 304 with folios 222 to 224 missing and another folio between 260Aa omitted.


Undetermined. Catchwords on the lower-right corners of the b sides throughout.


In fair condition, with discoloured and insect damaged areas and historical repairs.


Written in 1 column with 21 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣtarah hand guide.


somewhat hastily copied in black nasta‘līq with subheaders in red by Ḥusayn bin Ḥasan.


Ruling: Double-ruled in gold outlined in black and blue.

Table of Contents:


Repaired and uniformly rebound as a set with the other volumes in full brown calf.

Title and volume numbers titled in Latin on the spine.


Origin: Completed by Ḥusayn bin Ḥasan, probably in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but possibly 17th century.

Provenance and Acquisition

The acquisition of the manuscript in India and its arrival in Britain and division into four volumes remains unclear.

Subsequently acquired by Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832), after whose death his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke (d. 1855) inherited the volume and describes its present state in a catalogue 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 John George Cochrane (1780–1852) purchased the set for £3 19 shillings.

Probably from Cochrane by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) for his library at Randalls Park, Leatherhead. After his death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866, and moved to Bibliotheca Lindesiana at Haigh Hall, Wigan.

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, Manchester.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as 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.


    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), p. 153, no. 77.
    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. 56, no. 380.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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