Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 235 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An incomplete copy of the Kīmiyā-yi Saʻādat (Alchemy of Happiness), a significant Persian orthodox Sufi treatise on religious obligations and moral duties . Author of about one hundred books and treatises, mainly in Arabic as well as several in Persian, including the present work, the author, 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, redacted, translated, and abridged this text from his much lengthier Arabic work Iḥyā’ ‘Ulūm al-Dīn (Revival of the Religious Sciences). Regrettably, a restorer misarranged many chapters and folios.
Language(s): Persian
Language(s): Persian
Folios 1b–99b
Title: Pillar 4: Refuges and Conclusion
Title: Rukn 4
Title: رکن ۴
Title: Aṣl 1
Title: منجیات: در توبه
Title: Aṣl 2
Title: در صبر و شکر
Title: Aṣl 3
Title: ذر خوف و رجا
Title: Aṣl 4
Title: در فقر وزهد
Title: Aṣl 5
Title: درمراقبه و محاسبه
Title: Aṣl 6
Title: در صدق و اخلاص] در محاسبه و مراقبه]
Title: Aṣl 7
Title: در تفکر
Title: Aṣl 8
Title: در توکل
Title: Aṣl 9
Title: در محبت و شوق و رضا
Title: Aṣl 10
Title: در یادمرگ (و احوال آخرت)
Title: Conclusion
Title: خاتمۀ کتاب
Incipit: (beginning) این رکن منجیانست از کتاب کیمیای سعادت و این و ابن یزید مردی پیر بود وپس از آن
Explicit: نیز بر ده اصلست همیشه میگریستی تا فرمان یافت چشم تاریک شده ابن عنیه (کذا) میگوید برادر را بخواب دیدم گفتم خدایتعالی با تو چه کرد گفت رحمت کرد و هر گناه که استغفار
Title: Part of the second ‘Unvān (Address) from the Introduction

This corresponds to Persian MS 231 folios 19b, line 11, to 24b, line 15.

Incipit: (beginning) اثر اول کار در جمله تن از دل خیزد آنگاه بهمه... و صدیقان صحابه رضوان الله علیهم
Explicit: اعضا بپرا کند... السلام از صغایر حذر می کردند بلکه از بیمشبهتی از حلال میگریختند این احمق بچه دانست که در احوال شیطان نیست و درجه وی از درجه ایشان در گذشت و اگر گوید
Title: Pillar 1
Title: Rukn 1

Imperfect at the beginning, with Aṣl 1 and part of 2 missing, (corresponding to Persian MS 231 folios 47a, line 6 to the end of the volume on 93a):

Incipit: (beginning) 208a اثر اول کار در جمله تن ازاندران حکمتی بود که هست و بدین مغذور نباشد و هر گاه که حاجت بدان غالب بود و نادر نباشد مثلا کسی در حال حیض مباشرت حرام کند
Language(s): Persian
Title: Aṣl 3
Title: در طهارت
Title: Aṣl 4
Title: نماز
Title: Aṣl 5
Title: زکوة
Title: Aṣl 6
Title: روزه
Title: Aṣl 7
Title: حج کردن
Title: Aṣl 8
Title: خواندن قران
Title: Aṣl 9
Title: در ذکر حق سبحانه و تعالی
Title: Aṣl 10
Title: در تربیت اوراد
Folios 288b-452b
Title: Rukn 2
Incipit: (beginning) رکن دوم از ارکان مسلمانی معاملاتسن و این رکن ...ندانم که حقیقت ایمان در دل چگونه
Explicit: نیز بر ده اصلست... بود عاملی را که وی در سالی چندین هزار دینار حراو بستاند و بدیگری دهد در ضمان وی بود و در قیامت همه از وی طلب کنند و منفعت آن بدیگری رسد و این نهایة غفلت و نا مسلمانی باشد و الله اعلم بالصواب
Language(s): Persian
Title: Aṣl 1 آداب طعام خوردن و دادن
Title: Aṣl 2 آداب نکاح
Title: Aṣl 3 آداب کسب و تجارت
Title: Aṣl 4 طلب حلال
Title: Aṣl 5 آداب صحبت با خلق
Title: Aṣl 6 آداب عزلت
Title: Aṣl 7 آداب سفر
Title: Aṣl 8 آداب سماع و وجد
Title: Aṣl 9 امر معروف
Title: Aṣl 10 در رعیت داشتن و ولایت راندن

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 435 folios, 6 fly leaves (ff. iii + 435 + iii).
Dimensions (leaf): 234 × 137 mm.
Dimensions (written): 190 × 95 mm.

Folios pencilled in Latin, beginning as from folio 2 (text 1b-452b); folios 287b, 288a blank.


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


Hand text with caution. Insect damage and degraded historical repairs througout.


Written in 1 column with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣtarah hand guide.


Black ink, rubrics in red; elegant and consistent mixture of black nasta‘līq with shikastah ligatures, with red subheaders and Arabic quotations.

Table of Contents: Listed on the initial flyleaves.
Inscriptions: Folio 1a bears a prescription in Persian and ‘Nº 43’, which while unsigned comports with the hand of Sir Gore Ouseley.
Bookplates and Catalogue Entry:
  • Right pastedown: Pasted catalogue entry from :
    ‘169 Kimiai Saadat, the Alchemy of Prosperity, being a treatise on Morals and Ethics. Persian, a good legible hand, sm. fol. half -bd. neat, 41.4s. A learned and much esteemed work.- Ouseley’
  • Left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘2/K’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 456’.


Strongly rebound; title in Latin on the spine.



Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly owned by Sir Gore Ouseley (1770–1844), which while unsigned, the inscription on folio 1a comports with his hand on other volumes that he formerly owned.

Subsequently listed for sale by London firm of Howell and Stewart in their 1827–1828 catalogues.

Subsequently acquired 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.


    A.J. Wensinck, "Muslim B al-Hadjdjadj" and Alfred Guillaume, '’Sahih" in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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