Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 333 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An undated copy of the Nuzhat al-Arvāḥ (Excursion of Spirits), a popular work on Ṣūfī spiritual life composed by Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alim ibn Ḥasan al-Ḥusaynī (d. 1318), known as Amir Ḥusainī or Fakhr al-Sādāt, in 711 AH (1311–1312 CE) when 40 years old. Comprised of twenty-eight faṣl (chapters) of a mixture of prose and poetry, it commences with an panegyric preface that praises God, the Prophet Muhammad, and the first four Caliphs, followed by a series of parables and proverbs that illustrate the mystical quest.
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): بتوفیقش چو روشن دیدم آواز سخن راهم بنامش کردم آغاز بگو ای مرغ زیرک حمد مولی که هست اورا سپاس و منت اولی
Explicit: برگ ۱۴۰پ (folio 140b): در ختم کتاب ای شب گرد بدروز سال عمرت بچهل رسیده و تو از جهل خود نارسیده... در شهور سنه احدی عشر و سبعماته مشاطه نشاط فکر بر بساط گردن و گوش هر یک را بزیور فصاحت و بلاغت مقرط و موشح گردانید بتوفیقش چو روشن دیدم آواز سخن راهم بنامش کردم آغاز بگو ای مرغ زیرک حمد مولی که هست اورا سپاس و منت اولی.
Colophon: No colophon.

For another copy of this work completed in 1006 AH (1597 CE), see Rylands Persian MS 682. For commentaries see Ethē and for lithographed editions, see Mushār.

Language(s): Persian
2. 12b
Title: Faṣl 1
Title: در مبداء سلوک
2. 15b
Title: Faṣl 2
Title: در معرفت سلوک
3. 22a
Title: Faṣl 3
Title: در بیان مقامات سالک
4. 24b
Title: Faṣl 4
Title: در نصیحت سالک
5. 27b
Title: Faṣl 5
Title: در بدو خلقت
6. 30a
Title: Faṣl 6
Title: در بیان وحدت
7. 32a
Title: Faṣl 7
Title: در تجرید سالک
8. 36a
Title: Faṣl 8
Title: در قاعده طریقت
9. 40b
Title: Faṣl 9
Title: در کمال استغفا
10. 42b
Title: Faṣl 10
Title: در آغاز فطرت
11. 46b
Title: Faṣl 11
Title: در اختلاف حالات
12. 53a
Title: Faṣl 12
Title: در بیان معرفت دل
13. 56a
Title: Faṣl 13
Title: در بیان تصفیۀ دل
14. 61a
Title: Faṣl 14
Title: در دیباچۀ عشق
15. 65b
Title: Faṣl 15
Title: در حقایق عشق
16. 70b
Title: Faṣl 16
Title: در حیرت عشق
17. 75b
Title: Faṣl 17
Title: در بیان نفس
18. 79b
Title: Faṣl 18
Title: در مخاطبۀ نفس
19. 83a
Title: Faṣl 19
Title: در معاملات کون و مکان
20. 88a
Title: Faṣl 20
Title: در جد و اجتهاد
21. 93b
Title: Faṣl 21
Title: در صحبت و متابعت
22. 97b
Title: Faṣl 22
Title: در ترک صحبت خلق
23. 101a
Title: Faṣl 23
Title: در صبر و تسلیم
24. 107a
Title: Faṣl 24
Title: در کشف معانی
25. 120a
Title: Faṣl 25
Title: در ارشاد و انتباه
26. 124b
Title: Faṣl 26
Title: در اشارات اهل طریقت
27. 132b
Title: Faṣl 27
Title: در نهایت اهل طریقت
28. 139a
Title: Faṣl 28
Title: در ختم کتاب

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 142 folios, 11 fly leaves (ff. v + 142 + iv).
Dimensions (leaf): 152 × 89 mm.
Dimensions (written): 120 × 55 mm.
Foliation: The first and seventh quires misarranged as follows:
First Quire: Folios 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 7, and 8.
Second Quire: Folios 49, 50, 52, 51, 54, 53, 55, and 56.


Primarily quaternions throughout. Catchword on every verso page


Handle text with caution. In fair condition with insect damaged areas and historical repairs.


Written in a single column with 12 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Black nasta‘līq, with red subheaders and markings.


Headpiece: Illuminated header on 1b

Ruling: Margins double-ruled in black and red throughout.

Marginalia: notes and remarks in various hands throughout.
Inscriptions: the first right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears the title in Persian, ‘نسخه نزهت الرواح’, a transliteration, ‘Nuzutalravah’ and transltaion into French as ‘Alrevah ou la Soirée’.
Bookplates: The left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 553’.


Repaired and firmly rebound in red calf leather


Origin: Unknown; undated but probably 18th century.

Provenance and Acquisition

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.


    For commentaries see Ethe, IO (1821)
    lithograph version see Mushar, 3265.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.