Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 475 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: Contains the sermons خطب ، the letters and social and political commands and maxims ascribed to the first Shi‘te Imam ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Caliph, ca. 600-661 علي ابن ابي طالب , in original Arabic paraphrased in Persian. The authorship of this work is uncertain. According to the present MS., it | was composed in the year 400

also attributed to

Incipit: (beginning) 1v المختار من کتب امیرالمؤمنین علیه السلام و رسائه و امراء بلاده این بابیست در آنچه برگزیده شده است از مکتوبهای حضرت امیرالمؤمنین علی بن ابی طالب علیه الطلوة و السلام و رسالهای او بسوی دشمنان او و امیران شهرهای او...
Colophon: و تعالی ذلک فی رجب اتمام این کتاب در رجب المر جب بود منسنة اربعمائة از سال چهارصد از هجرت سید انبیا
Language(s): Persian


Commentary on the Sharḥ-i Nahj al-Balāghah.
For another Persian version of this work, by Kāshānī, Fatḥ Allāh ibn Shukr Allāh -1570 or 1571 الكاشاني، فتح الله بن شكر الله، . composed in 955 (A.D. 1548) and entitled Tanbīh al-ghāfilīn va Tazkirat al- 'Arifin, see Rieu, BM 18b-19a, who also gives the details of a copy of Nahj al- Baldghah with a different beginning, p. 18a; Other works include Nahj al-Balāghah bā Tarjumah va Sharh by Maḥmūd Ṭāliqānī (1911-1979) , Tehran 1326 (1947); Nahj al-Baldghah Chist?. a translation of , Hibat al-Dīn al-Ḥusaynī Shahrastānī , 's Mā huwa Nahj al-balāghah by Ibn Yusuf ShirazI, 2nd ed. Tehran 1316 (1937) Nahj al-Balāghah-yi Manzūm, Mirza Muhammad ‘All bin Husain Ansārī Qumī , 6 vol lithograph AH 1367-69; Nahj al-Balāghah va Jang, Haj Mirza Khalil bin Abu Talib Kamarih’ī; Nahj al-Baldgāh va Khilqat Hāj Mirzā Khalil bin Abu Tālib Kamarih’ī: (see Mushar 3331)

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 291 folios, 2 fly leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 258 × 167 mm.
Dimensions (written): 186 × 114 mm.

Arabic pagination on left top corner of every recto page.


Wormeaten throughout. Repaired. Folios 121-160 missing, and folios 218-264, save one laef between 217 and 265, which has lost pagination in repair and does not correspond with either. Folios 186-192 and 275-278 disordered.


15 Lines to the page


Black ink, rubrics in red, nasta‘līq, occasionally mixed with shikastah and nask


collected by Sharīf al-Raḍī, Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥusayn, 969 or 970-1016, whose full name, according to the Majalis al-Mu’minīn (Persian MS 363, f. 193a), is Muḥammad bin Musá bin, Muḥammad bin Ibrahīm al-Imām Musá al- Kāzim. It is a major shi’ite work, suggested to be an equal to Quran, and therefore called akh al-Qur’dn (the brother of the Quran), see Ibn Yusuf Shirazī, Fihrist-i Kitābkhanah-i Madrasah-i 'Alī Sipahsālār, vol II, p. 113. However, the title of the present work is wanting in the list of the works by Sharif al- Razī which, admittedly, is not necessarily complete. Authorship of this work is also related to ʻIlm al-Hudá, Sayyid Murtaz̤á see IIbn Yusuf Shirazī, Fihrist-i Kitābkhanah-i Madrasah-i 'Alī Sipahsālār, vol II,, p. 114).

  • 1r Owner's seal ناسخ هر مهر شد مزین بر کتاب, خاتم امجد علی شاه زمان عالیجناب1230
  • 1r Owner's seal خوش است مهرکتبخانه سلیمان جاه, به کتاب مزین چو نفش بسم الله, 4412
  • 1r Owner's seal خاتم... (ناخوانا) علی سلطان عالم بر کتاب, ...(ناخوانا) تو بادا تا فروغ آفتاب,3612
  • inside cover Marginalia Additions in the margins
  • inside cover Bookplates Bibilotheca Lindesiana, Bland MSS No. 392
  • Owner's seal illegible
  • Owner's name کرنیل جارج (Colonel George William Hamilton) ولیم هملتن صاحب بهادر
  • Remarks and notes بتاریخ: یازدهم ربیع الاول سنه -هجری مخابره2612 -در اصل بی نقطهرسید
  • 1r Title شرح نهج البلاغه
  • on fly leaf Remarks and notes شرح نهج البلاغه(کلمه شرح خط خورده و بالای آن به خط دیگر نوشته شده: ( ترجمه فارسی)
Catchwords on every verso page.


rebound in red calf leather.


Bearing three elaborately designed seals, in red ink on f. 1r and also on f. 291v, all concealed with pasted blank paper, though they can be distinguished as the same seals belonging to the library of Amjad Ali Shah, King of Awadh d. 1263, and another seal inside the cover.



Provenance and Acquisition

From the collection of Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867 latterly as Commissioner in Delhi. He acquired over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts of which 352 were selected after his death for the British Museum. The remainder were purchased in 1868 by 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.


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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