Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 508 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An introduction to a commentary on an originally Arabic divan ascribed to ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (ff. 2r and 4r), composed in the year 890, by Ḥusayn ibn Muʻīn Maybudī, (d. 911), whose name is given on f. 4r. The authenticity of the divan is doubtful even to the commentator as he states on f. 4r هر چند بیقین معلوم نیست .که این بحر از خاشاک شعر غیر صافی است اگر یک بیت شعر اوست مرا در دنیا و عقبی کافیست but he seems not to be concerned about the authenticity of the the commentary of the divan من خود چه کسم که در شماری باشم- یا در صف اهل دل سواری باشم- مقصود همین است که در شأن علی- گویم سخنی چند و بکاری باشم. The commentary is, however, wanting in the present MS. which only contains an extensive seven-part fatihah or preliminary discourse on Sufi doctrines and philosophical, astrological and mystical matters. The fatihah, according to Maibudi, j is useful to a better understanding of the commentary قبل از شروعدر شرح ابیات مطالب بلند و مارب ارجمند که در اثنای شرح مفید است و اکثر آن مشتمل بر فایده جدید است مسطور خامۀ تحریر و مزبورنامۀ تصویرخواهد شد در ضمن هفت فاتحه . the MS. comes to a conclusion with the end of the seventh fdtihah and the beginning of the commentary.
Incipit: (beginning) 2v سپاس سعادت اساس و شکر عبادت لباس معبودی را که احکام نبوت و ولایت در میدان فتوت و هدایت برافراشت و ارقام حقایق انجام حدس و الهام بر صحایف قلوب علما و الواح ارواح حکما نگاشت
Language(s): Persian


Arabic MS 728
For other copies see Ethe, IO 1448-50 (4 copies 2663-66) and Rieu, BM 19a-20a; for lithographs see Mushar 2118-19: Lucknow A.H 1293, Tehran AH 1356 (in the margins of a commentary by Navvab on Nahj al- Baldghah); another commentary without commentator’s name: اکره AH 1303-4; Gunpore, AH 1313; another commentary by ‘Ala’ al-DTn Ahmad Bahadur لوهار , AH 1293.
Title: شرح
"...و اکنون که فواتحه سبعه رقم اتمام یافت شروع خواهیم کرد در شرح ابیات محکمة المبانی و اول توضیح لغات خواهد بود و تنقیح نکات نحو و معانی پس ترجمه ابیات بی زیاده و نقصان و ایراد یک رباعی بر طبق آن ودر حکایات حوادث و رجزهای حروب و تفصیل قصص خواهد شد..."

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 75 folios, 1 fly leaf
Dimensions (leaf): 261 × 170 mm.
Dimensions (written): 184 × 100 mm.

Folioed with Arabic figures on every recto page up to folio 35, (which is missing out the number 3!)


21 lines to the page


Black ink, rubrics in red. nasta‘līq

  • Marginalia, additions in the margins
  • Lacunae for astronomical cancellations f. 26r-26v
  • Name In bold hand on fly leaf كرنل جارج وليم هميلتن صاحب بهادر (Colonel George William Hamilton?) for whom it was apparently repiared and rebound.
  • Bookplates inside cover Printed under coat of arms; Bibilotheca Lindesiana, Bland MSS No. 425 (crossed and changed to Persian MSS No. 507)
Catchwords on every verso page


Rebound, gold embossing


Wormeaten throughout, repaired.



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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