Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 559 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: Savāniḥ-i ‘Umrī ‘Ālī Ḥazīn (Events in the life of ‘Ālī Ḥazīn), a variant title of a work better-known as Taẕkirah-'i Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAlī Ḥazīn (Chronicle of Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAlī Ḥazīn), an autobiography of the Indo-Persian poet ʻAlī Ḥazīn (ca. 1692–1766). Originally born in Iṣfahān in 1103 AH (1691-92 CE), the author fled his native homeland during the rise of Nādir Shāh Afshār (b. 1688, r. 1736–1747). He reached the Indian subcontinent in 1146 AH (1733–34 CE) where he attained fame, then passed away in 1180 AH (1766–67) in Benares (Varanasi).
Scribe: Ajūdhīyā
Incipit: برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): نحمده ونسأله التقي ونعتصم بعروة الوثقى ونصلى على سيدنا المصطفى وأله العلام الهدي.
Explicit: برگ ۷۹ر (folio 79a): نسأل الله الغفران وأن يبدل بالفرج الإحزان إنه جواد كريم.
Colophon: برگ ۷۹ر (folio 79a): نسخه تاریخ عبرت‌نامه بتاریخ بیست هفتم ۲۷ شهر ذی حجه سنه ۱۲۱۸ هجری از خط بی سواد اجودها پر شاد و با تمام رسید. بیادگار بر صفجه روزگار نماند و بس.
Colophon: Completed on 27 Ẕī-al-Ḥijjah 1218 AH (4 Apr. 1804 CE) by the ‘illiterate but happy Ajūdhīyā’.
Language(s): Persian

Francis Cunningham Belfour (1786–1852) published a critical edition of the work in London for the Oriental Translation Fund in 1830.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Texblock of sized and polished, flocked cream-coloured paper handmade in Indian subcontinent.
Extent: 79 folios, 4 flyleaves (ff. ii + 79 + ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 225 × 140 mm.
Dimensions (written): 182 × 88 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in at the top-left corners of the a sides, in Hindu-Arabic numerals from folios 1a to 15a then afterwards in pencilled Arabic numerals by the cataloguer.


10IV-1(79) Quaternions throughout. Occasional catchwords on the lower-left corners of the b sides.


Handle with caution. In fair condition. Moderate insect damage and historical repairs throughout, with some folios heavily tipped in the gutter margins.


Written in 1 to 3 columns, with 16 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written primarily in black shikastah by Ajūdhīyā.

Additions: Inscriptions:
  • Folio 1a bears three inscriptions:
    • Top-left Corner: A brief note possibly indicates a former collection ‘number 7’ in Persian, while an adjacent, partially legible note in a hasty shikastah hand denotes the title and author, together with a siyāq numerals indicating a price of 1 rupee 8 annas for the volume.
    • Centre: the title of the volume in a bold black nasta‘līq hand, in Persian, likely that of Muhīn Dās attendant to former owner Colonel George William Hamilton.
Bookplates: The left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘1/H’, ‘Hamilton MSS No. 476’.


Probably rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style in Multan for former owner Colonel George William Hamilton between 1850 and 1863, since it comports with others rebound for him at that time.

Abbreviated sewing at two stations, possibly on supports, with Islamic-style twined chevron endbands in green and red silk threads at head and tail. Covered in full, tight-backed polished red goatskin leather over pasteboards, with squares at the edges, and defined joints, but without a flap (type III binding per Déroche). Internal doublures of the same leather, with the excess width adhered to the first and last flyleaves, with strips of paper applied over top to disguise the overlaps.

Spine titled in handwritten yellow nasta‘līq

223 × 149 × 18 mm.

In good condition. Some whitened salts on the interior

Folio 1a bears a large oval, partly-legible, seal impression intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in three stacked lines of former owner Aybak Āq Muḥammad Khān al-Ḥusaynī al-Musavī al-Bukhārī, dated 1261 AH (1845 CE):

‘سعيد الدوله شريف ایبک آق محمد خان بهادر نظام چنگ الحسيني المسوی البخاری ١٢٦١’
‘Saʿīd al-Dawlah-'i Sharīf Aybak Āq Muḥammad Khān Bahādur Niẓām Jang al-Ḥusaynī al-Mūsavī al-Bukhārī, 1261’

34 × 50 mm.


Origin: Probably completed in the Indian subcontinent; 27 Ẕū al-Ḥijja 1218 AH (4 Apr. 1804 CE) by Ajūdhīyā.

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly owned by Aybak Āq Muḥammad Khān, as per his seal impression on folio 1a dated 1261 AH (1845).

Subsequently acquired by 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 from which the British Museum selected 352 after his death, now held in the British Library.

Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880), purchased the remainder in 1868.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) (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.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description completed by James White in 2017.

Subsequently amended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume.


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.


    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office, Vol. I (Oxford: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903) col. 350, no. 677 [BL IO Islamic 2141].
    Muḥammad ʻAlī Ḥazīn, Tārīkh-i Aḥvāl-i Shaykh Ḥazīn. Edited by Francis Cunningham Belfour. London: Dar al-Salṭanah-'i Inglīsīyah, 1830.
    Muḥammad ʻAlī Ḥazīn, The life of Sheikh Mohammed Ali Hazin. Translated by Francis Cunningham Belfour. London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1830.
    Sarfarāz Khān Khatak, Shaikh Muḥammad'Alī Ḥazīn: His Life, Times and Works. Lahore: Muhammad Ashraf, 1944.
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p. 183, no. 629 (i).
    John R. Perry, 'Ḥazīn Lāhijī' Encyclopædia Iranica, Vol. XII, fasc. 1 (2004), pp. 97-98.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. I (London: British Museum, 1879), p. 381a [BL Add. 16719].
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1879), p. 843b [BL Add. 19497].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Vol I. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), col. 261, no. 383 [Bodl. Ouseley 273].
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. I Pt. 2 (London: Luzac & Co., 1953), pp. 847–848, no. 1150 (1).

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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