Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 593 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: Zād al-Musāfirīn (Provisions for the Travellers) by medieval Sufi poet Amīr Ḥusayn ibn ‘Ālim ibn Ḥasan al-Ḥusaynī Haravī, known as Amīr Ḥusaynī or Fakhr al-Sādāt (d. ca. 1317). Originally from Ghor, Afghanistan, the author travelled to Multan where he became a disciple of the Suhravardī Ṣūfī Shaykh, Rukn al-Dīn Abū'l-Fatḥ, the grandson and successor of Bahā' al-Dīn Zakarīya, but then he ultimately settled in Herat. Comprised of eight maqālāt (treatises), the author modelled his work on the Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaqīqat (Enclosed Garden of Truth) of Ḥakīm Sanā'ī. A scribe named Shīr Muḥammad Dihlavī likely completed this volume in the Indian subcontinent in 1085 AH (1674 CE).
Scribe: Shīr Muḥammad Dihlavī شیر محمد دهلوی
Rubric: برگ ۱پ (folio 3b): الله اکبر. ربی یسر و تمام بالخیر
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 3b): ای بر تر از آنکه جمله گفتند * آنآنکه بدید یا نهفتند
Explicit: برگ ۵۷ر (folio 57a): در هفصد و پست و نه ز هجرت * گشت آخرین کتاب تمت
Colophon: برگ ۵۷ر (folio 57a): نسخهٔ زاد المسافرین من تصنیف حسین واعظ رحمة الله علیه بخط احقر الناس شیر محمد دهلوی بتاریخ چار دهم جمید الاول سنه ۱۰۸۵ تحریر یافت در روز یکشنبه
Colophon: Completed by Shīr Muḥammad Dihlavī on 14 Jumīd [Jumādà] I 1085 (16 Aug. 1674).

Inscriptions on the first right flyleaf a side (f. ia) and the colophon on folio 57a both misattribute this work to Ḥusayn Vā‘iẓ Kāshifī.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Medium-weight, straight-grained, sized and highly polished laid paper likely handmade in the Indian subcontinent, with ~1.5 mm between laid lines and no observable chain lines. Endpapers of unpolished, comparatively heavy paper, also likely manufactured in the Indian subcontinent.
Extent: 57 folios, 6 flyleaves (ff. ii + 57 + iv).
Dimensions (leaf): 154 × 92 mm.
Dimensions (written): 118 × 58 mm.
Foliation: Foliated primarily in black Hindu-Arabic numerals on the upper left of the a sides that commence on folio 4a, hence they count the incipit as folio 3b, and prior blank flyleaves as folios 1 and 2.


Undetermined. Catchwords throughout.


In fair condition. Moderate ⟨insect damage⟩ throughout, with historical repairs, and folios 3a and 57a fully lined with handmade paper.


Written in two coumns with 13 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭārah hand guide.


Copied in a minute black nasta‘līq hand with subheaders in red.


Ruling: Horizontal section breaks, vertical column dividers, and margins all ruled in single red lines.

Marginalia: Notes in different hands on the margins throughout.
  • The first right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears a Persian transcription of the incipit in bold black nasta‘līq, probably in the hand of Muhīn Dās, assistant to former owner Colonel George William Hamilton, which also copies the scribe's incorrect ascription:
    ‘ در نظم فارسی نسخهٔ زاد المسافرین تصنیف حسین واعظ محرره سنه ۱۰۸۵ هجری. ’
  • Folio 57a, signed vertically, perpendicular to the colophon, by a former owner named Sayyid Bāz valad-i Ḥusayn Muḥammad al-Ghanī ibn Sayyid ‘Abd al-Rasūl Tabrīzī Ḥusaynī.
    ‘ کتاب سیر باز ولد حسین محمد العنی ابن سید عبد الرسول تبریزی حسینی. ’
Bookplates: Left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘2/K’, and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 510’.


Probably rebound in Multan, Punjab for former owner Colonel George William Hamilton.

Sewn on a single support put down onto the first and last flyleaves. Twined chevron endbands worked over a core with red and green silkthreads. Hinges are embellished with zig-zag serrated cut paper strips adhered over top. Covered in a hybrid British-Indian style in full, tight backed, polished red goatskin leather over pasteboards, without a flap (Type III per Déroche) with squares and defined joints. Internal doublures of the same red leather, with the hinge put down over the support onto the first and last flyleaves, and embellished with serrated zig-zag cut strips of paper adhered over top.

Titled ‘Zād al-Musāfirīn’ in black ink on a paper label adhered to the spine.

161 × 102 × 14 mm.


Origin: Likely completed in the northern Indian subcontinent; Monday, 14 Jumadā I 1085 AH (16 August 1674 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acuired by one Sayyid Bāz valad-i Ḥusayn Muḥammad al-Ghanī ibn Sayyid ‘Abd al-Rasūl Tabrīzī Ḥusaynī as per his signature by the colophon.

Later obtained by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi, where he collected over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts.

After his death, the British Museum selected 352 volumes, now held in the British Library, after which Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) acquired the remainder.

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.

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 by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the volume in hand.


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.


    Charles Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1879), p. 608a [BL MS Sloane 3587].

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute


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