Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 77 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The Tuḥfat al-Muʼminīn (Gift of the Believers), a medical anthology by Muḥammad Muʼmin Ḥusaynī (d. 1698) which he dedicated to his patron, the Safavid ruler S̲h̲āh Sulaymān I (b. 1648 r. 1666–1694). The author aims to correct innaccuracies found in the then-prevailing pharmacopoeia at that time, Ik̲h̲tiyārāt-i Badīʿī, and refers to several other medical works to formulate his own. He divides the work into two major divisions: the first entitled Tashkhīṣ consists of five chapters, and the second part, Dastūrāt, contains three further subdivisions.
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): .بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم * مطلع انوار كتاب كريم. مخزن اسرار الهيست اين * که هر گنج شایسته هست این
Explicit: برگ ۴۶۷ر (folio 467a): ...طیوری که بر آن نشنید بای(؟) نیست کردند از فرع من تنسیق هذا کلام.
Colophon: برگ ۴۶۷ر (folio 467a): بعون الملک العلام فی یوم الخمیس شهر ذیلقعده تمت تمام شد سنه ۹ تحفه المومنین
Language(s): Persian

For three other copies of this work held in the Rylands, see 569, 959, and Persian MS 966. For a description of 238 other manuscripts of this work, see FANKHĀ.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of medium-weight, straight-grained, unevenly formed, moderately flocked, lightly externally sized and polished, cream-coloured paper probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~6 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines. Most bear prominent, horizontal ream creases across the middle.
Extent: 469 folios, 2 flyleaves (ff. iii + 469 + i).
Dimensions (leaf): 318 × 214 mm.
Dimensions (written): 230 × 156 mm.
Foliation: Pencilled Arabic numerals added to the upper-left corners of the a sides when catalogued.


Undetermined. Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides.


In fair but stable condition, with extensive water stains along the edges throughout, and tears on folios 222a to 224b.


Written in 1 column with 17 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with red subheaders in two copyists' hands, with the first on folios 1a to 160b comparatively small and neat, while the remainder hastier but clear, with shikastah ligatures.

Marginalia: Marginal notes in black nasta‘līq script with shikastah ligatures.
  • Folio 1a: inscribed by former owner ‘Alī Najm al-Dīn dated to the 44th year of the reign of ‘Ālamgīr I (1700–1701 CE), adjacent to his seal impression:

    مالک سنائی الحدیقه علی نجم الدین در تاریخ سنه ۴۴ جلوس عالمگیری

    Mālik Sanā'ī al-Ḥadīqah, ‘Alī Najm al-Dīn dar tārīkh-i sana 44 julūs-i ‘Ālamgīrī.

Bookplates and Pasted Catalogue Entry:
  • The left pastedown: Pasted entry from the library sale catalogue of former owner William Platel (d. 1808), sold in London by Leigh & Sotheby on 13 Dec. 1810 (p. 44 lot. 1465): ‘Hadikatussanai: the Garden of Praise: A Collection of Poems on various Subjects, but chiefly Moral, dedicated to Bihram Shah, Sultan of Ghazna, in a beautiful hand, rare condition, and elegantly bound, 1 vol.’
  • The left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘F/11’, ‘Bland MSS No. 23’.


Probably rebound in Britain for former owner William Platel.

Resewn on five single-cord supports laced into pasteboards. Endpapers of British-made laid paper with ~11 laid lines per cm and 25 mm between laid lines, watermarked with a Fleur de lis ( 63 × 40 mm. ) and countermarked with either the Roman numberal IV or VI ( 13 × 23 mm. ). Edges trimmed and fully gilt, with single-core front-bead decorative endbands sewn in russet and ivoury silk threads at head and tail. Covered in full diced russia calfskin leather, tight-backed and tight-jointed, with squares along the edges..

330 × 232 × 66 mm.

Binding in good condition, with scuffed on the exterior, bumped corners, and broken endbands.


Three seal impressions, two partly obliterated on folios 1a and 467b, but one on 304b appears legible, with the name of former ‌Muḥammad Subḥān ‘Alī Khān, year 4 of the reign of Shāh ‘Ālam, which corresponds to 1177 AH (1763–64 CE):
‘محمد سبحان علیخان فدوم بادشاه غزی شاه عالم سنه ۴’
44 × 56 mm.



Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by William Platel Esq. (d. 1808) of Peterborough, after whose death his surviving family members sold his library through the London firm of Leigh & Sotheby commencing 13 Dec. 1810, where Richard Priestley (fl. ca. 1803–1817) purchased it on 20 Dec. 1810 for 11 shillings and sixpence (p. 50 lot. 1569).

Probably purchased from Priestley by Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832), after whose death his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke (d. 1855) inherited the volume and describes it in a catalogue that he published in 1835.

The next year on 20 June 1836, Clarke's son auctioned his father's collection through the London firm of Sotheby & Son where bookseller William Straker purchased it for £3-13s-1d.

Probably sold by Straker to Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880).

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 2023 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.


    M. Dirāyatī and M. Dirāyatī, Fihristgān: Nuskhahʹhā-yi Khaṭṭī-i Īrān (FANKHĀ) (Union Manuscript Catalogue of Iran), Vol. 7 (Tehran: Sāzmān-i Asnād va Kitābkhānah-i Millī-i Jumhūrī-i Islāmī-i Īrān, 1391 SH [2012–13 CE]), pp. 379–387 [Yazd, Ṣudūqī Yazdī no. 164 &c.].
    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the India Office, Vol. 1 (London: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), cols. 1271–1273, nos. 2328–2335 [British Library, IO Islamic 337, 636, 1416, 1524, 2226, 2246, 2696, &c.].
    K. Mushār, Fihrist-i Kitāb'hā-yi Chāpī-yi Fārsī, Vol. 1 (Tehran: Chāpkhānah-ʼi Urzhang, 1350– SH [1971– CE]), p. 1202.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), pp.476-467 [British Library Add 23557].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol. I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), cols. 966–968, nos. 1605–1608 [Bodleian Ouseley 378 &c.].
    C. A. Storey [Online] (2021), Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. 2 Pt. 5.1 Medicine no. 448.
    Tawfīq Subḥānī, 'Kitāb'hā-yi khaṭṭī-i Fārsī fihrist nashudah dar Kitābkhānah Jān Rāylāndz, Manchistir' Majallah-'i Dānishkadah-i Adabiyāt va ‘Ulūm-i Insānī n.s., Vol. 1, Nos. 2-3 (1372 SH [1993 CE]): pp. 175, 178, nos. 18, 26.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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