Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 843 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This volume of the Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaqīqat va Sharī‘at al-Ṭarīqat (Garden of Truth and Rules of the Way) by Ḥakīm Sanāʼī Ghaznavī (d. ca. 1150) appears to be the earliest copy of the full form of this work in ten thematic chapters. The author's style tremendously impacted later poets, especially Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī. After the poet's death in circa 1130, his patron, the ruler of the of Gaznavid empire Sulṭān Bahrām Shāh bin Mas‘ūd (b. 1084, r. 1117–1152) ordered Muḥammad ibn ʻAlī al-Raffāʻ to compile an edition incorporating the variant redactions, to which he added a preface. The versions he consulted include a much shorter one entitled Fakhrīnāmah (Book of Fakhrī, a likely allusion to his patron's honorific Fakhr al-Dawlah (Pride of the State), of which a manuscript completed in 552/1157 (Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Bağdatlı Vehbi Ef. no. 1672) survives, while another early volume held in a private collection bears the title Ilāhīnāmah (Book of the Divine), by which the later poet Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī referred to the work, and which appears in the header of this volume on page 3. The poet also reportedly completed a third, longer version comprised of 10,000 couplets that he sent to a friend in Baghdad named Burhān al-Dīn Biryāngar, mentioned in the conclusion, and the number of lines would comport with this volume. A scribe named Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥabīb ibn Abī Ishaq bin Abī Mas‘ūd completed this manuscript at the end of Shavvāl 681 AH (early February 1283 CE) for Pūlād bin Nūr al-Dīn Jibrā'īl bin Jājā (fl. 13th century), the son of an Ilkhanid-era governor Kırşehir in Anatolia, and a follower of Rumi's grandson and spiritual successor Ūlū ‘Ārif Chalabī (1272-1320) based in nearby Konya.
Patron and Dedicatee: Pūlād bin Jājā (fl. 13th c.)
Incipit: (preface) ديباه، صفحه‌ی ٢ (Preface, page 2): الحمد لله الخبیر لحفیات الضمایر الحکیم بنجایت السرایر المنره عن...
Incipit: (beginning) آغاز متن، صفحه‌ی ١۴ (Primary text, page 14): ای درون پرور برون آرای * وی خردبخش بی‌خرد بخشای
Explicit: انجامه، صفحه‌ی ۶٠٩ (page 609): صدهزاران ثنا چو آب زلال * از رهی باد بر محمد و آل
Colophon: خاتمه، صفحه‌ی ۶۰۹ (page 609): تم حدیقة الحقیقه وشریعة الطریقه من مقالة خواجه حکیم فرید العصر اوحد الدهر خاتم الشعرا ابو المجد مجدود بن آدم السنایی رحمه الله علیه رحمهً واسعهً علی ید العبد الضعیف الفقیر المختاج الی رحمة الله تعالی احمد بن الخبیب بن ابی اسحق بن ابی مسعود غفر الله لهم خامداً الله تعالی اعلی نعمه و مصلیاً علی خیر خلقه و آله الطاهرین فی اواخر شوال سنه ۶۹۱ احد و ثمانین و سنمایه. والحمد لله رب العالمین و صلی الله علی سیدنا محمدٍ واله اجمعین و مسلماً تسلیماً کثیراً.
Colophon: Completed by Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥabīb ibn Abī Ishaq bin Abī Mas‘ūd at the end of Shavvāl 681 AH (early February 1283 CE).

The incipit of this manuscript slightly differs from other redactions. For discussion of the significance of this redaction in relation to other early manuscripts, and published editions, see de Bruijn, Of Piety and Poetry. For the most recent critical edition of this work based upon this manuscript, see Yāḥaqqī and Zurqānī.

Language(s): Persian
Page 1
Title: Dedication
2. Page 2
Title: Introduction by
Title: دیباچه
3. Page 12
Title: Table of Contents
4. Page 13
Title: Chapter 1: On Unity and Glorification
Title: الباب الأول: في التوحید والتمجید
5. Page 116
Title: Chapter 2: On the Word of God Almighty and Glorious
Title: الباب الثاني: في کلام الله عزّ و جل
6. Page 137
Title: Chapter 3: In Praise of the Prophet
Title: الباب الثالث: في مدح سید المرسلین
7. Page 221
Title: Chapter 4: In Praise of Sulṭān Bahrām Shāh
Title: الباب الرابع: في مدح السلطان بهرام شاه
8. Page 338
Title: Chapter 5: On the Qualities of the Intellect
Title: الباب الخامس: في صفة العقل
9. Page 357
Title: Chapter 6: An Explanation on the Benefit of Knowledge and the Qualities of the Expert
Title: الباب السادس: في بيان فضيلة العقل وصفة العالم
10. Page 367
Title: Chapter 7: On Love, Qualities of the Soul, and Degrees of the Heart
Title: الباب السابع: العشق وصفة الروح درجات القلب
11. Pages 422
Title: Chapter 8: On Remembering the Ego and All of its States
Title: الباب الثامن: في ذكر النفس الكلْي واحوالها
12. Page 475
Title: Chapter 9: On the Qualities of the Heavens and the Zodiac
Title: الباب التاسع: في صفة الافلاك والبروج
13. Page 536
Title: Chapter 10: On the Qualities of the Composition of the Book
Title: الباب العاشر: ف صفة تصنيف الكتاب
14. Page
Title: Letter by Sanā'ī to his friend, Imām Burhān al-Dīn Biryāngar in Baghdad
Title: في الكتاب: كتبه الي البغداد
15. 609
Title: Conclusion and colophon

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Written on thick, cross-grained, butter-coloured handmade paper, probably handmade in the Ilkhanid Empire.
Extent: 611 pages, 6 flyleaves (pp. iii + 611 + iii).
Dimensions (leaf): 303 × 222 mm.
Dimensions (written): 235 × 165 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in black Hindu-Arabic numerals and red abjad letters on the top-centres of the b sides.
Foliation: Paginated in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides, but then duplicate pages 261 . Note that this record follows these paginated numerals.


Primarily quaternions throughout. Restricted opening at right and left prevents a full determination. No catchwords.


Handle with caution. In fair condition. Extensive historical repairs to the perimeters. Leading tears along the fore-edge. Severely abraded decorated.


Written in 1 to 2 columns with 9 to 19 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Primarily written in black naskh script, with introductory verse markers, chapter headings, and subheaders in gold, the latter two outlined in thin black (tash‘īr), probably all in the hand of Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥabīb ibn Abī Ishaq bin Abī Mas‘ūd.


Dedication: Page 1 opens with a prominent, illuminated pointed oval which contains a dedication to Pūlād bin Nūr al-Dīn Jibrā'īl bin Jājā (fl. 13th century).
23.4 × 15.4 mm.

Headers and Footers: Opening pages 2 to 3 bear gilt horiztonal rectangles at top and bottom containing the title and name of the author.

Colophon: Modest decoration surroundings the closing on page 609.
92 × 19 mm.

Ruling: Vertical column dividers, horizontal section breaks, and marginal ruling in double red lines throughout.

Table of Contents:
  • The third right flyleaf a side (f. iiia) bears a pencilled list of the ten chapters with Arabic numerals that corresponds to the Hindu-Arabic folio numbers given on the b sides throughout.
Inscriptions: Abstract:
  • Following the colophon on page 610, a brief Persian abstract summarily describes the work.


Rebound in 1873 probably by Stephen Austin & Sons in Hertford, (possibly by a member of the Henington family of bookbinders, whom previously completed fine bindings commissioned by the East India Company), arranged through Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) for Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880), along with eight other manuscripts, including Rylands Persian MS 848. This firm previously worked for East India College at Haileybury until it closed in 1858. They employed the same dies on a Prakit grammer held in the British Library, C188a73. Resewn on five recessed cords all-along, then laced into the pasteboards. Edges then trimmed and gilt, with European-style front bead decorative enbands worked in yellow and green silk at head and tail. Recovered in an Islamic-inspired binding in full, pebble-grained maroon morocco goatskin leather, with fore-edge flap (type II binding per Déroche et al), with straight-grained black basil sheepskin leather lining the flap interior and maroon coated paper endpapers.

Exterior gold blocked with central medallions, attached pendants, and corners all featuring intaglio-carved arabesque designs on a gilt ground, joined by a single gilt fillet line, while the board margins bear double fillets. Spine panels, head, and tail paletted with four decorative floriate scrollwork bands, with double fillets either side, and titled ‘HADÍQATU'L-HAQÍKAT. HAKÍM SANÁIÍ. PERSIAN MS. A. H. 681.’.

Interior flap lined with black straight-grained sheepskin basil leather. Interior dentelles of the boards blind tooled with a floriate arabesque decorative roll. Stiff-leaved maroon-coloured coated paper endpapers, with wove flyleaves.

313 × 216 × 62 mm.

Binding in good condition, but with exterior joints, headcaps, and corners scuffed. Migratory stains from an earlier, probably medieval, envelope flap evident on pages 218 and 219. Boxed.

Three types of black seal impressions found on pages 1, 3, 13 and 609:

1: Page 1, top-left, bears a partially impressed, partly legible, round seal impression, intaglio-cut in naskh script in two stacked lines in the centre, with an illegible surrounding band, double-ruled, possibly with the name of former owner or associate Muḥmammad ‘Abduh, obscured by a subsequent repair.

2: Pages 1, top, and 609, above the colophon bear rectangular seal impressions, intaglio-cut in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines, double-ruled, with the name of former owner Muḥammad Bāqir ibn Abū al-Qāsim Shīrāzī, possibly dated 1171 AH (1757–58 CE), with others found on pages 13 and 690 above the colophon:

‘محمد باقر ابن ابو القاسم ’

9.5 × 12 mm.

3: Page 3, top, impressed with a rectangular Anglo-Persian seal impression, intaglio-cut in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines, double-ruled, with the name of former owner Edward Galley, intaglio-cut in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines, double-ruled, and possibly dated 1802:

‘ادورد گلی’
10.5 × 13 mm.


Origin: Completed by Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥabīb ibn Abī Ishaq bin Abī Mas‘ūd and dedicated to Pūlād bin Nūr al-Dīn Jibrā'īl bin Jājā (fl. 13th century), probably in Ilkhanid-era Kırşehir; end of Shavvāl 681 AH (early February 1283 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly owned by or associated with one Muḥmammad ‘Abduh as per his seal impression on page 1 and also one Muḥammad Bāqir ibn Abū al-Qāsim Shīrāzī as per his inscription stating that he borrowed the volume together with his seal impressions on pages 1, 13, and 690.

Signed and impressed with the Anglo-Persian seal on page 3 by Edward Galley (ca. 1750–1804), East India Company Resident at Bushire (Bushehr), Iran between 1780 to 1787, where he possibly aquired this volume. Ultimately Collector-General of Surat, India where he passed away, Galley's executors subsequently sold his library there; however, the identity of the purchaser and circumstances of the volume's arrival in Britain remain unclear (see Robinson, p. 209).

Probably the same manuscript listed by London bookseller Henry George Bohn (1796–1884) in his 1841 catalogue, no. 13631, described as ‘...a very ancient and fine MS. beautifully written in a very bold hand, in the Nisk character, in double columns, on 610 pages of very stout paper, highly glazed. The first three pages are adorned with very curious and early illuminations, native binding, 2£ 12s 6d.’

Possibly purchased from Bohn by orientalist Duncan Forbes (1798–1868), who described the volume in his 1866 catalogue (pp. 11–12, no. 36) valued at £63, before he sold his manuscript collection to his publisher W. H. Allen & Co. in exchange for an annuity. Subsequently sold by that firm to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866

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, and in consultation with Dr Cailah Jackson, University of Oxford, and Prof Andrew Peacock, University of St Andrews, regarding the dedicatee and also Philippa Marks (Curator of Bookbinding, British Library) and Richard Morel (Curator of Philatelic Collections, British Library) regarding the rebinding of the volume and the Austin and Henington firms.


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.

Custodial History

Exhibited in Gilded Word and Radiant Image, sponsored by the Altajir Trust.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


    François de Blois, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. V, Pt. 2 (London, Luzac, 1994), pp. 522–530.
    Henry G. Bohn, A Catalogue of Books (London, Bohn, 1841), p. 1153, no. 13631.
    J. T. P. de Bruijn, Of Piety and Poetry: The Interaction of Religion and Literature in the Life and Works of Ḥakīm Sanā'ī of Ghazna (Leiden:Brill, 1983), p. 126 [MS d].
    J. T. P. de Bruijn, 'The Stories in Sanâ’î’s Faxri-nâme', Pand-o Sokhan: Mélanges offerts à Charles-Henri de Fouchécour. Edited by in Christophe Balay, Claire Kappler, and Živa Vesel (Tehran: Institut Français de Recerche en Iran, 1995), pp. 79-93.
    J. T. P. de Bruijn, 'Ḥadīqat aL-Ḥaqīqah wa Šarīʿat al-Ṭarīqah', Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 4 (2003) pp. 441–442.
    D. Forbes, Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts, Chiefly Persian, Collected Within the Last Five and Thirty years (London: W. H. Allen., 1866), pp. 11–12, no. 36.
    G. Ouseley, Biographical notices of Persian poets; with critical and explanatory remarks... (London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1846), pp. 184–187.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), pp. 549b–551a [BL Add. 16777–16778, Add. 25329, 26150, and Or. 358,].
    B. W. Robinson, 'R.A.S. MS 178: An Unrecorded Persian Painter'. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 2 (1970): p. 209.
    Ḥakīm Sanāʼī Ghaznavī, Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaqīqah. Edited by Muḥammad Jaʻfar Yāḥaqqī and Mahdī Zurqānī. Tehran: Sukhān, 1397 SH (2018 CE).
    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. 463–467, no. 528–535 [Bodl. Elliott 151–154, Ouseley 315, Ouseley Add. 37 and 88].

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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