Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 94 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts

This composite manuscript contains two texts: a commentary on forty prophetic traditions and a hagiography of the calligrapher and Ṣufī, ‘Abd Allāh Mushkīn Qalam, who composed poems under his pen name Vaṣfī.


Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 189 folios, 2 fly-leaves (ff. ii + 189).
Dimensions (leaf): 172 × 112 mm.
Foliation: Partially foliated in pencilled Arabic numerals every 10 folios, completed when catalogued.


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


Handle text with caution. Water and insect damage.


Ruling: Margins ruled in gold with thin double lines either side, surrounded by comparatively thick single blue lines.

Table of Contents: Listed on folio 2b.
Marginalia: Additions in the margins of the text on the right pastedown.
  • The first right flyleaf b side (f. iib): Price of £3 3 shillings, and a partially legible Persian inscription.
  • The second right flyleaf b side (f. iib):
    Top: the title of the first text and author:
    ‘ رساله الاحادیث النبوییه تالیف حسین بن علی الواعظ الکاشفی’
    Middle: an English inscription in the hand of former owner Sir Gore Ouseley:
    ‘No. 51, Commentary on the Traditions of the Prophet ’
  • Folio 1a bears a partially legible tughra style inscription or signature dated 1209 AH (1794–95 CE) ‘ بتاریخ ۱٢۰۹ هجری’
  • Folio 189a bears a note on certain supplicatory prayers.
Bookplates: Bibilotheca Lindesiana, Bland MSS No. 316 with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘94’ written aside.


Probably bound in the Indian subcontinent.

Resewn at two stations, unsupported. Edges trimmed and twined chevron endbands worked in pink and white silk threads at head and tail. Covered in full dark brown goatskin leather over pasteboards, with the interiors lined with maroon-coloured goatskin leather doublures, excess widths adhered to the first and last flyleaves as hinges connecting the cover to the textblock.

Board margins ruled in thick and thin single and thin double gold lines. Spine titled ‘RISALAT AL ALIYAH’ in gold, likely added later by a British binder.

175 × 117 × 34 mm.

Handle binding with caution. Boards detached, exteriors and headcaps abraded. Boxed.


Provenance and Acquisition

Probably formerly owned by Sir Gore Ouseley (1770-1844) as per an unsigned inscription on second right flyleaf b side (f. iib) that comports with his other volumes, and similar style of tooling on the spine.

Subsequently acquired by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) for his library at Randalls Park, Leatherhead. After his death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866, and moved to Bibliotheca Lindesiana at Haigh Hall, Wigan.

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.

Persian MS 94A


Summary of Contents: al-Risālah al-ʻAlīyah fī al-Aḥādīs̲ al-Nabavīyah (The Sublime Treatise on Prophetic Traditions) composed by Ḥusayn Vāʻiẓ Baihaqi al-Kāshifī. Divided into eight parts, each called an aṣl (pillar), the work discusses forty traditions treating various basic Islamic tenets. On folio 2b, the author dedicates this work to Abī al-Ma‘alī ‘Alī al-Mukhtar al-Nisabah al-‘Ubayd.
Folios 1b–144b
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): الحمدالله الذی زین سماء شرف السیادت بانوار اثار سنن سید السند الامین وجعل مصابیح احادیثه العالیه مطالع انوار شمس الملة والدین....
Explicit: برگ ۱۴۴پ (folio 144b): بهر ساعتش دولتی تازه ده * چو دولت دهی بیش از اندازه ده.
Colophon: 144b تم. ۹۸۳
Colophon: Completed in 983 AH (1575–76 CE).

The author states that he completed the work in 875 AH (1475 CE).

Language(s): Persian
1. 2b
Title: در توحید و ایمان و اسلام ونعمت وصفت اولیا

On oneness, faith and Islam, description and epithet of saints

2. 21b
Title: در عبادت و آنچه متعلق بدانست

On Divine worship and what goes with it

3. 43v
Title: درفضائل قران ودعوات و اذکار

On virtues of the Quran, prayers and praises of God

4. 55b
Title: در مکارم اخلاق وفضایل آن

On the excellencies of morals and their virtues.

5. 81b
Title: در اوصاف ردیه و رذایل اخلاق

On wickedness and vileness of [ill] dispositions

6. 94b
Title: آداب اهل سلطنت و امارت و ارباب شروت [ثروت]

On the manners of the royal

7. 104b
Title: درآنچه تعلق بازمنه و امکنه والبسه واطعمنه واشربه دارد

On whatever relates to times, places, clothes, food, and drink

8. 125b
Title: دراحادیث متفرقه

Miscellaneous traditions

Physical Description

Support: Textblock of cross-grained, butter-coloured paper probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~9 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Dimensions (leaf): 174 × 108 mm.
Dimensions (written): 118 × 65 mm.
Foliation: Pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-right corners of the a sides added when catalogued, inclusive of the left flyleaves.


Undetermined, but probably quaternions throughout. Catchwords on the lower-left corners of the b sides..


Folio 1 extensively damaged and repaired. Other pages feature tidelines along the perimeters.


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


Written in fine, minuscule black nasta‘līq with subheaders in red.


Origin: Possibly completed in the Indian subcontinent; 983 AH (1575–76 CE).


Persian MS 94B


Summary of Contents: The second text relates the biography, miracles, and utterances of the Sufi saint and author of five mas̱navī poems, Shaykh ‘Abd Allāh b. Mīr Muẓaffar al-Ḥusaynī al-Tirmiẕī (d. ca. ~1616–1626), pen named Vaṣfî, father of celebrated calligrapher Mīr Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ Kashfī Tirmizī (d. ca. 1651), known as Mushkin Qalam. It appears posthumously composed by one of the Shaykh's disciples.
145b to 188a
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱٨٧پ (folio 187b): فایضه: روزی ولایت علم عبدالله شکین قلم قدس سره رو بسوی موالف کرده فرمود در ایام شباب اکثر مطالعه تذکره الاولیا مینمودم...
Explicit: برگ ۱۸۸پ (folio 188a): این توحید فی الجمله شرک خفی از بصیرت سالک مرتفع و مندفع میشود.
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Extent: 44 folios.
Dimensions (written): 140 × 65 mm.


Written in 1 column with 10 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in a clear black nasta‘līq hand.


Origin: Possibly completed in the Indian subcontinent; ; undated, but probably 18th century CE AH.


Additional Information

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as 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.


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.


Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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