Isl. Ms. 353


Risālat al-taṣavvuf,[18th century?].رسالة التصوف,[قرن 18م؟].


ʻUrfī Shīrāzī, Muḥammad,1555 or 6-1590 or 91.عرفى شيرازى, محمد.

Place/Date of Production:



12 leaves :paper ;235 x 135 (152 x 70) mm. bound to 240 x 140 mm.


Elegant copy of a brief Ṣūfī treatise by ʻUrfī Shīrāzī preceded by a lengthy dedication with prayers for the reigning sultan, possibly Mehmet III (r.1595-1603) or his successor (see fol.2b).

Other Title(s):

Risālat al-taṣawwufTitle from al-Dharīʻah:نفسية


Sufism--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Headpieces (layout features)18th century.




Ms. codex.
Title from inscription on 'title page' (fol.5a).


[Risālat al-taṣavvuf] "حمدی که نهایت شایستگی منزه از شایبۀ یقین و تخصیص آمده ..."


[Risālat al-taṣavvuf] "و درجۀ سعادت رسى آمين الحمد لله رب العالمين اثر كلك محمد على"


[close of opening dedication, fol.4b] "Scribal," reads "كتبه العبد المذنب محمد على بن محمد حسين التبريزى غفر الله لهما"


Composed for the sultan named on fol.2b, "السلطان ابن السلطان السلطان الغازى سلطان خليل [بن؟] محمد خان خلد الله ظلال خلافته ..." ; despite addition of "بن" likely Mehmet III (r.1595-1603).


1. fol.1b-fol.4b : [lengthy dedication comprised mainly of prayers].
2. fol.5a-fol.12b : Risālat al-taṣavvuf / ʻUrfī Shīrāzī.

Physical Details:

i, II (4), IV (12), i ; catchwords present.


Written in 15 lines per page, occasionally divided to two columns to set off poetry ; frame-ruled.


Nastaʻlīq (talik) ; elegant hand in a medium line ; serifless, with effect of words descending to baseline, closed counters, elongation and contrasting thickness of horizontal strokes, pointing in conjoined dots.


Superb illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening on fol.1b consisting of rectangular piece with empty gold cartouche flanked by vegetal accents in blue (cobalt) and red on a gold ground bordered in bands of gold and lime green, surmounted by tall, scalloped w-shaped piece with swirling floral vegetal decoration on grounds of cobalt and gold itself set in a well gold and red bands and surmounted by vertical stalks (tīgh) in blue and red ; a second splendid illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) appears at opening of the Risālah on fol.5b consisting of large rectangular piece with gold cartouche carrying the basmalah in white surrounded by floral motifs in gold, mauve, turquoise, light blue, etc. on a cobalt ground and bordered in a narrow red band and heavy band of gold interlace, surmounted by vertically elongated dome (or hasp) set in rectangular band filled with swirling floral vegetal decoration in gold, mauve, red, light blue, turquoise, etc. on a cobalt ground with gold accents, bordered in gold and red bands and surmounted by vertical stalks (tīgh) in blue ; illuminated tailpiece at close on fol.12b consisting of triangular pieces flanking 'colophon' text ; written area throughout surrounded by a frame consisting of heavy gold band flanked by narrower gold bands with outermost blue and red rules ; textual dividers in the form of illuminated rosettes with red and blue accents ; floral designs in gold set off written area.


non-European (likely Persian) laid paper with 9 laid lines per cm. (horizontal and vertical, curved and fairly distinct though cloudy formation) and no chain lines visible, thin and crisp though sturdy, heavily sized and burnished, beige in color ; flyleaves in surface-dyed wove paper.


Pasteboards covered in mahogany leather ; Type III binding (without flap) but covers not flush with text block ; pastedowns and flyleaves in orange surface-dyed, coated paper ; upper and lower covers carry central gold-tooled interlace ornament with central knot evoking a diamond shape as well as tooled and stamped borders in gold ; sewn in red thread, four stations ; overall in fairly good condition with only minor abrasion though cover fully detached with hinges (via attachment at pastedown) split.

Former Shelfmarks:

"459 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" inscribed in pencil on verso of front flyleaf.


As appears in colophon on fol.4b and fol.12b, executed by Muḥammad ʻAlī ibn Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Tabrīzī. Date of transcription not specified, decoration, etc. would suggest 18th century.

Ownership and History:

Inscriptions in pencil on verso of front flyleaf "459 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" ; clean copy.

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!


05 Muḥammad ʻAlī ibn Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Tabrīzī, fl. 18th cent.?, scribe. 05 محمد على بن محمد حسين التبريزى، ناسخ.

Former Owner(s):

Abdülhamid II, Sultan of the Turks, 1842-1918, former owner.

In Collection:

Abdul Hamid Collection.


Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p.667 f.Āghā Buzurg al-Ṭihrānī. al-Dharīʻah ilá taṣānīf al-Shīʻah,no.1365, v.24

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on March 8, 2010
Tags: Abdul Hamid Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

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