Isl. Ms. 650


Kitāb Maqāmāt al-Ḥarīrī,[late 13th or 14th century?].كتاب مقامات الحريري,[اواخر القرن 13م او القرن 14م؟].



Place/Date of Production:

[12-- or 13--?].


152 leaves ;200 x 155 (175 x 120) mm.


Elegant copy of al-Ḥarīrī's celebrated Maqāmāt or Sessions modeled after those of al-Hamadhānī, accompanied by brief commentary and followed by two brief epistles (even maqāmahs) in which the letters sīn and shīn appear in every word of the respective passage.

Other Title(s):



Arabic prose literature--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Arabic--Michigan--Ann Arbor.




Ms. codex.
Title from inscription on front flyleaf (p.1).


"قال الشيخ الرئيس ابو محمد القاسم بن علي بن محمد بن عثمان الحريري البصري رضى الله عنه اللهم انا نحمدك على ما علمت من البيان والهمت من التبيان كما نحمدك على ما اسبغت من العطاء واسبلت من الغطاء ونعوذ بك من شرة اللسن وفضول الهذر ..."


"ويحظي بالعفو انه هو اهل التقوي واهل المغفرة وولي الخيرات في الدنيا والآخرة. هذا اخر المقامات التي انشأتها بالاغترار ... والحمد لله على نعمائه والصلوة والسلام على خير انبيائه ومبلغ انبائه وعلى آله وصحبه واوليائه تم الكتاب بحمد وحسن توفيقه قابلته فصححته الا ما زاغ عنه البصر. ويتلو المقامات رسالتان ايضا على التزام حرف السين والشين في كل كلمة ... ويشرح ويشدخ بمشيته الشديد البطش الشامخ العرش وتشريفه لبشير البشر والشفيع المشفع في المحشر تمت والحمد لله وحده"


Can you help transcribe the colophon? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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Physical Details:

ii, IV (8), I (10), V-1 (19), 2 V(39), V-1 (48), V (58), V-1 (67), 2 V(87), IV (95), 2 III(107), I (109), V (119), V-3 (126), I (128), VII (142), V (152), ii ; chiefly quinions ; leaves appear to be missing from the quires 13, 14, 17 and 18 ; catchwords lacking ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes flyleaves and insert).


Written in 15 lines per page ; single column divided to set off poetry ; frame-ruled.


Naskh ; a few graceful Syrian and or Egyptian hands ; primary hand is a highly readable naskh, probably Egyptian, plainly very old (13th-14th century), fully pointed and vowelled, with shaddah, hamzah, etc. ; hands of the replacement folia at the beginning and end of the textblock another very nice naskh, probably Egyptian and no later than 16th century, fully pointed and mostly vowelled, with shaddah, hamzah, etc. ; replacement folia from p.21-24 in a distinct hand, larger, more extended in the horizontal, likewise fully pointed and vowelled.


Text rubricated with section headings (for each maqāmah, occasional sections of tafsīr) in red.


non-European (Arab) laid paper with 20 laid lines in 32 mm. or 6 laid lines per cm. (horizontal) ; chain lines are difficult to distinguish but a set of 3 with 15-16 mm. between lines can be seen ; replacement folia in another Oriental laid paper, but with lines too indistinct to measure ; some pest damage to some leaves, though not so badly as to obscure text ; edges of a number of leaves are badly damaged.


Pasteboards covered in European laid paper (over stamped scalloped mandorla) with spine and edges/turn-ins in dark brown leather ; Type II binding (with flap, though now missing) ; board-linings in European laid paper (tre lune watermark visible) ; sewn in yellow thread, two stations, primaries in red ; in poor condition with much staining and abrasion with significant losses to covers ; spine is damaged at the head and tail ; endbands are entirely gone ; most threads are broken and the majority of the leaves are loose ; many of the bifolia have split ; housed in box for protection.

Accompanying Materials:

a. Inventory cataloguing slip in hand of Winifred Smeaton Thomas. -- b. Acquisitions slip from Yahuda. -- c. Slip with notes in German (following p.68), including general description of the codex and claiming that, from the 24 maqāmah onwards, the text includes an otherwise unknown commentary written by al-Ḥarīrī himself ; N. Gardiner believes this refers to the three sections marked تفسير, the first of which appears immediately following the 24 maqāmah ; these texts do in fact appear in the printed edition.

Former Shelfmarks:

From inner front cover and spine label, "IL 353" (likely supplied by Yahuda, see acquisitions slip) ; from red-bordered label on upper cover, "۱٦".


Lacks dated colophon, though paper would suggest late 13th (final decade) or 14th century.

Ownership and History:

Numerous ownership marks and study/reading notes ; an almond-shaped seal impression appears on p.3 and p.314 in the name of Muḥammad al-ʻAlamī, ownership statements in his name appear on p.3 "دخل في نوبة العبد ... محمد [العلمي؟] " and p.5 "الحمد لله ... في نوبة العبد الفقير الى الله تعالى المرجي عفو ربه وغفرانه محمد العلمي عامله الله باحسانه" ; two rectangular octagonal seal impressions appear on p.3 ; on p.5 ownership statements and on p.310 a reading note in the name of Aḥmad ibn al-Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Muslim al-Tūnisī al-Ḥanafī ; on p.5 inscription with quote from al-Zamakhsharī's criticism: "اقسم بالله واياته ومشعر الحج وميقاته ان الحريري حري بان تكتب بالتبر مقاماته" ; kabīkaj invocation on p.5"يا كبيكج يا كبيكج يا كبيكج" ; another reading note on p.310 appears to be dated opening of the year 854 [1450] (with numeral khamsah in the form looking like reversed 'B') "طالع في هذه المقامات المباركة العبد الفقير الى الله تعالى والراجي عفوه تغري بردي بن عبد الله الزيني الملكي الظاهري في مستهل سنة ۸٤۴ [؟] وهي على ملك الشيخ زين الدين ابو بكر الحلبي الشهير بابن النحلاوي" ; on p.314 a few dated reading notes, one a reader from Latakia (Lādhiqīyah) "احمد اغا ... اغا برنجي زاده" dated 10 Rajab 1246 [December 1830] and the other "السيد صالح بن المرحوم السيد اسماعيل جربجي مهايني" dated 3 Rajab [?] 1235 [?] [April 1820?] ; corrections appear throughout in a number of hands ; collation statement appears on p.128 ; numerous excerpts of poetry, hadith, etc. scattered throughout (description with contribution from B. Liebrenz and F. Bauden).

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

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


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

Former Owner(s):

05 Muḥammad al-ʻAlamī, former owner. 06 Aḥmad ibn al-Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Muslim al-Tūnisī al-Ḥanafī, former owner. 07 Zayn al-Dīn Abū Bakr al-Ḥalabī, Ibn al-Naḥlāwī, fl.1450?, former owner. 05 محمد العلمي، مالك سابق. 06 احمد بن الشيخ محمد بن مسلم التونسي الحنفي، مالك سابق. 07 زين الدين ابو بكر الحلبي، ابن النحلاوي، مالك سابق.

In Collection:

Yahuda Collection.


Brockelmann, C. GAL,I, 276Ḥājjī Khalīfah. Kashf al-ẓunūn,vi 57-8Humbert, G. "Papiers non-filigranés utilisés au proche-orient jusqu'en 1450: essai en typologie."Journal asiatique, 286, no.1 (1998): 1-54.

Posted by evyn on April 16, 2010
Tags: Arabic MSS, Fully Catalogued, Yahuda Collection

Total comments on this page: 4

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Boris Liebrenz on paragraph 24:

The note on page/picture 310 referred to by the catalogue card belongs to a:
تغري بردي بن عبد الله الزيني الملكي الظاهري
He read the book while it was in possession of
الشيخ زين الدين ابو بكر الحلبي الشهير بابن النحلاوي
The date is 843.

Other notes are as follows:
Page 3:
undated ownership statement
[(مصطفى؟) بن … بن] محمد
Page 5:
undated ownership statement
محمد العلمي
Page 5 and 310:
undated ownership statement
احمد بن الشيخ محمد بن مسلم التونسي الحنفي
Page 314:
Reader’s note in Latakiya in 1246
[احمد اغا … حسن اغا (ديري؟)] زاده
Page 314:
Reader’s note of a Damascene notable in 1235 (last digit uncertain)
السيد صالح ابن المرحوم
السيد اسماعيل جربجي

July 15, 2010 7:11 pm
Frédéric Bauden on paragraph 25:

The reading note on p. 310 is dated 854, the middle figure corresponding to five.

August 18, 2010 2:53 am
Boris Liebrenz on paragraph 24:

The last reader, Salih agha al-Mahayini, is also found as reader of Ms Berlin We II 662 in the same year 1235. He may be identified with a strongman from the Damascene suburb al-Midan, who died in 1285. He was imprisoned in connection with the massacres of 1860, but Mikhayl Mishaqa lauds his protection of the Christians there during the events. Cf.:
Mishaqa: Murder, mayhem, pillage, and plunder, p. 30, 251.
محمد سعيد المحاسني: مشاهد واحداث دمشقية، ص 150، 190

August 22, 2010 5:04 pm
Boris Liebrenz on paragraph 24:

I am sorry, the author of the last reference is not al-Mahâsinî, but al-Ustuwânî!

August 28, 2010 5:32 pm

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