Isl. Ms. 621


Kitāb al-Mufaṣṣal,[784, i.e. 1382].كتاب المفصل,[784ه، 1382م].


Zamakhsharī, Maḥmūd ibn ʻUmar,1075-1144.زمخشري، محمود بن عمر.

Place/Date of Production:



214 leaves :paper ;260 x 185 (135 x 95) mm.


Fine copy of Abū al-Qāsim Maḥmūd ibn ʻUmar al-Zamakhsharī's important compendium of Arabic grammar accompanied by glosses from the commentaries of Ibn Ya‘īsh (d.1245) and Aḥmad ibn Maḥmūd al-Jandī al-Andalusī (d. ca. 1300).

Other Title(s):

MufaṣṣalمفصلMufaṣṣal fī ṣan‘at al-i‘rāb


Arabic language--Syntax--Early works to 1800.
Arabic language--Inflection--Early works to 1800.
Arabic language--Grammar--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Arabic--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
Zamakhsharī, Maḥmūd ibn ʻUmar,--1075-1144.--Mufaṣṣal.




Ms. codex.
Title from inscription on 'title page' (p.1).


"قال الاستاذ الامام الاجل فخر خوارزم رئيس الافاضل ابو القسم [القاسم] محمود بن عمر الزمخشري رحمة الله عنه الله احمد على ان جعلني من علماء العربية وجبلني على الغضب للعرب والعصبية وابى لي ان انفرد عن صميم انصارهم وامتاز وانضوى الى لفيف الشعوبية وانحاز ..."


"واذا كانوا ممن يحذفون مع امكان الادغام في يتسع ويتقي فهم مع عدم امكانه احذف"


"Scribal," reads: "وقع الفراغ من كتابة المسمي بالمفصل على يد العبد الضعيف الراجي المؤمل الى رحمة الله تعالى العزيز الاجل حامدا لله ومصليا على نبيه محمد وآله اسمعيل بن حسن غفر الله له ولوالدين [كذا] ولمن ذكرهم بالخير والحسنين ما دام طالع هذه النسخة وصان في اليوم السادس من الشهر المبارك رمضان قبل ان يقع من كتابة حاشية سنة اربع وثمانين وسبعمائة"


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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Physical Details:

IV (8), 1+IV+2 (19), IV (27), VII (41), 10 V(141), IV (149), V (159), 3 IV(183), 2 V(203), 1+V (214) ; initial flyleaf is affixed to opening leaf ; based on the old foliation and other factors, there appears to be a missing quaternion that was originally between quire 2 and quire 3 (i.e. it would have carried fol.20-27) ; slip paginated pp.75-76 notes the lacuna, reads "ناقص من ۱۹ الى ٢٧" ; catchwords present ; foliation in black ink, Hindu-Arabic numerals (haphazard, with missed and repeated folia, etc.) ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes inserts).


Written in 11 lines per page ; frame-ruled (using a misṭarah) ; margins unruled, but with extensive glosses arranged rather artistically in geometric forms.


Naskh (with Persianate features) ; mainly serifless ; small-medium in size, fairly readable, with a slight effect of words descending to baseline, elongation of horizontal strokes, and mainly closed counters ; free-standing alifs are sans serif, taper toward the bottom, and often have a slight left foot ; tail of final lām and kāf is often curving up to meet vertical stroke ; final yāʼ is often mardūdah ; kāf mashkūlah (mashqūqah) preferred, with even final kāf bearing shaqq ; partially vocalized ; most of the glosses appear to be in the same hand, though more compact.


Red ink used occasionally in the glosses for overlining and or emphasis.


non-European (likely Arab) laid paper with 8-9 laid lines per cm. and alternating sets of 2 and 3 chain lines spaced 12 mm. apart (for the sets of 2) and 11-13 mm. apart (for the sets of 3) with 40-48 mm. separating the groups (compare Humbert's listings for papers for manuscripts copied 1372 in Aleppo).


Pasteboards covered in dark brown leather ; Type II binding (with flap, now lost) ; marbled European laid paper applied over upper cover at some point, with much now lost ; board linings in salmon/pink-tinted European laid paper ; upper and lower covers appear distinct such that the binding appears to have been cobbled together from separate covers ; upper cover bears a tooled polylobed circular ornament (shamsah) with pendants and band separating a central disc filled with interlace, along with a tooled frame in heavy interlace (strapwork), all with gold-tooled accents (compare Bosch, et al. nos. 52, 55, 56) ; lower cover bears a tooled polylobed almond-shaped ornament with pendants and central panel filled with interlace, along with cornerpieces and tooled frame in interlace (strapwork), all with gold-tooled accents (compare Bosch, et al. no.80 and 81) ; sewing now mainly gone, though likely originally sewn in white and or blue thread, two stations ; many of the bifolia have now split ; endbands lost ; in poor condition with textblock entirely separated from cover, upper cover detaching from spine, flap lost, significant abrasion, etc. ; repairs in light brown leather.

Accompanying Materials:

Numerous inserted slips, some tipped-in and others not, most paginated (pp.7-8, 9-10, 15-16, 17-18, 25-26, 31-32, 35-36, 37-38, 39-40, 45-46 [foll. p.48], unpaginated slip following p.50, 57-58, 59-60, 65-66, 67-68, 69-70, 71-72, 75-76 [scrap of lithographed paper], 83-84, 159-160, 169-170).

Former Shelfmarks:

From inscription on inner front cover and spine label, "IL 352" (likely supplied by Yahuda).


As appears in colophon on p.468, copied by Ismāʻīl ibn Ḥasan with transcription finished ("waqaʻa al-farāgh min kitābat...") 6 Ramaḍān 784 [November 1382].

Ownership and History:

A few former owners' marks on 'title page' (p.1) including ownership statement beginning "صاحب وملك ..." dated 1194 [1780], purchase statement in name of Ḥāfiẓ Sulaymān Beg (حافظ سليمان بك) dated latter Shawwāl [or Shaʻbān] 1291 [1874], and prayer for the copyist dated 1296 [1878-9] in the name of Ibrāhīm Shawqī ibn Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī ; thread tabs sewn as bookmarks through pp.211-212, pp.221-222 and pp.267-268 ; extensive marginal (and some interlinear) glosses ; occasional marginal corrections.

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

04--Ibn Yaʻīsh, Yaʻīsh ibn ʻAlī,--1158-1245.--Sharḥ al-Mufaṣṣal.
04--ابن يعيش, يعيش بن علي.--شرح المفصل.
05--Jandī, Aḥmad ibn Maḥmūd,--d. ca. 1300--Iqlīd.
05--جندي، احمد بن محمود.--اقليد.


06 Ismā‘īl ibn Ḥasan, fl. 1382, scribe. 06 اسماعيل بن حسن, ناسخ.

Former Owner(s):

07 Ḥāfiẓ Sulaymān Bīg, fl. 1874 or 5, former owner. Yahuda, A. S., former owner. 07 حافظ سليمان بيگ، مالك سابق.

In Collection:

Yahuda Collection.


Brockelmann, C. GAL,I, 291 (II. cmtre no.3 and no.8) ; S I 507Humbert, G. "Papiers non-filigranés utilisés au proche-orient jusqu'en 1450: essai en typologie."Journal asiatique, 286, no.1 (1998): 1-54.Bosch, Carswell, & Petheridge. Islamic Bindings and Bookmaking (1981),nos. 52, 55, 56, 80 and 81

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Posted by evyn on September 23, 2010
Tags: Arabic MSS, Fully Catalogued, Yahuda Collection

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