Isl. Ms. 874


Risālah-i Maʻrifat al-maẕāhib,[19th century?].رساله معرفت المذاهب,[قرن 19م؟].


Maḥmūd Ṭāhir Ghazālī,fl. 14th cent. ?محمود طاهر غزالى.

Place/Date of Production:



11 leaves :paper ;155 x 108 (132 x 80) mm.


Careful copy of the work on various Islamic sects by Maḥmūd Ṭāhir Ghazāli known as Niẓām-i Mudarris (fl. 14th cent. ?). Table of contents (فهرست) at opening (p.6)

Other Title(s):

Title from label on upper cover:رساله معرفت المذاهبTitle from inscription on front flyleaf (p.1) and blank opening leaf (p.3):رساله معرفت المذاهبTitle from inscription on back flyleaf (p.26):Risâla i maʻrifat ul mazâhib


Islamic sects--Early works to 1800.
Sufism--Rituals--Early works to 1800.
Sufism--Doctrines--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.




Ms. codex.
Title from rubricated heading at opening on p.7.


"الحمد لله رب العالمين المحمود الطاهر المعبود ... بعد میگوید بنده ضعیف امیدوار پروردگار متعالی محمود طاهر غزالی بنظام مدرس مدرسه جلالی غفر الله له ... شناخته میشود معرفت المذاهب نام کردم ..."


Can you help transcribe the explicit? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the colophon? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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

Physical Details:

i, V+1, i (11) ; catchwords present ; pagination in red ink, Hindu-Arabic numerals ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes flyleaves).


Written in 17 lines per page ; frame-ruled.


Nastaʻlīq ; quick hand in a medium line ; mainly serifless with marked effect of tilt to the right, slight effect of words descending to baseline, elongation of horizontal strokes, freely ligatured, pointing in strokes rather than distinct dots ; passages in Arabic (Qurʼānic excerpts, etc.) in a crude 'naskh'.


Keywords, section headings and abbreviation symbols (mainly two-teeth mark over keywords) rubricated ; written area surrounded by double rule-border in red ; tables at close on pp.23-24.


European laid paper with 8 laid lines per cm. (horizontal), chain lines spaced 26 mm. apart (vertical), and watermark of scrollwork with crown above and "G M" below as well as "AL MASSO" (see p.10, 14, 15, 19, etc.), thin and transluscent though sturdy, tinted blue.


Boards covered in dark green cloth with brown leather over spine and board corners in brown cloth (half-binding) ; Western style binding ; pastedowns and flyleaves in untinted laid paper ; sewn in heavy white thread, three stations ; overall in fair condition with abrasion, lifting and losses of spine leather, staining, etc.

Accompanying Materials:

a. Slip with description in hand of G. Meredith-Owens "MO 9 Risāleh-i maʻrifat al-maẕāhib | A religious work (on the various sects etc.) by Maḥmūd Ṭāhir Ghazzālī. Undated" -- b. Recycled card with notes in pencil "Indian ms. & binding | blue paper is typical of Indian book production / per Emilie Savage-Smith" -- c. Slip with note "Persian MSS (Heyworth-Dunne?) with Meredith-Owens notes" -- d. Slip with "n. f." [i.e. not found, likely in hand of E. Husselman] -- e. Slip with note "counted for 1968/69 Annual Report" -- f. Tipped in just inside upper cover, slip with verse from the Qurʼān (Sūrat al-Aḥzāb verse 72, 33:72) with English translation (that of George Sale) and citation "vid: Sales Koran Vol.2 ch: 33 p.285"

Former Shelfmarks:

Mich. Isl. Ms. temp. no. 23


Lacks dated colophon ; paper, etc. would suggest 19th century.

Ownership and History:

Inscription in black ink on back flyleaf (p.26) with title and author "Risâla i maʻrifat ul mazâhib von Maḥmûd Ṭāhir Ghazzâlî" ; description and possible former inventory marks on lower pastedown "Treatise on the Muhammadan sects" ; a few marginal glosses and corrections.

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):

Nuttall, Frank E., 1875-1943, former owner.

In Collection:

F. E. Nuttall Collection.

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on August 2, 2012
Tags: F. E. Nuttall Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

Total comments on this page: 3

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Ali Rafi on paragraph 12:

Some Part of this manuscript is lost and it just involve “Marefat -ol-Mazahib” until the end of 7th “Fasl” (=Part).
In compare of the other manuscript of this work in British collection “India Office Library” (No.2549), come some other description of other 7 religious groups quoted form “Imam Fakhr Razi”.
But as Explicit, the last part of text could be read so:
“… بیان هفتاد و دو گروه باطل اینست که بسمع مبارک سنیان پاک دین و متابعان حضرت نبوی صل الله و علیه و سلم و سروران اصحاب بزرگوار و محبان چهار یار و مشایخ کبار رسانیده شد باید که از این چیزهای مخالف مذهب خود پرهیز کنند تا سعادت یابند./
تخته بر هفتاد و دو ملت محمدی مختصر کرده است:…”

October 12, 2012 11:46 am
Ali Rafi on paragraph 11:

I read the word after the name of author “بنظام”.

October 12, 2012 11:48 am
Ali Rafi on paragraph 4:

There is some other manuscripts of this work in India Office Library (No.1920) which was written in 2nd Jamaadi-al-avval 1044 (24th October 1634), which was the oldest manuscript of the works written by Maḥmūd Ṭāhir Ghazālī.

According to its Sunni content and the large frequency of this manuscript in collections which gathered in India and especially the language of the text, which is in Sunni theology but in Persian, i think that this manuscript is produced in India.

And also according to script, page numbering and layout style of the content-page at the beginning which looks like the lithographic style of India in late 19th and 20th cent. i think that this manuscript was written in this period.

Sorry for my absolutely long commenting…

October 12, 2012 12:06 pm

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