Creating a Cultural Repertoire Based on Texts

Arabic Manuscripts and the Historical Practices of a Sufi in 17th-Century Bijapur

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
View More View Less
  • 1 SOAS, University of London
  • 2 Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The early modern South Asian sultanate of Bijapur (9/15 th–11/17 th c.) represented a rich centre for the transmission of manuscripts by both the court and local Sufi communities. Thus far, Richard Eaton has mainly concentrated on prosopographical sources to write a social history of the Sufis of Bijapur. However, Arabic manuscripts as they survive in the Royal Library of Bijapur can provide a documentary perspective that testifies to the Deccan’s transregional connections with the wider Western Indian Ocean and the cultural practices transacted by Sufis in Bijapur. In this article, I focus on Sayyid Zayn ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Muqaybil’s (d. 1130/1718) manuscripts, transcribed during his travels from Yemen to Bijapur during the second half of the 17th century. I study the paratextual profile of these manuscripts to advance an argument on modalities of manuscript transmission through the transregional scholarly and Sufi networks of Bijapur. Thus, this study will exemplify the socio-cultural significance of manuscript circulation in the context of the early modern Deccan.

  • al-Balkhī, al-Wāfī, MS London, British Library, IO Bijapur 3.

  • Zubayri, M.I., MSTazkirat Rawzat al-Awliyāʾ, Tazkira 266, Andhra Pradesh Oriental Manuscript Library (APOML), Hyderabad.

  • MS IO Bijapur 69, al-Haythamī, Ashraf al-wasāʾil ilā fahm al-shamāʾil.

  • MS IO Bijapur 90, al-Suhrawardī, Kitāb ʿAwārif al-maʿārif.

  • MS IO Bijapur 122, Ibn Kaysān, Sharḥ al-Muʿallaqāt al-sabʿ.

  • MS IO Bijapur 385, Ibn ʿArabī, al-Futuḥāt al-makkīya.

  • MS IO Bijapur 386/387, Ibn ʿArabī, al-Futuḥāt al-makkīya.

  • MS IO Bijapur 388, Ibn ʿArabī, al-Futuḥāt al-makkīya.

  • MS IO Bijapur 399, al-Kāshānī, Kitāb Sharḥ Manāzil al-sāʾirīn.

  • MS IO Bijapur 396, al-Tilimsānī, Sharḥ.

  • MS IO Bijapur 400, al-Madanī, Sharḥ.

  • MS IO Bijapur 420A, Majmūʿa.

  • MS IO Bijapur 459B, Majmūʿa.

  • Algazi, Gadi, “Kulturkult und die Rekonstruktion von Handlungsrepertoires”, L’ homme: Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft 11:1 (2000): 105–119.

  • Cousens, H., Bijapur, the Old Capital of the Adil Shahi Kings: A guide to its ruins with historical outline (Poona: Orphanage Press, 1889).

  • Digby, Simon, “The Sufi Shaikh as a Source of Authority in Medieval India.” R. Eaton (ed.), India’s Islamic Traditions, 711–1750 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), 234–262. Reprinted from Marc Gaborieau (ed.), Islam et Société en Asie du Sud (Puruṣārtha 9, Paris: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 1986), 57–77.

  • Eaton, Richard, Sufis of Bijapur, 1300–1700: Social roles of Sufis in medieval India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978).

  • Endress, Gerhard, “ ‘One-Volume Libraries’ and the Traditions of Learning in Medieval Arabic Islamic Culture”, Michael Friedrich and Cosima Schwarke (eds.) One-Volume Libraries: Composite and Multiple-Text Manuscripts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), 171–205.

  • Friedrich, Michael and Schwarke, Cosima, “Introduction—Manuscripts as Evolving Entities”, Michael Friedrich and Cosima Schwarke (eds.), One-Volume Libraries: Composite and Multiple-Text Manuscripts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), 2–26.

  • Genette, Gérard, Palimpsestes. La littérature au second degré (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1982).

  • Görke, Andreas and Hirschler, Konrad (eds.), Manuscript Notes as Documentary Sources (Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2011).

  • Hermansen, M. and Lawrence, B., “Indo-Persian Tazkiras as Memorative Communications”, D. Gilmartin and B.B. Lawrence (eds.), Beyond Turk and Hindu. Rethinking religious identities in Islamicate South Asia (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2000), 149–175.

  • Ho, Engseng, The Graves of Tarim. Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006).

  • Hofer, Nathan, The Popularisation of Sufism in Ayyubid and Mamluk Egypt, 1173–1325 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015).

  • Hutton, Deborah, “Bījāpūr”, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, eds. Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 5 December 2017.

  • Lory, Pierre, “al-S̲h̲ād̲h̲ilī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, eds. P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 8 December 2017.

  • Loth, Otto, A Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office (London: Stephen Austin and Sons, 1877).

  • Overton, Keelan, “Book Culture, Royal Libraries, and Persianate Painting in Bijapur, circa 1580–1630,” Muqarnas 33 (2016): 91–154.

  • Id., A Collector and his Portrait. Book Arts and Painting for Ibrahim ʿAdil Shah II of Bijapur (r. 1580–1627) (PhD Thesis, Los Angeles: UCLA, 2011).

  • Quraishi, S., “The Royal Library of Bijapur”, B.M. Gupta (ed.), Handbook of Libraries, Archives and Information Centres in India, Vol. 9 (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1991), 165–173.

  • Ronit Ricci, “Thresholds of Interpretation on the Threshold of Change: Paratexts in Late 19th-century Javanese Manuscripts”, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 3 (2012): 185–210.

  • Rosenthal, Franz, “From Arabic Books and Manuscripts V: A One-Volume Library of Arabic Philosophical and Scientific Texts in Istanbul”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 75/1 (1955): 14–23.

  • El-Rouayheb, Khaled, “Opening the Gate of Verification: The Forgotten Arab-Islamic Florescence of the Seventeenth Century,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 38 (2006): 263–281.

  • Sherwani, Haroon, Muḥammad-Qulī Quṭb Shāh. Founder of Haidarabad. London: Asia Publishing House, 1967.

  • Subrahmanyam, Sanjay, “Persians, Pilgrims and Portuguese: The Travails of Masulipatnam Shipping in Western Indian Ocean, 1590–1665”, Modern Asian Studies 22, 3 (1988): 503–530.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 251 81 2
Full Text Views 127 31 0
PDF Views & Downloads 73 33 0