In the history of Islam and the Islamic world, the authentication of knowledge has always been important. Thus, the Prophetic traditions are typically introduced by chains of transmission going back from the speaker, all the way to a direct witness of the Prophet’s sayings or deeds. And in scholarship, too, the ijāza or licence attesting to someone’s proficiency in some subject written by an established teacher was very important as well, comparable to a modern certificate or diploma. Against this background, the booklet published here is rather unique. This is because it contains study certificates and samples of the handwriting of various scholars and religious authorities, issued to five generations of scholars from one and the same family from Yazd, starting with Najm al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥammūʾī Yazdī (d. 885/1480) and ending with Sālik al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥammūʾī Yazdī (duwwum) (d. after 1022/1613). Most of the texts are in Arabic, while the poetry is mostly in Persian.
ʿAjāʾib aḥkām Amīr al-Muʾminīn, Dhikr al-khalāʾif wa-ʿunwān al-maʿārif, Faḍl al-ʿilm, Dhakhāʾir al-ḥikma, Mukhtaṣar-i Jāvidān khirad
Edited by Aḥmad Mahdavī Dāmghānī
Today most oriental manuscript collections are kept in institutional and other (semi-) public libraries. Yet many of these collections were jumpstarted with the acquisition or donation of some private collection. Even now, private collections may still yield unexpected finds. A case in point is MS Tehran, National Library, Arabic 16574. This manuscript belonged earlier and until 1423/2002 to Sayyid Muḥsin Amīn ʿĀmilī, author of the famous biographical dictionary Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, and then to his son Sayyid Ḥasan Amīn, after whose death it devolved to the National Library of Iran. Compiled in 420/1029, this manuscript contains six medium-sized classical texts in Arabic from before ca. 390/1000. From among these, special mention must be made of an abbreviated version ( mukhtaṣar) of Ibn Miskawayh’s (d. 421/1030) gnomological work in Arabic, the Jāvidān khirad. Copied while Ibn Miskawayh was still alive, this abbreviation represents the oldest sample of the original text and certainly merits consideration in any future edition.
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī
Edited by Yūsif al-Hādī
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī’s (d. 718/1319) Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh has been described by many as the first world history ever. Composed in Persian for the Mongol Il-khans Ghāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu, r. 1304-16), its aim was to set out the history and condition of the Mongol people, conquerors of the world (part one), followed by a description of the other peoples and nations of the world and their histories (part two). Given its unprecedented scope, Rashīd, vizier to both rulers, mobilized a whole team of specialists, informants, and collaborators to assist him in his task. Making use of written and oral sources, the part on the Mongols is a key source on the emergence and organisation of the Mongol empire. An anonymous Arabic translation of this part, made in the 8th/14th century and running until Güyük Khān’s accession to power in 644/1246, is published in facsimile in this volume.
ʿUmdat al-ḥisāb wa-Qisṭās al-muʿādala fī ʿilm al-jabr wal-muqābala
ʿIzz al-Dīn Zanjānī’
Edited by Maryam Zamānī and Muḥammad Bāqirī
Not much is known about ʿIzz al-Dīn Zanjānī’s (d. 660/1262) personal life other than that at different times in his career he was in Mosul, Baghdad, Bukhara and Tabriz, where Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsi (d. 672/1274) wrote his Tadhkira fi ʼl-hayʾa at his request. To posterity Zanjānī is maybe best known for his work on Arabic morphology, the Mabāḍiʾ al-taṣrīf, also known as Taṣrīf al-Zanjānī and al-ʿIzzī, on which many commentaries and supercommentaries were written. Zanjānī has four more works on linguistics, besides one work on astronomy and six treatises on mathematics, two of which are published in facsimile here. The first of these is his ʿUmdat al-ḥisāb on arithmetic and the second the Qisṭās al-muʿādala on equations. Following Zanjānī’s own statements at the beginning of these treatises they were written for practical reasons, people in general standing in need of a good text on arithmetic, while the text on equations was especially relevant for jurists.
Ḥusām al-Dīn al-ʿAnsī
Edited by Sabine Schmidtke and Hassan Ansari
From the time of its foundation in 284/897, the Zaydī Imamate of Yemen was home to Muʿtazilī ideas. During the first centuries and starting with Imam al-Hādī ila ʼl-Ḥaqq (d. 298/911), Zaydī ideology included elements akin to the opinions of the Baghdad School of the Muʿtazila as founded by Bishr b. al-Muʿtamir (d. 210/825). However, in the 5-6th/11-12th centuries, we see a rise in popularity of Bahshamiyya ideas, a sub-group of the Basran School of the Muʿtazila around Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī (d. 321/933). These ideas were systematized and elaborated upon by the Zaydī theologian al-Raṣṣāṣ (d. 584/1188). Among those who resisted Bahshamī ideas to defend the teachings of the earlier imams was the jurist, theologian and author of more than 100 works, Ḥusām al-Dīn al-ʿAnsī (d. 667/1268). This volume contains a facsimile of the largest copy of al-Maḥajja al-bayḍāʾ fī uṣūl al-dīn, al-ʿAnsī’s major theological handbook, covering the first four parts out of eight.
ʿAbdallāh b. Aḥmad al-Khāzin
Edited by Aḥmad Mahdavī Dāmghānī
About fifty years ago, during renovation works in the complex of Imam Reza in Mashhad, a hoard of manuscripts was discovered in a secret niche. These manuscripts had probably been stashed away in a time of unrest to prevent them from getting looted or destroyed. Among them, there was one quite remarkable codex, copied in 481/1088 and published here, containing the divan of ʿAbdallāh b. Aḥmad al-Khāzin, a poet who belonged to entourage of the Buyid vizier Ṣāḥib b. al-ʿAbbād (d. 385/995). Al-Khāzin was his librarian for a time, until he was banished from the court. Since most of the poems are dedicated to Fakhr al-Dawla (d. 387/997) and Ibn al-ʿAbbād, they must have been written after Fakhr al-Dawla was brought to power by Ibn al-ʿAbbād in 373/983. Even with sections missing, this manuscript contains no less than 1.922 verses by al-Khāzin, much more than the 241 verses quoted in al-Thaʿālibī’s (d. 429/1038) Yatīmat al-dahr.
fī sharḥ al-Muḥaṣṣal fī ʿilm al-kalām
Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī
Edited by Hassan Ansari
Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī (d. 606/1210) was a prominent theologian, interpreter of the Qurʾān and philosopher. He was born in Rayy where he studied theology, philosophy and law under different masters, including his father, a preacher. After his studies, he started a wandering life which took him to different cities and courts in Transoxania and Khwārazm. He finally settled in Herat where he spent the rest of his life, a wealthy and respected scholar and author of a number of seminal works. Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274) was an influential philosopher, theologian, mathematician and astronomer, besides being the first director of the famous observatory at Marāghah near Tabriz as well as a man of politics. Author of a large number of scholarly works, his influential commentary on Rāzī’s Muḥaṣṣal on philosophical theology is a critical appraisal of a work which Ṭūsī considered much overrated. Facsimile of the oldest known copy, dated 669/1270.
Muntakhabātī az ʿUyūn-i akhbār-i Riḍā, Amāli-yi Shaykh-i Ṣaddūq, Ṣaḥīfat al-Riḍā
Abū Naʿīm al-Naʿīmi al-Bayhaqī and Abu ʼl-Ḥasan al-Bayāḍī
Edited by Hassan Ansari
At first glance, the collection of traditions, notes and drafts published here is just like so many other personal documents from the library of the average medieval Muslim scholar. But on closer inspection, this codex dated 580/1185 is quite interesting. The manuscript is in two different hands, one part being by a certain Abū Naʿīm al-Naʿīmi al-Bayhaqī, and the other part by the equally unknown Abu ʼl-Ḥasan al-Bayāḍī. As is evident from two study certificates ( ijāza) contained in this manuscript, Abu ʼl-Ḥasan was a student of Abū Naʿīm. Abū Naʿīm was a native of Bayhaq and Abu ʼl-Ḥasan of Rayy. The manuscript contains mainly excerpts from Ibn Bābawayh’s (d. 381/991) Amālī and ʿUyūn akhbār al-Riḍā and traditions which Abū Naʿīm himself had collected in Khurāsān. As such it contains the oldest known fragments from the Amālī, besides being a rare witness of the early Imami teaching tradition in Khurāsān, more specifically in Bayhaq and Nishapur.
Kushyār b. Labbān Gīlānī
Edited by Muḥammad Bāqirī
Kushyār (Pers. Kushyār) b. Labbān Gīlānī was a Persian astronomer and mathematician who flourished around 390/1000. All we know about his personal life is that he originated from the region of Gilan in northern Iran, bordering on the Caspian Sea. Given that he is cited in Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī’s (d. after 442/1050) Kitāb fī ifrād al-maqāl fī amr al-aẓlāl, Kushyār must have become an authority by the time al-Bīrūnī came to write this work. From his works in mathematics, Kushyār’s Kitāb fī uṣūl ḥisāb al-Hind on Indian arithmatic is the most important, and in astronomy his Zīj-i jāmiʿ. His Arabic work on the astrolabe is published here for the very first time, accompanied by a Japanese translation, both by Taro Mimura of Japan. In addition, this volume also contains a facsimile edition of the anonymous medieval Persian translation of this work, followed by a critical edition, both by Mohammad Bagheri of Iran.
Nuskha-yi khaṭṭi-yi shumāra-yi 5389 Kitābkhāna-yi Āstān-i Quds-i Riḍawī
Ghiyāth al-Dīn Jamshīd Kāshānī
Edited by Yūnis Karāmatī
Ghiyāth al-Dīn Jamshīd Kāshānī is one of the most outstanding mathematicians and astronomers in the history of the Persianate world. The son of a physician, he was born around 790/1388 in Kashan, where he lived most of his life. Many of his writings were composed in that city, including his famous Zīj-i Khāqānī. In 824/1421 he left for Samarqand, where he played an important role in the construction of the observatory commissioned by the Timurid ruler and astronomer, Ulugh Beg (853/1449), becoming its first director. In 832/1429 he was found dead near this observatory, outside the walls of Samarqand. A violent death is suspected, probably on the order of Ulugh Beg. The present work, completed in 827/1424 in Samarqand, is about the determination of the number Pi. An innovative work of great merit, its exactness was only superseded with the publication of Ludolph van Ceulen’s Van den circel in Delft, Holland, in 1596.