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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.

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts