al-Tuḥfah al-shāhīyah fī al-hayʾah التحفة الشاهية في الهيئة Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī, Maḥmūd ibn Masʿūd قطب الدين الشيرازي، محمود بن مسعود

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The record is made up of Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. iii+172+iii. It was created in 13th or 14th century. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Oriental Manuscripts.

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Commentary by Quṭb al-Dīn Maḥmūd ibn Mas‘ūd al-Shīrāzī (قطب الدين محمود بن مسعود الشيرازي; c 1236-1310) on the Kitāb al-tadhkirah fī al-hay’ah (كتاب التذكرة في الهيئة; see British Library, MS Or. 11209) a treatise on the astronomical system presented in the Almagest of Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus; c 90-c 168) by Naṣīr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ṭūsī (نصير الدين محمد بن محمد الطوسي; d. 1274).

A Persian note on f. 1r claims that the manuscript is undoubtedly in the hand of Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī himself, but the extensive and hyperbolic eulogy for the author with which the text begins (see f. 2v, lines 2-4, transcribed below) argues against this.

The text is divided into four books (أبواب), each subdivided into chapters (فصول), and occasionally further subdivided into smaller sections variously designated as مباحث ,أقسام and قوانين.


  • 'Book One: What must be introduced before attempting the aims [of the text], containing three chapters' (الباب الأول فيما يحتاج إلى تقديمه قبل الشروع في المقاصد وفيه ثلثة فصول, ff. 3r-7r);
  • 'Book Two: The arrangement, placements and movements of the simple bodies, and associated and related matters, containing sixteen chapters' (الباب الثاني في هيئة الأجرام البسيطة وأوضاعها وحركاتها وما يلزم منها وما يتعلق بها وفيه ستة عشر فصلًا, ff. 7r-131r);
  • 'Book Three: The arrangement of the Earth and its division into populated and empty [regions] et cetera on account of differences in the placements of the heavenly bodies and the like, containing thirteen chapters' (الباب الثالث في هيئة الأرض وقسمتها إلى العامر والغامر وما يلزمها بحسب اختلاف أوضاع العلويات ونحوه وهو ثلثة عشر فصلًا, ff. 113r-151r);
  • 'Book Four: Knowledge of the quantity of distances and (heavenly) bodies, containing three chapters' (الباب الرابع في معرفة مقادير الأبعاد والأجرام وفيه ثلثة فصول, ff. 151r-169v).

The beginning of the text as preserved here differs from that of the copy of this text preserved in Add. MS 23393, f. 2v, but corresponds to that of Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī's Final Understanding of the Congnizance of the Spheres (نهاية الإدراك في دراية الأفلاك) as preserved in Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Orientabteilung, MS Peterman I 674, f. 0a, lines 2-5 (see

The manuscript contains numerous diagrams and is defective at the end, with only a few words of the text's explicit visible on f. 169v, and almost nothing of the colophon Section at the end of a manuscript text. legible.

Begins (f. 2v, lines 2-4):

قال مولاناس وأستاذنا أفضل الورى علامة العالم ملك فضلاء بني آدم قدوة المحققين

سلطان العلماء في العالمين حجة الحق على الخلق أجمعين مفخر أفاضل الأنام مالك أزمة (؟)

القضاة والحكام قطب الملة والحق والدين محمود بن مسعود الشيرازي أدام الله ظلال جلاله

Ends (f. 169r, lines 19-21, defective at end, cf. Add. MS 23393, f. 177r, line 9ff):

... ومزاولة الشواغل الدنيوية حتى القضاء والتدريس إذ والزمان زمان

فهو بلاء وتلبيس جعله خدمة لمعمور خزانة المولى المعظم والمخدوم الأعظم وتحفة لعالى

حضرته وأرجوا أن يقع ذلك من خادم حضرته موقع رضاه وهو سبحانه قادر

Extent and format
Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. iii+172+iii
Physical characteristics

Material: Eastern laid paper

Dimensions: 165 x 120 mm leaf [120 x 90 mm written]

Foliation: British Museum foliation in pencil; three slips of paper have been bound into the volume as ff. 95a, 156a, and 160a

Ruling: No ruling visible; 21 lines per page; vertical spacing 17 lines per 10 cm

Script: Naskh

Ink: Black ink, with diagrams and some overlinings in red

Decoration: None

Binding: Red leather binding with blind-tooled medallion, pendants and borders

Condition: Minor tidemarks towards beginning of volume, bleedtrough due to iron-gall ink

Marginalia: Numerous towards beginning of volume, fewer thereafter, by more than one hand

Seals: f. 2r

Written in
Arabic in Arabic script

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Oriental Manuscripts
Access conditions


Archive reference
Add MS 7477

History of this record

13th or 14th century (CE, Gregorian)

Quṭb al-Dīn ibn Sulṭān Muḥammad (قطب الدين بن سلطان محمد): his seal, without date; associated inscription partially obscured (f. 2r; see Chester Beatty Library Islamic Seals Database no. 27)

Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased from Mary Rich (née Mackintosh), widow of Claudius James Rich (1786-1821), Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in Baghdad (1808-21), 25 March 1825

Related material

Finding aids

Cureton, William and Charles Rieu, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum orientalium qui in Museo Britannico asservantur. Pars secunda, codices arabicos amplectens (London: The British Museum, 1846-71), Item 398, pp. 189

Select Bibliography


  • Ragep, F. Jamil, 'Shīrāzī: Quṭb al-Dīn Maḥmūd ibn Ma‘sūd Muṣliḥ al-Shīrāzī' in The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers , Thomas Hockey et al., eds., (New York: Springer, 2007) pp. 1054-55
  • Thompson, J.R. Fawcett, 'The Rich Manuscripts', The British Museum Quarterly 27.1/2 (1963) pp. 18-23

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al-Tuḥfah al-shāhīyah fī al-hayʾah التحفة الشاهية في الهيئة Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī, Maḥmūd ibn Masʿūd قطب الدين الشيرازي، محمود بن مسعود, British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Add MS 7477, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 May 2024]

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