Kitāb al-mu‘tamad fī al-adwīyah al-mufradah كتاب المعتمد في الأدوية المفردة ‘Umar ibn Yūsuf عمر بن يوسف

Or 3738

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The record is made up of Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. i+153+ii. It was created in 15th century. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Oriental Manuscripts.

About this record


Alphabetical dictionary of simple drugs drawing on the works of earlier medical texts a list of which and the abbreviations used to cite them is given on f. 1v, lines 7-14. In this copy the text is attributed to the Rasūlid sultan of Yemen al-Malik al-Ashraf ‘Umar (II) ibn Yūsuf ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Alī ibn Rasūl (الملك الأشرف عمر بن يوسف بن عمر بن علي بن رسول, reg. 1295-6, see f. 99r, lines 12-13). Other copies attribute it to his father al-Malik al-Muẓaffar Yūsuf (I) ibn ‘Umar (الملك المظفر يوسف بن عمر, reg. 1250-95) or to both the father and son (see Ullmann, Manfred, Die Medizin im Islam [1970], p. 285).

The treatise is divided into two parts (جزؤان): letters alif-ṣād (ff. 1v-99r), and ḍād-yā’ (ff. 99r-153v, defective at end). Folios 143-153 are of different paper and copied by a later hand. The copy is defective at end, breaking off abruptly in the penultimate entry (= ed. al-Damyāṭī [2000], p. 404, line 10).

Begins (f. 1v, lines 2-4):

الحمد لله أوجد الأشياء بحكمته وابتدع المخلوقات إظهارًا لقدرة وفضل

الإنسان على سائر الحيوانات برحمته وجعل له دواء يقيه الداء بمشيئته وصلى

الله على رسوله سيدنا محمد خيرته من خليقته وعلى أصحابه ...

Ends (f. 153v, lines 29-30, defective at end):

... ينبوت ع ح هو خرنوب المـ[...]

وقيل إنه الخرنوب النبطي ومن الينبوت نوع (؟) شجرة عظيمـ[ـة] كـ[ـشجرة] التفاح الكبيرة ورقها أصغر من ورق التفاح ولها ثمر أصغر من ورق الـ[...]

Extent and format
Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. i+153+ii
Physical characteristics

Material: Eastern laid paper (ff. 1-142), Western laid paper (ff. 143-153)

Dimensions: 280 x 200 mm leaf [230 x 165 mm written]

Foliation: British Museum foliation in pencil

Ruling: Misṭarah ; 30 lines per page; vertical spacing 14 lines per 10 cm

Script: Naskh

Ink: Black ink, with rubricated headwords, abbreviations and some punctuation

Decoration: None

Binding: British Museum half-leather binding

Condition: Minor tidemarks especially towards head of volume, first and last few folios mutilated in margins and repaired, some foxing and stains

Marginalia: Few, by more than one hand

Seals: None

Written in
Arabic in Arabic script

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Oriental Manuscripts
Access conditions


Archive reference
Or 3738

History of this record

15th century (CE, Gregorian)
Context of creation


  • Inscription recording the death of ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Murayṣī (?) (عبد الرحمن المريصي [؟]) on 3 Muḥarram 1008?/26 July 1599? (some digits from the year may be obscured by repair paper, f. 1r);
  • Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Alī (إبراهيم بن علي): his inscription, with date Jumādá I 1230/April-May 1815 (f. 1r);
  • ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Ibrāhīm (عبد الرحمن بن إبراهيم): his inscription, with date 1241/1825-6 (f. 1r and 99r).
Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased from Eduard Glaser (1855-1908), 13 July 1889

Related material

Finding aids

Rieu, Charles, Supplement to the Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: The British Museum, 1894), Item 807, p. 547

Select Bibliography


  • al-Malik al-Muẓaffar Yūsuf ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Alī ibn Rasūl al-Ghassānī al-Turkumānī, al-Mu‘tamad fī al-adwīyah al-mufradah , ed. by Maḥmūd ‘Umar al-Dumyāṭī (Bayrūt: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmīyah, 2000)


  • Ullmann, Manfred, Die Medizin im Islam (Leiden: Brill, 1970), p. 285

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Kitāb al-mu‘tamad fī al-adwīyah al-mufradah كتاب المعتمد في الأدوية المفردة ‘Umar ibn Yūsuf عمر بن يوسف, British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Or 3738, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 7 April 2020]

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