The opening folio of the popular manual of simple and compound remedies titled Minhāj al-Bayān by Ibn Jazlah (d. 1100/493). The text is written within frames formed of gilt and blue lines, and space was left at the top for an illuminated opening, or headpiece, which was never filled in. The copy is undated and unsigned, but the nature of the paper, inks, and script suggest that it was made in the 18th century. The impression of an undated oval Persian owner's stamp, with the name Faqīr Muḥammad al-Dīn Shāh, can be seen in the margin.
Arabic. 247 leaves (fols. 1b-247b). Dimensions 20.2 x 13.6 (text area 15.1 x 8.1); 23 lines per page. The title is given as Minhāj al-Bayān fi-ma yasta‘miluhu al-insan (The Course of Explanation Concerning What is Useful to Men) in the text (fol. 2a, line 9) and in the colophon (fol. 247, lines 13-14). No author is given, but comparison with copies in other collections indicates that this treatise is by Ibn Jazlah. On fol. 3a the author names the sources from which he drew his material.
The copy is undated and unsigned; the nature and brittleness of the paper suggest a dating of the eighteenth century, but the script might indicate an earlier date.
A complete copy. The text is written in a very neat medium-small naskh script, in dense black ink with headings in red. The text throughout is written within frames of gilt and blue lines. On fol. 1b a space was left for an illuminated opening which was never filled in. There are catchwords (many now missing).
The paper is dark brown and very thin and brittle; only laid lines are visible. The edges have been trimmed from their original size. The paper is quite worm-eaten, and some folios have been repaired. The first five and the last twenty-seven folios are guarded.
The volume consists of 247 leaves. Fol. 1a is blank.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda who acquired it in Aligarh, India (ELS 1710, former 134 and former A2516).
The impression of an undated oval Persian owner's stamp, with the name Faqīr Muḥammad al-Dīn Shāh, is in the margin of fol. 1b.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A 40, pp. 310-11.
Illustrations from this manuscript and a general discussion of it are found in J. S. Graziani, Arabic medicine in the eleventh century as represented in the works of Ibn Jazlah (Karachi, Pakistan : Hamdard Foundation, 1980); see esp. figs. 11, 12, and 13.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-119 no. 7