This untitled treatise on prophetic traditions regarding health and medicine is not known to be preserved in any other recorded copy. Nothing is known about al-shaykh Abū al-‘Abbās , known as (al-shahir bi-) Ibn al-Mīlaq (or, Ibn al-Maylaq). This is the only recorded treatise in his name. Since he cites al-Bistamī (d. 1454/858) as a source, Ibn al-Mīlaq must have lived in the mid-15th century or later.
At the very end of the previous treatise in the volume, there is the statement: 'from the writing Shams al-ma‘arif , a composition of al-shaykh al-Būnī' (min mudawwanah Shams al-ma‘arif ta'lif al-shaykh al-Būnī). This is a reference to the most widely read medieval Islamic treatise on talismans, magic squares, and various occult properties by Abū al-‘Abbās al-Būnī, who died in 1225/622. Although this reference seems inappropriate for the previous item, given the nature of its contents, it cannot apply to the present treatise either, for near the beginning of the present treatise the author al-Bistami is cited, and he died in 1454/858, long after al-Buni.
[Prophetic Medicine] (MS A 91, item 9)
The opening page of an untitled Arabic treatise concerned with Prophetic traditions regarding health and medicine written by al-shaykh Abū al-‘Abbās known as (al-shahir bi-) Ibn al-Mīlaq (or Ibn al-Maylaq). Nothing is known of this author, except that since he cites al-Bistamī (d. 1454/858) as a source he must have lived in the mid-15th century or later. This is the only recorded copy, which is undated but appears to have been made in the 17th or 18th century.
Arabic. 5 pages (pp. 110-119 [old 124-133]). Dimensions 21.5 x 15.7 (text area 16.5 x 10.5) cm; 21 lines per page. The author is named on p. 110 [old 124], line 2, as al-shaykh Abī [sic] al-‘Abbās known as (al-shahir bi-) Ibn al-Mīlaq (or Ibn al-Maylaq). No title is given.
The copy is undated and unsigned. The appearance of the paper, script, and ink suggests a date of the 17th or 18th century.
Muḥammad ibn al-Bistami (d. 1454/858) is cited on p. 110 [old 124], line 19.
The text is written in a medium-small naskh script, with black ink and headings in red. It is a fluid script with a number of ligatures. There are catchwords. This hand appears to have been responsible for most of the items in the volume.
The volume has been paginated rather than foliated. The volume has been recently repaginated in Western numerals. There is an early pagination in Arabic numerals which places the numeral 15 on the first page of the present volume, with subsequent mistakes and omissions. Therefore, it is evident that the first 14 pages of the manuscript are now missing. According to this earlier pagination, there are also leaves missing after pp. 44 (old 58), 182 (old 186), 188 (old 194), and 220 (old 227). There are also section numbers (nos. 40-694) in the margins, and this marginal numbering is continuous, except at the beginning, indicating that it was written after the missing leaves, except opening leaves, had disappeared. The page references are to the Western pagination, followed by the old pagination.
The same paper has been used throughout the volume. It is a thick, glossy, light-beige (darkened near the edges) paper with laid lines, single chain lines, and watermarks. The paper is greatly soiled by thumbing and with grime, and is waterstained near the edges. The edges have been repaired on several leaves.
The volume consists of 268 leaves. Item 1 (pp. 1-44) is the Mu‘alajat al-amrāḍ al-khaṭirah al-bādiyah ‘alá al-badan min khārij by Ibn al-Kattānī (MS A 91, item 1). Item 2 (p. 44) untitled and anonymous writing on foodstuffs (MS A 91, item 2); item 3 (p. 45) an untitled and anonymous collection of compound remedies (MS A 91, item 3); item 4 (pp. 46-91) is a therapeutic mujarrabat manual by Muḥammad ibn Khamrah (MS A 91, item 4); item 5 (pp. 91-96) an anonymous treatise titled Risālah fī khawāṣṣ al-panzahr (MS A 91, item 5); item 6 (pp. 97-103) contains recipes (MS A 91, item 6); item 7 (pp. 103-106) is an anonymous discourse titled al-Qawl fī faḍl al-fatīḥah (MS A 91, item 7); item 8 (pp. 106-109) an anonymous essay titled Ṣifat ma‘jūn nāfi‘ lil-ma‘idah (MS A 91, item 8); item 9 (pp. 110-119) is here catalogued; item 10 (pp. 120-182) an anonymous treatise Kitāb al-Khawāṣṣ (MS A 91, item 10); item 11 (pp. 183-188) on medicinal plants, untitled and anonymous (MS A 91, item 11); item 12 (pp. 189-253) on compound remedies (MS A 91, item 12); item 13 (pp. 254-262) is al-Jawhar al-fard fī mufākharat al-narjis wa-al-ward possibly by Abū al-Ḥasan ‘Alī ibn al-Musharraf al-Māridīnī (MS A 91, item 13); and the final item (pp. 262-268) are anonymous recipes (MS A 91, item 14).
At the lower right corner of p. 96 [old 110] there is an owner's inscription stating that the owner (sahibuhu wa-malikuhu) was al-Sayyid Muḥammad al-Ḥakīm.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda who acquired it from a dealer in Damascus, Syria (ELS 1700 Med. 31).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A91 item 2, p. 329. This item is not included.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-130, no. 1