The poet and highly-placed administrative secretary in Isfahan, al-Ṭughrā’ī was also a well-known and prolific writer on astrology and alchemy.
His most famous alchemical book was a large treatise incorporating extracts from earlier writers, Mafatih al-rahmah wa-masabih al-ḥikmah, though he composed a considerable number of other treatises on the topic, including Kitāb Haqa'iq al-istishhad, a rebuttal of a refutation of alchemy written by Ibn Sīnā which al-Ṭughrā’ī composed in 1112/505.
NLM possesses a short, otherwise unrecorded, treatise (MS A 65, item 2) titled Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah, possible related in some way to the larger Mafatih al-rahmah wa-masabih al-ḥikmah, as well as three untitled extracts from unspecified writings by al-Ṭughrā’ī (MS A 70, items 11, 16, and 21).
For a list of his alchemical writings, see Ullmann, Natur, pp. 252-3.
This otherwise unrecorded, short alchemical treatise with the title Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah, may by an extract from or related to his famous alchemical compendium having a similar title: Kitaf Mafatih al-rahmah wa-masabih al-ḥikmah. On the other hand, a comparison of the NLM copy of Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah with a copy of his well-known compendium Kitab Mafatih al-rahmah wa-masabih al-ḥikmah (London, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, MS Arabic 21) did not reveal any identical portions.
No other copy has been identified.
Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah ( MS A 65, item 2)
The beginning of an otherwise unrecorded copy of an alchemical treatise of al-Ṭughrā’ī, a famous alchemist of the early 12th century. His name is given in the first line, along with the title Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah (The Key of Wisdom). The copy was completed by Muḥammad Ṣādiq ibn Muṣṭafá al-Anṭākī al-Istanbūlī al-Ḥanafī in the month of Jumadá I 1123 (= March-April 1712).
Arabic. 4 leaves (fols. 148b-151a). Dimensions 20.7 x 14 (text area 15.4 x 8.7) cm; 17 lines per page. The title Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah is given in the first line of fol. 148b, where the author is given as al-Ṭughrā’ī. At the end of the short treatise (fol. 151a, line 10) the title and author are given again as Miftāḥ al-ḥikmah li-l-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī al-Ṭughrā’ī.
The text is written in a medium-small naskh script, using black ink with headings in red and red overlinings. The text is written within a frame of single red ink lines. There are catchwords. The folios have been numbered, incorrectly, in Arabic numerals, recently renumbered in Western numerals.
The volume consists of 151 leaves and 7 preliminary leaves of similar paper. Preliminary fol. [1a] is blank except for contents notes and owners' notes in a much later hand. Preliminary fols. [1b-7a] contain a table of contents in tabular format written in a later hand. Prelim fol. [7b] to fol. 148a (item 1) is the commentary Sharḥ Dīwān al-shudhūr by Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Anṣārī (MS A 65, item 1). Folios 148b-151a (item 2) contain the otherwise unrecorded short alchemical treatise by al-Ṭughrā’ī here catalogued.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library apparently from A. S. Yahuda.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A 65, pp. 318-9. This item is not described.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-125 no. 2