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Catalogue: General History

Blue arrow pointing to the right al-Dhararī fī abnā al-sarāarī   (MS A 35, item 5)
(The Offspring of the Sons of Concubines)
الدراري فى ابنا السراري
by Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūī (d. 1505/911)
جلال الدين السيوطى

The National Library of Medicine has a volume containing two short essays and ten maqāmahs by the 15th-century encyclopedist and scholar Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūī, a maqāmah being a type of rhymed prose. The manuscript at NLM (MS A 35) containing these essays and maqāmahs by al-Suyū is closely related to the Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, MS We. 193, copied about 1800, which contains copies, in precisely the same order, of all of these essays and maqāmahs.

Amongst the essays and maqāmahs in this volume is an essay on genealogy as it relates to the early Caliphs.

The essay has not been published in a modern translation or edition.

One other copy of the essay is recorded: Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, MS. We.193, fols. 8b-10b (Ahlwardt, Berlin, entry 9396).

al-Dhararī fī abnā al-sarāarī (MS A 35, item 5)

Physical Description

Arabic. 4 leaves (fols. 8b, line 11, to 11b, line 10). Dimensions 20.4 x 14.6 (text area 15.5 x 9.5) cm; 23 lines per page. The title is given at the start of the essay and on the title page for the volume (fol. 1a). The author's name is given at the end of the second item (fol. 4a lines 12-14) as Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūī, but on the title page (fol. 1a) and in the other individual items as: Jalāl al-Suyū. The title of the volume is given as Majmu‘at maqamat al-Suyū (A collection of maqāmahs by al-Suyū) in a recent owner's penciled label on the front endpaper.

The first twelve items in this volume appear to have been copied by the same scribe. In the colophon to the ninth item, it is stated that copyist Muammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-alwānī al-Shāfi‘ī completed the copy on 16 Ramadan 1001 [= 16 June 1593].

The text is written in a medium-small naskh script showing some North African influence using black ink with headings red. There is also red shading of some words; there are red teardrop text stops and catchwords. The text area is frame-ruled.

The biscuit, glossy paper has horizontal laid lines, single chain lines, and watermarks (initials). Fol. 43 is dyed yellow. The paper is waterstained, especially at the top of the volume, and it is soiled with thumbing. The edges have been trimmed from their original size.

The volume consists of 51 leaves and 1 end leaf. Fol. 1a is the title page for the entire volume. It contains three short essays and ten maqamahs (a type of rhymed prose), all by al-Suyūī. Item 1 (fols. 1b-2a) is Muannaf fī al-ghāliyah (MS A 35, item 1); item 2 (fols. 2a-4a) Nathl al-kattān fī al-kushknān (MS A 35, item 2); item 3 (fols. 4a-6a) al-Maqāmah al-fustuqīyah (MS A 35, item 3); item 4 (fols. 6a-8b) Narah fī aādīth al-mā’ wa-al-riyā (MS A 35, item 4); item 5 (fols. 8b-11b) al-Dhararī fī abnā al-sarāarī is here catalogued; item 6 (fols. 11b-14b) Maqāmah fī waf rawdah misr tasammá Bulbul al-rawah (MS A 35, item 6); item 7 (fols. 14b-18a) al-Maqāmah al-zumurrudīyah (MS A 35, item 7); item 8 (fols. 18a-22b) al-Maqāmah al-yāqūtīyah (MS A 35, item 8); item 9 (fols. 22b-30a) Manhal fī al-kunāfah wa-al-qaā'if (MS A 35, item 9); item 10 (fols. 30a-37a) Maqāmah al-rayāīn tasammá al-Maqāmah al-wardīyah (MS A 35, item 10); item 11 (fols. 37a-42a) al-Maqāmah al-miskīyah (MS A 35, item 11); item 12 (fols. 42a-50b) al-Maqāmah al-tuffā (MS A 35, item 12); and item 13 (fols. 51a-51b) Risālah fī al-khitān by al-Simillāwī (MS A 35, item 13). Fol. [1] at the end of the volume is blank but for small pious invocations; its paper is of later date.


The volume is bound in a red leather modern library binding. There are modern paper pastedowns and endpapers.


Various owner's signatures are on the title page (fol. 1a), including one by Ismā‘īl ibn Abī Bakr al-Kharrā al-anafī al-Dimashqī dated 1054 (= 1644-45) and Muammad ibn Sulayman al-Kanāfī (undated).

The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda (ELS 5043).


Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A35, p. 309 (the specific items are not itemized)

NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-119 no. 2

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