This is a comprehensive discourse on compound remedies, divided into an introduction (muqaddamah), 20 chapters (maqalahs) and a conclusion (khatimah). The title of the treatise, ‘Ilāj al-amrāḍ, has been interpreted as a chronogram - that is, the numerical values of the letters forming the title (according to the Abjad system of letter numerals) yields the sum of 1177. If that is taken as the year of composition, then the treatise was written in AD 1763-4. The copy now at NLM appears, however, to be the earliest recorded copy.
The NLM copy appears to be a presentation copy, but one which has many marginal annotations. An impression of his personal stamp is found on a preliminary leaf where it is impressed beneath a formal document. The stamp is a large square one giving the name Ḥakīm Muḥammad Sharīf Khān and the date 1199 (= 1784-85).
It is possible that this document bearing his stamp is a certification that the copy was made as a presentation copy, possibly to the Mughal emperor Shah ‘Alam II, who ruled from 1759-1806 (1173-1221 H). The document - which has not yet been fully analyzed - ends by saying that it was drawn up in the 44th year of the reign of ‘Alam. The 44th year of Shah ‘Alam's reign would have been 1216 H (= 1801), the same year in which the present copy of the treatise was completed.
‘Ilāj al-amrāḍ (MS P 10)
The illuminated opening of a copy made during a one year period, Rabi‘ II 1215 to Rabi‘ II 1216 (August 1800 to September 1801) of the comprehensive treatise on compound remedies (‘Ilāj al-amrāḍ) by Ḥakīm Muḥammad Sharīf Khān, who died in either 1805/1220 or 1816/1231.
Persian. 300 leaves (fols. 1b-300b). Dimensions 32 x 21.2 (text area 24.8 15.5) cm; 19 lines per page. The title is given in the text (fol. 2b line 13) and on the spine. The author's name is given on fol. 2a, line 19, and on prelim fol. a line 2 as Ḥakīm Muḥammad Sharīf Khān. His name is written on spine as: Ḥakīm Muḥammad Salim Sharīf Khān.
The copy has an accompanying document (prelim fol. [8a]) written in the 44th year of the reign of Shah ‘Alam II, that is 1216 H (= 1801) and bearing the personal stamp of the author. It is possible that this copy was intended as a presentation copy to that Mughal emperor. The stamp at the bottom of the document is a large square one giving the name Ḥakīm Muḥammad Sharīf Khān and the date 1199 (= 1784-5).
On fol. 1b there is an illuminated headpiece executed in opaque watercolors (blue, red, pink, white), ink and gold.
The thin, cream, slightly glossy, paper has only slight visible laid lines. Some leaves have been trimmed; many of the leaves have been damaged and repaired. The paper is worm-eaten and damp-stained.
The volume consists of 303 leaves and eight prelimlinary leaves. Fol. 1a is blank except for impressions of owner's stamps and various owner's notes, including two in an Indian script. On preliminary folios [4b-7a] there is a table of contents written be a later hand. The other preliminary leaves are blank except for owners' notes and stamps and. on prelim , penciled notes on the numerical values of letters and the contents, and on prelim fols. [2a] and [3a] unlabelled geometrical drawings. Fols. 301-303 are blank except for later drawings of lines and circles.
The volume is bound in a relatively modern binding incorporating older covers of dark-brown leather with blind-stamped central medallions and four corner designs. The later spine has the title, author, and the date stamped in gilt in Arabic and in the Latin alphabet. There are modern endpapers and pastedowns.
The copy was possibly owned by the author, or examined and collated by him before it was apparently given as a presentation copy. An impression of his personal stamp is found on prelim fol. a beneath a document, beginning with his name, saying that the copy was corrected and written in the 44th year of the reign of Shah ‘Alam II (that is, 1216 = 1801). The stamp is a large square one giving the name Ḥakīm Muḥammad Sharīf Khān and the date 1199 (= 1784-5).
On prelim fol. [4a] there is the impression of a rectangular owner's stamp (not deciphered) and notes giving the dates of 27 Jumadá I 1219 (= 3 September 1804), 11 Jumadá 1221 (= 27 July 1806), and 28 Shawwal 1221 (= 8 January 1807). On prelim fol. [1a] there is an undated note of transfer of ownership from the deceased al-Sayyid Ḥusayn al-ṭabīb [the physician]; this same note is repeated on fol. 1a. Fol. 1a also has impressions of two large square owner's stamps, the large one dated 1313 (=1895) and having the name al-malik Shams al-Dawlah Najm Aḥmad Ghulay-Khān Sawlat Beg [??], and the smaller dated the same year, 1313 (= 1895), bearing the name Jalāl al-Dawlah Aḥmad Ghulay-Khān Bahādurī ..[?]. On the same folio there are also sequences of dated owners' notes extending from the year 1221 to 1229 (= AD 1806-1813).
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda, who acquired it from a dealer in Luchnow, India (now Pakistan) (ELS 1607 med. 10).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry P 10, pp. 322-3.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-132 no. 5