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Catalogue: Pharmaceutics

Blue arrow pointing to the rightMulaffaq min al-Bayān   (MS A 87, item 3)
(A Compilation Taken from al-Bayan)
ملفق من البيان
[Abū ‘Alī Yayá ibn ‘Īsá Ibn Jazlah]
[ابو على يحيى ابن عيسى ابن جزله]


Folio 54b from MS A 87 which begins Ibn Jazlah's Mulaffaq min al-Bayān  (A Compilation Taken from al-Bayan). The ivory paper is thick and stiff, with visible vertical laid lines and single chain lines. The text is an inelegant medium-large naskh script using black ink with headings in red and red overlinings. There are notes in the top, right and bottom margins.
MS A 87 fol. 54b

The opening folio of an anonymous compilation on material medica said to be taken from al-Bayān, presumably a reference to the popular pharmaceutical compendium Minhaj al-Bayān by Ibn Jazlah (d. 1100/493). The copy is highly annotated. It is undated and unsigned but appears to have been made in the 18th century.

Physical Description

Arabic. 11 leaves (fols. 54b-64b). Dimensions 23.2 x 15.8 (text area 17.8 x 11.5) cm; 22-3 lines per page. On folio 54b the title is given as Mulaffaq min al-Bayān (A Compilation Taken from al-Bayan). No author of the compilation is given, and it is possible that it refers to another writer, Ibn Abi al-Bayān (d. 1240/638). However, since Ibn Jazlah's treatise is often referred to simply as al-Bayān ('The Explanation'), it seems likely that it is his treatise from which this was extracted. A precise alignment, however, has not yet been established.

The copy is undated. The general appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggests a date of the 18th century.

The extract consists mostly of recipes accompanied by marginalia that essentially form a commentary. Most of the text is written by the same person who transcribed the previous item. It is an inelegant medium-large naskh script using black ink with headings in red and red overlinings. On the last folio, however, the hand changes slightly; it is a similar, but smaller, hand with 26 lines per page. There are catchwords.

There are copious marginalia filling nearly all the margins, mostly in the same hand as the copyist.

The ivory paper is thick and stiff, with visible vertical laid lines and single chain lines (no evident watermarks). It is damp stained and soiled through thumbing.

The volume consists of 186 leaves. It is a mixed volume with 18 different items in it, copied by at least two different copyists. Item 1 (fols. 1a-3b) is an anonymous alchemical fragment (MS A 87, item 1), item 2 (fols. 4a-54a) is the abridgement of a treatise called al-Bayān by Ibn Jazlah (MS A 87, item 2), and item 3 (fols. 54b-64b) extracts from al-Bayān [by Ibn Jazlah] here catalogued. Item 4 (fols. 65b-68a) is an anonymous, untitled essay on stones (MS A 87, item 4), item 5 (fols. 68b-74a) an anonymous collection of therapeutic procedures (MS A 87, item 5), and item 6 (fols. 74a-75b) on regimen for infants, extracted from Kitāb al-Bayān [? Ibn Jazlah] (MS A 87, item 6). Item 7 (fols. 76a-96b) is the anonymous treatise on materia medica (MS A 87, item 7); item 8 (fols. 97a-100a) an anonymous tract on medicinal oils (MS A 87, item 8), and item 9 (fols. 100b-121a) a magical-medical treatise by Ibn Tūmart al-Maghribī (MS A 87, item 9). Item 10 (fols. 121b-125a) is an anonymous alphabetical list of medicaments (MS A 87, item 10), and item 11 (fols. 125b-140b) is the commentary on an identified "poem on the principles of the art of medicine" (MS A 87, item 11). Item 12 (fols. 140b-142a) contains selections from Kitāb al-āwī fī ‘ilm al-tadāwī by Najm al-Din al-Shirazi (MS A 87, item 12), and item 13 (fols. 142b-157b, 159a-172a) is an untitled anonymous treatise in five chapters on medicine, magic, and divination (MS A 87, item 13). Item 14 (fols. 172b-174a) is an anonymous tract on divination (MS A 87, item 14), item 15 (fols. 174b-175a) untitled extracts from medical writings (MS A 87, item 15), and item 16 (fols. 175a-181b) is an anonymous astrological treatise (MS A 87, item 16). Item 17 (fols. 182a-184b) is an anonymous treatise titled Dā'ir muibb fī ‘ilm al-ibb , on magical medicine (MS A 87, item 17), while the final item, item 18 (fols. 185a-186b), is an anonymous essay on the numerical values of letters and magic squares (MS A 87, item 18).


The volume is bound in pasteboards covered with brown leather, over which light-brown paper has been placed on the covers. There is a recent brown leather spine. The paper pastedowns are contemporary with the manuscript and are covered with miscellaneous notes.


There is an owner's signature dated 1268 [= 1851-2] on fol. 3b of the volume, and there are several owners' notes on fol. 4a, none apparently dated.

The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda, who acquired it from a dealer in Sanaa, the Yemen (ELS 2369).


Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., pp. 326-7 entry A87 (this item not described).

NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-129 no. 4

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