The Ikhtiyārāt-i Badī‘ī is a comprehensive pharmacopoeia of simple and compound remedies composed in Persian in 1368-8 (770 H) by ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Anṣārī Shirazī, known as Ḥājjī Zayn al-‘Aṭṭār. It was apparently composed for the Muzaffarid princess (Malikah) Badī‘ al-Jamal, who is named in the title of the treatise but of whom very little is known.
The treatise is in two parts: the first section (maqalah) presents medicaments in alphabetical order in 28 chapters (babs). The second section is a formulary of compound remedies, arranged in 16 chapters according to type, such as cordials, digestives, infusions, collyria, and so forth.
This pharmacopoeia was clearly very popular, as over 80 manuscript copies are known to be preserved. For other copies, see Storey PL II,2, pp. 221-2; Richter-Bernburg, "UCLA", p. 33; F.R. Maddison and E. Savage-Smith, Science, Tools & Magic [Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, 12] (London: Azimuth Editions and Oxford: University Press, 1997), pp. 36-39 item 10, MS 973, copied and illustrated in 1648/1058; and Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Library Society, copy dated 1492 (unpublished). There are 11 copies in Los Angeles, University of California, Bio-Medical Library, Coll. 117 (Richter-Bernburg, "UCLA", nos. 20-30), and 15 copies in London, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine (Keshavarz, "Wellcome", pp. 257-61, no. 124).
The text has been published: ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Anṣārī Shirazī [Ḥājjī Zayn al-‘Aṭṭār], Ikhtiyārāt-i Badī‘ī, ed. by Muhammad Taqi Mir (Tehran, 1993). The NLM copy was not employed in this edition.
Ikhtiyārāt-i Badī‘ī (MS P 9)
The colophon from a copy of the Ikhtiyārāt-i Badī‘ī, a pharmacopoeia of simple and compound remedies composed in Persian in 1368-8 (770 H) by Ḥājjī Zayn al-‘Aṭṭār. According to the colophon, the copy was completed in the month of Jumadá I 1051 (= September 1641) by an unnamed copyist.
Persian. 209 leaves (fols. 2b-210a). Dimensions 24 x 17 (text area 17.5 x 12) cm; 21 lines per page. The author is named on fol. 2b, line 16, as ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Anṣārī, known as (al-mushtahar bi-) Ḥājjī Zayn al-‘Aṭṭār. The title is given at the beginning of the treatise (fol. 3a, line 16) and the beginning of the section (fol. 178b [old 177b] line 1).
The copy is dated in the colophon (fol. 210a) and at the end of the first section (fol. 178a [old 177a]): Jumadá I 1051 (= September 1641). The copyist is not named.
A complete copy; the second section (maqalah) begins on fol. 178b [old 177b]. The text is written in a careful and professional, compact, nasta‘liq script using black ink with headings in red. There are catchwords (some missing).
The pale biscuit, semi-glossy paper is fairly thin and is fibrous with some inclusions. There are wavy vertical laid lines; no chain lines are visible. The paper is slightly waterstained. The edges have been trimmed from their original size.
The volume consists of 214 folios. Fols. 1a-2a and 210b-214b have miscellaneous notes, recipes, magic squares, and amuletic designs, written in different hands.
The volume is bound in reddish-tan leather over pasteboards, with blind-stamped medallions and two smaller devices (each thinly edged in gilt) in the center of each cover surrounded by a blind-tooled double frame, one part of which is filled with blind tooled braiding. There are bright-green paper pastedowns. The endpapers are not contemporary with the manuscript and are blank except for penciled catalogue notes.
It was in the collection of the Army Medical Library in 1946; provenance unknown.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., p. 332, where the date of copying is given as Jumadá II 1051.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-132 no. 4