The opening of an Arabic translation the Tuhfat al-mu'minin, a popular Persian pharmacopoeia by Tunakābunī which he dedicated to Shah Sulayman, the Safavid ruler of Persia from 1666 to 1694. This translation was prepared by Mustafá Dars ‘Am Yusuf Zadah, known as al-Shirwani, who transcribed part of the copy himself and completed it on 2 Muharram 1166 (= 9 November 1752). No other copy is recorded.
Arabic. 414 leaves (fols. 1b-414a). Dimensions 21.5 x 16 (text area 16.5 x 10) cm; 21 lines per page. The title Mufradāt mu‘arrabah (The Simple Medicaments) is given in the colophon (fol. 414a, line 6); the title Tuḥfat al-mu’minīn is given on fol. 1b, line 8. The author Tunakābunī is named in the text (fol. 1b, line 9). The Arabic translator is identified (fol. 1b lines 6-7) as: Muṣṭafá Dars ‘Ām Yūsuf Zādah, known as (al-shahīr bi-) al-Shirwānī.
According to the colophon, the copy was completed on 2 Muharram 1166 (= 9 November 1752) by Dars ‘Ām Yūsuf al-shahīr bi-al-Shirwānī (fol. 414a, lines 9-10). The translator is apparently also the copyist. However, the hand noticeably changed at fol. 244b, and it is uncertain whether the first half of the volume is in the handwriting of the translator, or the second half.
Only one other copy of an Arabic translation of this popular Persian work is recorded, now in Tehran, and the translator is not named in that copy.
The text is written in a medium-small, somewhat awkward, naskh, using black ink with headings in red. The text area has been frame-ruled. On fol. 244b the hand changes though the paper remains consistent. There are catchwords. The copy is composed of 42 numbered quires of 10 folios each, except for the 7th quire which has only nine leaves and the last quire which has five leaves.
There are scattered marginalia. The folios were earlier numbered in Arabic numerals. The volume has been recently renumbered in Western numerals. Fols. 41-414 in the recent renumbering were numbered incorrectly with Arabic numerals as 51-426; in addition, numbers 80 and 424 were skipped in the earlier numbering.
The fairly thick, lightly-glossed, light-beige paper is yellowed near the edges. There are laid lines, single chain lines and watermarks. The paper is stained near the edges with damp and thumbing. Fols. 1 and 417 are guarded.
The volume consists of 417 leaves. Fols. 415ab and 416a are blank except for notes about the numerical value of the name 'Mustafá'. Recipes, pious statements, and miscellaneous notes have been added by a later hand to fols. 1a, 414b, 416b, and 417ab.
The volume is bound in blind-tooled red leather over pasteboard front and back covers and envelope flap. The covers and envelope flap have blind-stamped central ovate medallions with pendant and large blind-stamped floral corner pieces, surrounded by a fairly wide frame of single fillets filled with stamped leaves. The wide fore-edge flap has a similar decorative frame. The binding is much repaired with recent red leather. There are modern paper pastedowns and endpapers.
These is an undated owner's note for one Muḥammad, son of the deceased shaykh ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Shalhūbī(?) al-Zalzani (?).
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda who acquired it in Damascus (ELS 2362).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., A42, p.311.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-120 no.