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Manuscript/Mixed Material Sharḥ ʻalá Tashrīḥ al-aflāk lil-ʻĀmilī

About this Item


  • Sharḥ ʻalá Tashrīḥ al-aflāk lil-ʻĀmilī


  • Text consists of extracts from and commentary on Tashrīḥ al-aflāk by Bahāʼ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥusayn al-ʻĀmilī. Fol. 65b contains a list of book titles and a short story (scratched out) dated 1232 H [1816 or 17] and written in a second hand.
  • This manuscript contains an anonymous astronomical treatise that most likely was produced in the 18th or early 19th century. The only date preserved in the manuscript is 1232 AH (1816), which is found on the last written page (folio 65 verso), together with a list of book titles and a short note that appears to be crossed out. The terminus ante quem (latest possible date) for production of the manuscript is thus 1816. The note seems to have been written in a different, less elegant, and most likely later hand from that of the main text. Entitled Šarḥ 'alā tašrīḥ al-aflāk (The explanation on the Anatomy of the Heavens by al-'Āmilī), the work is based on the astronomical treatises written by Bahāʾ al-Dīn al-ʻĀmilī, a 16th-century polymath who was born in Lebanon and spent his life in Safavid Iran. An accomplished philosopher and theologian, al-'Āmilī is regarded as one of the first astronomers to consider the possibility of the positional rotation of the earth. This and other innovative ideas, which al-Āmilī developed autonomously from the Western tradition, were expressed in his work Tašrīḥ al-aflāk, the subject of the extensive commentary in the present manuscript. The treatise opens with a long introduction devoted mostly to invocations and prayers to the Creator of the Heavens and to the praise of Bahāʾ al-Dīn al-ʻĀmilī. The work is then divided into aqṭāb (singular quṭb, meaning pole or axis), each of which includes various sub-sections (fuṣūl, singular faṣl). The work is presented as a complete treatment of astronomical science, focusing in particular on the sun and the moon and their movements. The manuscript includes some explanatory drawings, such as the one that appears at folio 14 verso, but it seems that the illustrations are incomplete. Spaces on some of the folios (such as at folio 42 verso and 59 verso) were left blank, presumably intended for drawings that were never realized. World Digital Library.


  • milī, Bahāʼ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥusayn, 1547-1621
  • Khalīl, Muḥammad, former owner
  • Manṣūrī, Maḥmūd al-Imām, former owner
  • Mansuri Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • [17--?]


  • -  milī, Bahāʼ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥusayn,--1547-1621.--Tashrīh al-aflāk
  • -  Astronomy, Arab--Early works to 1800
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)


  • -  Binder's title.
  • -  Binding: modern cardboard covered with cloth; leather spine.
  • -  Fol. 1a-65b.
  • -  Illustrations: outer margin of leaf 14a.
  • -  Library of Congress. Mansuri Collection, 5-753.
  • -  Ms.
  • -  Nastaʻliq script; 17 lines in written area, 13 x 7 cm.
  • -  Paper: yellowed cream, no visible watermarks, in medium condition; termite damage. Black ink with some rubricated words; some underlining in black ink. Words missing in the text have been written in the outer margin. Catchwords on rectos.
  • -  Title on frontispiece lined out: Sharḥ Qānūn al-adrāk.
  • -  Undated ownership signature of Muḥammad Khalīl on title page. Another (partly illegible) stamp on fol. 65b.
  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress website.
  • -  Arabic.
  • -  Purchase of Mahmud al-Mansuri collection, 1945.
  • -  Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم تبارك الذي جعل في السماء بروجا وجعل فيها سراجا وقمرا منيرا. وهو الذي جعل الليل والنهار خلفة لمن أراد أن يذكر أو أراد شكورا ... وبعد فيا معشر الأحباب ويا زمرة أولى الألباب هذا سفير يدلكم على تجارة تنجيكم في نهاية الإدراك وفرائق حقير ينبهكم على حقايق قانون الإدراك ودقايق تشريح الأفلاك المنسوب إلي الشيخ الأعظم والحبر الأعلم ... الشيخ بهاء الدين رحمه الله ....


  • 65 leaves (17 lines), bound : paper : 20 x 13 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • QB23 .A4937 1700z

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2008427052

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Milī, Bahāʼ Al-Dīn Muḥammad Ibn Ḥusayn, Muḥammad Khalīl, Maḥmūd Al-Imām Manṣūrī, and Mansuri Collection. Sharḥ ʻalá Tashrīḥ al-aflāk lil-ʻĀmilī. [17--?] Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Milī, B. A. M. I. Ḥ., Khalīl, M., Manṣūrī, M. A. & Mansuri Collection. Sharḥ ʻalá Tashrīḥ al-aflāk lil-ʻĀmilī. [17--?] [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Milī, Bahāʼ Al-Dīn Muḥammad Ibn Ḥusayn, et al. Sharḥ ʻalá Tashrīḥ al-aflāk lil-ʻĀmilī. [17--?] Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.