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Manuscript/Mixed Material Kharīdat al-ʻajāyib wa-tuḥfat al-gharāyib

About this Item


  • Kharīdat al-ʻajāyib wa-tuḥfat al-gharāyib


  • Kharīdat al-ʻAjā'ib wa Farīdat al-Gharā'ib (The perfect pearl of wonders and the precious pearl of extraordinary things) by Sirāj al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʻUmar Ibn al-Wardī (died 1457) is a compilation of texts on geography, natural history, and other subjects. The geographical texts constitute the bulk of the work. They list and describe different places, with emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa, although sections on China and Europe also are included. The geographical information presented varies greatly in quality, even for those regions that are central to the work. The author states, for example, that "Abyssinia and its lands face the land of Ḥijāz, there being a sea between them. The majority of [its people] are Christian, and it is an extensive land, stretching from the east of Nubia to its south. And they [i.e., the Abyssinians] are those who conquered Yemen before Islam, in the days of the Khosroes [i.e., the Sassanian rulers of Persia]." The account of Arḍ al-Furs (Persia) is considerably less detailed. It states that Persia consists of five provinces: "the first is Arjān, which is the smallest of the five, and which is called the province of Shāhpūr, the second Iṣṭakhr, and that which is attached to it, ... and the third is the province of Shāhpūr the Second, the fourth Shadhrawān, with its base at Shiraz, and the fifth is the province of Susa." The section on geography is followed by a considerably shorter section on natural history, in which the author presents the properties of rocks, gems, plants, fruits, seeds, and animals. Short anecdotal accounts relating to various other subjects follow, quoted from and generally attributed to works by other authors. The book concludes with a qaṣīdah (an elegiac ode) on the Day of Judgment. The manuscript contains two maps, of the Kaaʻba in Mecca and a circular map of the world. Near the center of the world map--fringed by the semi-circles of the legendary mountain range of qāf --are Mecca and Medina. Notable cities shown on the map include Constantinople (marked by a red crescent) and Baghdad (indicated by concentric circles, presumably alluding to the circular walls of Caliph al-Manṣūr). The same inaccuracies that occur in the text also are found in the world map, as for example in the placing of Ghazni on the shores of the Aral Sea. What appears to have been the colophon has been truncated, but the date of Jumādā al-ākhira 27, 1041 A.H. (January 1632) remains visible. World Digital Library.
  • Popular but unscientific account of geography and natural history; sometimes attributed to Zayn al-Din ʻUmar ibn al-Muẓaffar Ibn al-Wardī, died 1349.


  • Ibn al-Wardī, Sirāj al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʻUmar, -1457
  • Ibn al-Wardī, Zayn al-Dīn ʻUmar ibn al-Muẓaffar, -1349, attributed name

Created / Published

  • [15--?]


  • -  Geography--Early works to 1800
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Natural history--Pre-Linnean works


  • -  Brown leather, possibly 18th century.
  • -  Folio 96a has a reading note: ... [Ḥu]sayn ibn Safar ... sābiʻ ʻishrīn [Jumad]á al-ākhir sanat 1041 ...
  • -  Folios 1a-96a.
  • -  Library of Congress. Arabic manuscript, SM-3.
  • -  Manuscript.
  • -  Multi-colored circular map on leaves 6b-7a showing the world with Mecca as the center; leaf 28b has a circular drawing in red and black showing the directions of prayer with the image of the Kaʻabah in gold and black ink in the center.
  • -  Naskhī script; 25 lines in written area 15.5 x 10.3 cm.
  • -  Paper: light cream colored European laid paper; horizontal chain lines with no visible watermarks; rubrication; some section headings in red and mustard color ink; catchwords on versos.
  • -  Probably written in Egypt.
  • -  Scribe not identified.
  • -  Title from folio 1a.
  • -  EI (2nd ed), v. 3, p. 966
  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress website.
  • -  Arabic.
  • -  Colophon: والوزن بالقسط والاعمال قد ظهرت ... تم الكتاب المبارك المسمو الخريدة.
  • -  Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وبه نستعين. قال لا يعلم من في السموات والارض الغيب الا الله الحمد لله غافر الذنب قابل التوب شديد العقاب عالم الغيب ...


  • 96 leaves (25 lines) bound : paper ; 20 x 14.5 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • G93 .I17 1500z

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2013415532

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:

Ibn Al-Wardī, Sirāj Al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʻUmar, -1457, and Zayn Al-Dīn ʻUmar Ibn Al-Muẓaffar Ibn Al-Wardī. Kharīdat Al-ʻajāyib Wa-Tuḥfat Al-Gharāyib. [15--?] Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Ibn Al-Wardī, S. A. A. Ḥ. ʻ. & Ibn Al-Wardī, Z. A. ʻ. I. A. Kharīdat Al-ʻajāyib Wa-Tuḥfat Al-Gharāyib. [15--?] [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Ibn Al-Wardī, Sirāj Al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʻUmar, -1457, and Zayn Al-Dīn ʻUmar Ibn Al-Muẓaffar Ibn Al-Wardī. Kharīdat Al-ʻajāyib Wa-Tuḥfat Al-Gharāyib. [15--?] Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.