• Short Summary

    The National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi has recently acquired two unique manuscripts. One is?

  • Description

    The National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi has recently acquired two unique manuscripts. One is a Persian translation of "Azkar-i-Imam Nabavi" and the other, of even greater antiquarian interest, is the 350-??? "Mantiqu Al-Tair" - the most valuable document purchased by the museum in recent years.

    "Mantiq Al-Tair" is a well-known persian poem. It was written by the mystic post Farid Ud-Din 'Attar in the late twelfth century. The "Mantiq" - which means "Language of the Birds" - describes, allegorically, the religious experience of the Moslem Sufis and their quest for their king, the mythical simburgh or Phoenix.

    What makes this richly-decorated manuscript so interesting is that it had been in the Royal Mughal Library in Agra, in Northern India), where it was read by several of the Mughal (Mogul) Emperors. The words "Arz-Dida Shud" appear thirteen times on the first page of the manuscript, showing that the poem was read that many times by various Emperors. This copy of the "Mantiq", transcribed in 1566 A.D., is fairly well preserved, although it has had several owners in its 400-year history. The museum purchased the work for 25,000 rupees (about 1,100 pounds sterling) - the highest amount yet paid by the museum authorities for any manuscript.

    The other work is the "Azkar-i-Imam Nawavi". It is a Persian translation of the work, dedicated to a fourteenth century King. The seals and endorsements of the Royal Librarians in Agra, gives the manuscript added interest.

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