Treatise on the pseudo-science of tasrif

Scope and Content

Fragmentary work without beginning or end concerning the manipulation of letters and names, written in clear Naskhi, Arabic, with Greek title on cover which is not relevant to the contents.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Ahmad al-Bistami (d.858/1454), mystic and occult author. He was born in Antioch and educated in Cairo. From there he travelled to Bursa in Turkey to work at the court of Sultan Murad II, to whom he dedicated several writings. He belonged to the Hurufi order of dervishes, and was particularly interested in the mystical significance of the letters of the alphabet. As well as occult subjects, he composed works on history and geography.

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Given by Sir John MacGregor Murray of Lanerick (1745-1822), catalogued by DM Dunlop.


Call number used to be ms PJ7836.A2

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Paper: 8.5" x 6".

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.