Diwan of 'Umar ibn al-Farid

Scope and Content

Diwan of 'Umar ibn al-Farid, a modern copy apparently copied by William Tweedie, completed in 1890, in Arabic. Headings in red, bound in red leather. Diwan written on only one side of the folio, like others copied by Tweedie, probably to put a commentary on the other side; otherwise this feature is very unusual.

Administrative / Biographical History

General William Tweedie (1836-1908) was the son of Rev William King Tweedie, an alumnus of St Andrews University. He served in the Bengal Staff Corps, was Political Resident in Turkish Arabia and H.M.'s Consul-General at Baghdad. He wrote The Arabian Horse, his Country and People, with Portraits of Typical or Famous Arabians and Other Illustrations (1894), a study of the Arabian horse and the Arab people, written while in Baghdad between 1885-1891.

'Umar ibn al Farid (1181-1235), a Egyptian poet whose expression of Sufi mysticism is regarded as the finest in the Arabic language. He initially studied law as had his Syrian father, but felt called to the religious life, living in solitude and meditating in the Muqattam hills near Cairo, where his tomb is a pilgrimage site today. He also spent some years in Mecca. His poetry combines classical Arabic forms with Islamic mysticism; his best known poems are the Wine Ode, a meditation on divine love as well as an appreciation of wine, and the Poem of the Sufi Way, one of the longest Arabic poems in existence, deals with issues confronting those seeking the Sufi path.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Part of the Tweedie Collection, catalogued by DM Dunlop.


Call number used to be msPJ7741.U6

Other Finding Aids

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

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.