• $4,500.00
    Unit price per 
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.


Manuscript, [probably Istanbul], AH 1022 = [1613].

Original manuscript in black and red ink on polished paper with watermark. Not bound. Housed in a fine modern full leather box with blind-tooled decorations on the front board. Written in naskh and ta’liq (on the last four pages) scripts. Cr. 8vo. (20 x 14 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters), Arabic, and Persian. 157 p. (79 leaves), hand-drawn tables, calendars, and the Solar System by Takiyuddin. Contemporarily, a brown paper strip was added to spine, and a continuing black ink stain from the beginning to the end on lower margins and upper edges, text is not affected, occasional foxing and stains on some pages, chipping extremities of last eight leaves. Otherwise, a very good copy with clean text and pages.  

A name written on the last page as “Merhûm Ibrahim Zevce[m]” [i.e., [My] Husband Ibrahim the Deceased], probably scripted by another hand (maybe the author's wife). Seemingly, the manuscript was dated in a drawing of the Solar System by the author as “1020 [AH]”, and one page later, in the calculations of the zodiac signs in 1022 [AH], we couldn’t see any date except for these both, also including not only a chronogram but also in Arabic numeral system. Marginalia accompanies the text often.

Extremely rare and significant original Ottoman manuscript including an attractive drawing of the Solar System observed by Takiyuddin which appeared immediately after his death. This manuscript written anonymously in the very early 17th century showing the eight planets around the Sun with many astronomical calculations as one of the earliest sources of its kind, as well as other various subjects: Registered sentences by Ottoman Sheikh al-Islâm Ibn Kemalpasazâde (1468-1536), recipes for some diseases and headache with other brief medical texts, magic, calendars of the spring months including very detailed important days and weeks for Islamic world such as festivals, feasts, holidays, etc., a long text about the history of Caliphs, Hadiths (Traditions), a text having differences of the famous letter of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1494-1566) to his one of the important governors Malkoçoglu Bali Beg (1495-1548), and a qasida written in ta’liq script as the last text gathered in the manuscript.


a. Tercümân-i beyânât-i ale'l icmâl [i.e., A guide to the declaration of obligations].

This chapter (pp. 1-10) consists of eleven subjects that describe dividing inheritances such as land, house, other properties, and money according to and based on the Islamic inheritance law. On the tenth (last) page, a marginal paragraph gives a potion recipe for headaches.

b. Istihrâç-i Kutbü'l Ârifîn es-Seyh Takiyuddîn Kuddesi Sirrehu'l Azîz el-Sultan Murad Han Aliyyeu'l Rahmet ve El-Hû [i.e., The Extraction by Sheikh Takiyuddin the Observer and the Great Scholar, to Sultan Murad the Deceased].

This chapter (pp. 11-14) includes a text about astronomy and astrology, also one of the earliest reappearing of a drawing of important Ottoman astronomer Takiyuddin’s Solar System with astronomical calculations. This attractive hand drawing shows the locations of eight planets with Earth around the Sun in AH 1020 [AD 1611] based on Takiyuddin’s Solar System. The next leaf contains the position of the zodiac signs in AH 1022 [AD 1613] according to the months and other astronomical calculations.

Takiyuddin (Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf ash-Shami al-Asadi) was an Ottoman polymath active in Cairo and Istanbul. He was the author of more than ninety books on a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, clocks, engineering, mathematics, mechanics, optics, and natural philosophy.

Takiyuddin made use of his new "observational clock" to produce a zij (named Culmination of Thoughts in the Kingdom of Rotating Spheres) more accurate than his predecessors, Tycho Brahe and Nicolaus Copernicus. Takiyuddin was also the first astronomer to employ a decimal point notation in his observations rather than the sexagesimal fractions used by his contemporaries and predecessors. He also made use of Al-Biruni's method of "three points observation". In The Culmination of Thoughts in the Kingdom of Rotating Spheres, Takiyuddin described the three points as "two of them being in opposition in the ecliptic and the third in any desired place on the ecliptic. He used this method to calculate the eccentricity of the Sun's orbit and the annual motion of the apogee, and so did Tycho Brahe and Copernicus shortly afterward, though Takiyuddin values were more accurate, due to his observational clock and other more accurate instruments.

In 1574, the Ottoman Sultan Murad III invited Takiyuddin to build an observatory in the Ottoman capital, Istanbul. Takiyuddin constructed instruments such as an armillary sphere and mechanical clocks that he used to observe the Great Comet of 1577. The empire's chief astronomer, Taqi ad-Din, petitioned the Sultan to finance the building of a great observatory to rival Ulugh Beg's Samarkand observatory. The Sultan approved, and construction was completed in 1577, at nearly the same time as Tycho Brahe's observatory at Uraniborg. In his observational work, Takiyuddin integrated the Damascus and Samarkand traditions of astronomy. His first task at the observatory was to undertake the corrections of the Ulug Bey Astronomical Tables. He also undertook various observations of eclipses of the sun and the moon. In September 1578, a comet appeared in the skies of Istanbul for one month; the staff of the observatory set to observe it ceaselessly day and night and the results of the observations were presented to the sultan. Takiyuddin was, as a result of the new methods he developed and the equipment he invented, able to approach his observations innovatively and produce novel solutions to astronomical problems. He also substituted the use of a decimally based system for a sexagesimal system and prepared trigonometric tables based on decimal fractions. He determined the ecliptic degree as 23º 28′ 40′, which is very close to the current value of 23º 27’. He used a new method in calculating solar parameters. In particular, he determined that the magnitude of the annual movement of the sun’s apogee was 63′. Considering that the value known today is 61’, the method he used appears to have been more precise than that of Copernicus (24 seconds) and Tycho Brahe (45 seconds).

Tragically, the observatory did not survive to advance the development of astronomy in the Muslim world. Within months of the observatory's completion, a comet with an enormous tail appeared in the sky and Sultan Murad III demanded a prognostication about it from his astronomer. "Working day and night without food and rest" Takiyuddin studied the comet and came up with the prediction that it was "an indication of well-being and splendour," and would mean a "conquest of Persia". Unfortunately, instead of splendour, a devastating plague followed in some parts of the empire, and several important people died. Astronomy was a respected and approved science among the Islamic clergy of the Ottoman Empire, yet the same could not be said regarding astrology, a field which is considered to be divination and thus against sharia. In order to prevent its further use for astrological purposes, they successfully sought the observatory's destruction. This happened just as the King of Denmark built an observatory for Tycho Brahe that would pave the way for Kepler's elucidation of the orbits of planets.

c. Hazâ kitab fetavâ-yi serîf be-Kemâl Pasazâde [i.e. This is the book of fetawas by Kemâl Pasazâde].

This is the longest chapter of the book including the important examples of fetawas by famous Ottoman Sheyk al-Islam, poet, and historian Ibn Kemâlpasazâde Semseddin Ahmed (1469-1534). The fetawas listed by categorizing the subject such as:

Bab-i Tahâret i.e., On cleaning]

Bab-i Nikâh [i.e., On wedding].

Bab-i Talâk [i.e., On talâq -divorce-]

Babü’l-Icâzet [i.e., On competence]

Babül’l-Da’vet [i.e., On jihad].

Kemalpasazâde's fatwas, which are one of his most important contributions to Islamic legal literature, are known today from some of the majmuas he wrote and also from copies by other scholars. Some decisive information in Middle Eastern and other Islamic law comes from him. Arab scholars adopted his legal views and sometimes criticized them.

Kemalpasazâde "authored around 200 works in Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. His works include commentaries on the Qur'an, treatises on hadith, Islamic law, philosophy and theology (kalam), logic, Sufism, ethics, history, several books on Arabic and Persian grammar, literature, and a small diwan of poetry." (Wikipedia).

d. [Calendars].

This chapter (pp. 81-92) consists of a total of twelve detailed calendars, three of which have been completed, and the templates for the other nine have been drawn and left blank. Completed calendars include the March, April, and May (Spring months), and the tables of the important days (festivals, feasts, holidays, etc.) for the Muslim world in Spring, astrological calculations, with some marginal notes containing periodic rains, weather events, what to do on which days, some mythological and scientific celestial events.

The other nine tables except for Spring are not completed, thus they are empty.

e. Qal Amîr al-Mu’minîn [i.e., The Caliphs].

This chapter (pp. 93-118) includes the history of the Chiefs and the Caliphs and their brief biographies after Umar ibn al-Khattab adopted this title. The rank ʾAmîr was used for Muslim military commanders during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad. It was, for example, borne by the Muslim commander at the Battle of al-Qadisiyya. On his accession in 634, the second caliph Umar (r. 634-644) adopted the title. The text is in completely Arabic.

f. Hadîs-i Erbâîn [i.e., The Forty Hadiths].

This chapter (pp. 119-125) is a compilation of the commentaries titled “Hadîs-i Erbâîn”, the common name of works containing forty hadiths on various subjects. The text is in completely Ottoman Turkish.

g. [Magical practices and medicine].

This chapter (pp. 127-146) includes magical practices through Qur’an, prayers, talismans, and formulas. Two hand-drawn “wafq” tables with magical arrangements of letters against the black magic in two different tables accompany the text on the right margin with other several marginal texts containing magical cures by prayers. Interestingly, the author mentions the magical practices and spells in the Ancient Greek civilization.

h. Gazi Sultan Süleyman hazretleri merhûm Gazi Bali Bey’e gönderdigi emr-i serîf sûreti budur [i.e., This is the form of Emr-i Serîf that His Majesty Gazi Sultan Suleiman sent to the Gazi Bali Bey (R.I.P.)”.

This chapter (pp. 147-151) includes the famous letter with a bit of different text. This is the text of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s famous and celebrated letter, in which he rejected the request of Governor Malkoçoglu for a flag symbolizing the increase in the level of power, in a style attributed to the historical significance of the power. The letter was written in the 16th century by the Sultan. 

i. [Taliq qasidah in Persian, Arabic, and Ottoman Turkish].

This is the last chapter (pp. 152-157) of a qasidah in taliq script, probably written by someone else after the author’s death. 

Overall, this historically important, rare, and early 17th century manuscript is a classic Islamic majmua of the period, with its style of bringing together different subjects. The author, whose name appears only at the end (Zevcem Ibrahim), must have written this collection in the fields in which he was educated, worked, and was curious. Apparently, the author, a 17th-century scholar, was interested in Fiqh, astronomy and astrology, medicine, and magic, and his name was noted by his wife at the end (colophon) of his collection, which he perhaps started during his classical Muslim education in the madrasah.

This period manuscript, which is extremely rare considering the rare early knowledge of the subjects it contains (especially for Takiyuddin's drawing of the Solar System), is well preserved.