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El-Hac Muharrem Efendi Matbaasi, Istanbul, AH 1294 Ramazan Evâhîri [i.e., Late October 1877].

Original fine full brown leather in Ottoman style with fore-edge flap, blind tooling to covers and a shemse [i.e. mystical sun] on front and back boards with a decorative blind tooled frame. Folio. (32 x 23 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 15, 534 p., many astronomical b/w plates. A bit rubbed and wear to boards, repaired spine. Foxing on pages, stains on the 90th leaf, small tears, and chippings on extremities. Overall, a very good copy.

Scarce early Istanbul edition of this important Islamic source originally written in 1757 by Muslim scholar Ibrahim Haqqi Erzurûmî. This significant work is considered as one of the earliest examples reflecting the effort to change the scholastic mentality of the period in the Islamic world.

“Marifetname is a first in the explanation of observational astronomy of the Solar System by a scholar in a book.” (Wikipedia).

The Marifetnâme, or the Book of Gnosis is a significant Islamic text which was formed as an early Islamic encyclopaedia including a fine compilation and commentary of mathematics, anatomy, astronomy, astrology, psychology, philosophy, and Islamic mysticism. It is famous for containing the first treatment of post-Copernican astronomy by a Muslim scholar. It contains Sufi knowledge along with a wide range of general scientific and encyclopaedic knowledge. Completed in 1757, the book was written in the language of the layman. According to the author, it was compiled from 400 books in various subjects.

The book consists of six main chapters including an index, preface (hamdala ve salwala), three major chapters and an afterword, each chapter divided into subsections. The first part describes the existence and oneness of God, mystic texts, surahs and ayahs with mystic drawings of circles, then describes simple and compound bodies, mines, plants and finally man. Astronomy, geometry, mathematics, and medicine are the scientific subjects involved in the encyclopaedia.

The first illustrations depict the Sirat bridge and the gates of Heaven with its seven spheres. And then, respectively, the circle of levels of being perfect human (Insân-i Kâmîl), some successive tables of fractional accounting, geometric figures such as prism, sphere, cylinder, etc., the Earth, the Moon and the Sun and their some locations, interesting architectural drawings to build minarets of mosques, nine levels of the skies in one sphere based on Islamic principles, a couple of spheres of the Zodiacs, a table of the Zodiacs, positions of the Earth and the Zodiacs in the sky, phases of the Moon, Earth's movement around the Sun, the Planets, various positions of the Solar and Lunar Eclipses, two full-paged tables of the coordinates of the Moon and the Zodiacs, three full-paged tables including the Hegira, Roman and Gregorian calendars with numeral values, and some astronomical and astrological coordinates, etc.

Özege 12259/6.; As of May 2024, we couldn’t trace any copies of this edition in OCLC and KVK. A lot of institutional holdings for earlier and later editions.