Dāʼūd al-Ashkashī & Ḥusām al-Dīn al-Kātī (DA-UD AL-ASHKASI & HUSAM AL-DIN AL-KATI)

Arabic manuscript on cream paper, containing: [Dāʼūd al-Ashkashī :] supercommentary Ḥāshiyah ʻalá Sharḥ al-Marāḥ on Aḥmad Dīkqūz’s (15th c.) commentary on Aḥmad ibn Masʻūd’s (13th c.) grammatical treatise Marāḥ al-arwāḥ, on Arabic morphology. + [Ḥusām al-Dīn al-Kātī :] Commentary on Athīr al-Dīn al-Abharī’s (d. 1265) Īsāghūjī (Isagoge).

(Presumably Yemen), 1772.

4to. Bound in a contemporary full leather binding with flap. Boards and flap with blindtooled ornamentation. Spine worn and worn through at hinges. Back board loose at top 2/3, but still attached. A bit of worming to boards and overall signs of wear to leather. Internally well preserved, with occasional light discolouration.

170 ff. with numerous additional smaller pages of notes inserted throughout, several in different colours (pink and blue).

Text throughout is written in Naskh script, in a single column. Mostly written in black ink with occasional colorful highlights. Passages of core texts are overlined, generally in red but occasionally in black or green.

The first text varies between approximately 18 and 33 lines per page and is occasionally written diagonally (for example, fol. 31rv); the second is consistent at 9 lines per page with considerable interlinear notes. Portions of the text are copied by the primary scribe on smaller pages, for example ff. 70r-79v, to be distinguished from the small pages of notes that were likely inserted later.

The title and author of the first text are presented in attractive green and red calligraphy on f. 1r. The scribe’s name is also written in calligraphy on f. 1r and 126r, in addition to the colophon on f. 168v, but the name has been systematically erased in all three locations, for unknown reasons.

According to the colophon on f. 168v, the manuscript was copied on the first Friday of Rabi? al-Thani 1186 AH, equivalent to 3 July 1772 CE. As noted above, the scribe’s name has been erased. The style of the script and decorations suggest that it was most likely copied in or near Yemen.


Fol. 1r-126v: Da'ud al-Ashkashi’s supercommentary ?ashiyah ?alá Shar? al-Mara? on A?mad Dikquz’s (15th c.) commentary on A?mad ibn Mas?ud’s (13th c.) grammatical treatise Mara? al-arwa?, on Arabic morphology.

Fol. 129v-168v: ?usam al-Din al-Kati’s (d. 1358/9) commentary Shar? al-Isaghuji on Athir al-Din al-Abhari’s (d. 1265) Isaghuji.

Miscellaneous notes and poems appear on front and rear flyleaves, on pages between the two texts, in margins, between lines, and on small inserted pages. Many of these paratexts are in the hand of the primary scribe. The notes discuss numerous topics, but especially grammar and logic, the subjects of the two main texts. Marginal and interlinear notes generally comment on specific passages in the main text. A few notes, especially on fol. 128r, are in Turkish, attesting to Ottoman influence. The front pastedown has a short story or riddle about Muslims and nonbelievers on a ship.

Unrecorded Arabic manuscript containing two highly important treatises, the first of which is of the utmost scarcity (only three other manuscript copies of the work are known), and the other of which is of the utmost importance to the development of logic in the Arab world.

  1. Da'ud al-Ashkashi’s supercommentary “?ashiyah ?alá Shar? al-Mara?” on A?mad Dikquz’s (15th c.) commentary on A?mad ibn Mas?ud’s (13th c.) grammatical treatise “Mara? al-arwa?”, on Arabic morphology, is extremely rare, and the present manuscript is only the fourth known copy of the work known to exist. Being unrecorded, this manuscript contributes significantly to preserving an old Arabic work of logic and grammar that may otherwise have been lost and may very well shed new light on a text that is now extremely obscure.

The core texts are relatively well known, but al-Ashkashi’s work is extremely obscure. The spelling of his name is uncertain and virtually nothing is known about his life. There is one copy of this text in the Municipal Library of Alexandria (Egypt) and two at Princeton University (Incipit:????? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????? ????????), but so far, no scholars seem to have worked seriously with the work to determine what it may reveal.


  1. Husam al-Din al-Kati’s (d. 1358/9) commentary on Athir al-Din al-Abhari’s (d. 1265) “Isaghuji” (Isagoge) is a well-known, popular, and very influential commentary, of which several copies are known in institutions.

Although al-Abhari’s Isaghuji is often described as a commentary on Porphyry’s text, it is really more of an imitation, or a text in the same genre. This extremely influential commentary constitutes an introduction to logic in the style of Porphyrios’ famous “Isagoge” of Porphyry. Being extremely popular and influential, numerous manuscripts and supercommentaries of it are known. (Incipit: ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??????? ????? ?????? ????).

Not much is known about Husam-al-Din-Katia (who is sometimes referred to as al-Rumi) either, but we know he was a native Anatolian. Furthermore, it was his commentary (and glosses) on al-Abhari's Isagoge that became the most popular and the standard accompanying text throughout the Ottoman period.

“This work is a super-commentary or gloss on Athir al-Din al-Abhari (d. 663/1264 or 1265)’s Isaghuji, a brief collection of definitions of logic terms named after its inspiration, the Neoplatonist Porphyry (Furfuriyus, d. 309 AD)’s Isagoge. Abhari’s work which only covers the Categories of Porphyry’s work, served as the standard introductory text for the study of logic in madrasas across the Islamic world until modern times, with an emphasis on elementary semantics through the syllogism. Of the many commentaries and glosses on al-Abhari’s Isaghuji, ?üsamüddin ?asan el-Kati’s was one of the most popular, and continued to be the accompanying text by which al-Abhari’s Isaghuji was studied throughout the Ottoman period. In his autobiographical entry, Tasköprüzade mentions having studied the Isagoge via ?üsamüddin el-Kati (Hüsam-i Kati)’s commentary. Well known super glosses (?ashiya) on ?üsamüddin el-Kati’s commentary were produced by Mevlana ?araca A?mad (d. 854/1450) ???? ???? ??????Mu?yi al-Din Mu?ammad al-Barda?i (d. 927/1521) ???? ?? ???? ??????? and Mu?yi al-Din al-Taliji (al-Talishi) ??? ????? ??????? ??????? (?ashiya ?ala´ shar? ?usam al-Din al-Kati, ????? ??? ???? ????? ?????? , composed in the year 1085). These works tend to be bound together in manuscript codices.” (Uiversity of St. Andrews: The Islamisation of Anatolia).

The two works bound here on logic and grammar have clearly been thoroughly studied, both by the scribe, whose name has sadly been erased, and by later readers. The comments almost constitute a work in its own, and there may be much new material to be found here, for the serious scholar. This kind of supercommentary is extremely interesting and will reveal a lot about the development of logic in the Arab world over the numerous centuries that this supercommentary has come to cover - documenting an entire tradition of one of the most important disciplines from the middle ages.

As of now, the present manuscript remains univestigated, as do several of this type whose contents are not just straightforward.

Order-nr.: 60111

DKK 285.000,00