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Walters Ms. W.615, One hundred sayings

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One hundred sayings

Text title
Ṣad kalimah-i Amīr al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī

Vernacular: صد كلمه امير المؤمنين علي


Authority name: ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Caliph, ca. 600-661

As-written name: ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib

Name, in vernacular: علي بن ابي طالب

Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: d. 40 AH / 661 CE


As-written name: Rashīd al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Balkhī al-Vaṭvāṭ (Waṭwāṭ)

Supplied name: Rashīd al-Dīn al-Vaṭvāṭ (d. ca. 578 AH / 1182 CE)

Name, in vernacular: رشيد الدين محمد البلخي الوطواط

Note: Author name supplied by cataloger


This illuminated copy of One hundred sayings, referred to as Mi’at kalimah in Arabic and Ṣad kalimah in Persian and attributed to the fourth caliph of Islam, ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40 AH / 661 CE), contains a Persian paraphrase (dubayt) by Rashīd al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Balkhī, known as al-Vaṭvāṭ (Waṭwāṭ) (d. ca. 578 AH / 1182 CE). The manuscript was completed in Iran sometime in the ninth century AH / fifteenth CE. The sayings of `Ali in Arabic are written in blue muḥaqqaq and gold thuluth scripts, and the Persian verses are written in black naskh scripts. The codex opens with an illuminated titlepiece inscribed in white tawqī script (fol. 1b). The dark brown goatskin binding with central lobed medallion and pendants and doublures with filigree decoration may date to the ninth or tenth century AH / fifteenth or sixteenth CE.


9th century AH / 15th CE







Literary -- Prose

Literary -- Poetry


The primary language in this manuscript is Arabic. The secondary language of this manuscript is Persian.

Support material


Cream laid paper; gold-flecked


Foliation: i+18+i

Flyleaf at end of codex a stub


Catchwords: None


14.5 cm wide by 21.0 cm high

Written surface

9.5 cm wide by 13.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 9
  3. Framing lines in gold, black, and blue; Arabic and Persian texts arranged in alternating rectangular panels; Persian verses divided into two columns

fols. 1b - 18a:
  1. Title: Ṣad kalimah-i Amīr al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī
  2. Authors: ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Caliph, ca. 600-661; Rashīd al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Balkhī al-Vaṭvāṭ (Waṭwāṭ)
  3. Incipit: بهترين كلام دانى جنيست * ...
  4. Hand note: Sayings of `Ali in Arabic written in blue muḥaqqaq and gold thuluth scripts; Persian verses written in black naskh script; title of work written in white tawqī script (fol. 1b); all scripts vocalized
  5. Decoration note: Illuminated titlepiece with polychrome floral decoration in rectangular pieces (fol. 1b); framing lines in gold, black, and blue; gold-flecked paper; polychrome floral motifs flanking Persian verses


fol. 1b:

  1. W.615, fol. 1b
  2. Title: Illuminated incipit page with titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Label: This opening decorated page has an illuminated headpiece with the title of the work in tawqī script executed in white ink on a gold background. The text begins with the doxological formula (basmalah) in black muḥaqqaq script outlined in gold, followed by two Persian verses in black naskh script. Following is an Arabic line written in gold thuluth script outlined in black. The Arabic text is again followed by two Persian verses inscribed in black naskh.


The binding is not original.

May date to the ninth or tenth century AH / fifteenth or sixteenth CE; dark brown goatskin (with flap); central lobed oval and pendants brushed with gold; red leather doublures with filigree decoration and central lobed oval; half-oval for flap


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Brockelmann, Carl. Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (New York; Köln: E.J. Brill, 1996), 1: 39; S1: 486.


Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Jewell, Stephanie; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Barrera, Christina; Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Simpson, Shreve; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.