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GMS 101
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ID: GMS 101

Record Information

Manuscript number: GMS 101
Title: Poems mostly for religious occasions, such as birth, death, circumcisions
Subjects: Arabic language -- Poetry; Poetry
General: Auckland Libraries would like to acknowledge and thank Majid Daneshgar who was instrumental in cataloguing this manuscript as the ALHT Researcher in Residence scholar in 2017. We would also like to thank the Auckland Library Heritage Trust for making this possible.
Auckland Libraries is also grateful to Arkan Kazal for his assistance in cataloguing this manuscript.
Language: Arabic
Physical description: 60 leaves ; 22 cm. Fragile
Collection: Grey manuscripts
Finding aid: Inventory: 'Middle Eastern and Islamic manuscripts held at Sir George Grey Special Collections Auckland Libraries New Zealand'. Compiled and edited by Majid Daneshgar (


This manuscript contains religious poetry which is meant to be sung. The text is in black and red, within borders of red rule. The use of red text indicates a shift to a different mode of singing. It is written to be read as the pages unfold, i.e. vertically.

A note on the wrapper explains possible content and reads: ‘Arabic rhymes & poetry. Its general subject is (1) Songs on love and affection (2) Discription of Mohamed’s attributes & supremecy over all human beens’.

Refer to translation for commentary on an extract from section 2.

The author may be Shayk ‘Abdul Qadir Fahal al-Shijya’ (refer pages 13-14), but this is not definite and may actually be the name of the scribe. On page 37, the writer refers to himself as the qutub (Pole), a term used to describe Sufis who have obtained a high degree of spirituality. So it is possible that the scribe is not the author of the poetry.

The location the manuscript was created is probably the Arabian Peninsula, however the exact date remains unknown, although the wrapper has a date of 1879 written on it, so at least prior to this.

The manuscript is in a clear script, is not bound and has had repairs, probably historical, to some pages. It is very fragile. Pagination has been added subsequent to its creation, probably by Auckland Library staff.

Select extracts have been translated. Digital images of these extracts are available.

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Transcription of this record is not available.

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[Selected extracts only]

Extract 1

Each of our five fingers tells a story of good news and a promise. So, look: the index is Siddiq (Abu Bakr) and the middle is Farouk (Umar) Uthman is the ring finger and the pinky is Haydar (Ali - the Lion) The thumb is the seal of the messengers - Muhammad - he is nothing except a prophet most pure Intercessor - Messenger of God, and our shelter - my qibla (whose) religion is most exalted and renowned

Extract 2

You are the beloved, the one chosen and perfected You are refined, the one contented and celebrated You are the orator, our exemplar, in whom hope has resided

Extract 3

This is my love the disapproval of others bothers me not This is my deen, the end to which I strive Even my ordeal within it is an ecstasy, and it would be a sin to abandon this love No one was more enamoured by this religion than me, even the love of Qais cannot be compared to my love of this deen

Extract 4

O you without fault, in our hearts you rule The abode in which you dwell needs no lamp And when you visit, the sick receive God’s help The countries in which you reign are free from misrule And any eyes in which you look turn into gems of delight Your lighted face is our longing tonight

Extract 5

[Commentary The poet provides a description of Muhammad’s character (e.g.) generous, patient, intelligent, humorous, honest, full of grace, an exemplar, intelligent, the most honourable among the messengers of God. The poem also references the Quran as a miracle due to its eloquence, and also notes Muhammad’s military victories.]

‘Mecca was honoured by his birth, and Medina was honoured by his conduct. His birth was celebrated by the universe, as he was sent as a mercy to mankind.’
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