The Wonders of Creation


ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharāʼib al-mawjūdāt (The wonders of creation, or literally, Marvels of things created and miraculous aspects of things existing) by Zakriya ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini (circa 1203−83) is among the best known texts of the Islamic world. It is often referred to as “The Cosmography.” The work begins with an introduction, and is followed by two sections, the first on supra-terrestrial, the second on terrestrial creatures. Al-Qazwini concludes his work with a section on monsters and angels. The genre of Aja’ib al-makhluqat (The wonders of creation), of which al-Qazwini’s work is the most famous example, includes texts in Arabic and Persian that describe the marvels of the heavens and the earth. Numerous manuscripts of al-Qazwini’s work have survived, as have several Persian and Turkish translations. The present manuscript was completed on the third day of Ramadan, 1254 AH (November 20, 1838), by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Fadil. It is uncharacteristically devoid of illustrations.

Last updated: August 15, 2016