Commentary on the Comprehensive Book on the Management of Horses


The legal scholar ‘Umar ibn Raslān al-Bulqīnī  was from a renowned family of Egyptian scholars of Palestinian origin. In his Muqaddima (Introduction), the great Arab historian and historiographer Ibn Khaldūn (1332–1406) praised al-Bulqīnī as the most celebrated jurist of his era, even though Al-Bulqīnī did not gain the prestigious title of Šayh al-Islām until later in life. Al-Bulqīnī's erudition and deep knowledge of Islamic tradition are reflected in this work, Qaṭr al-Sayl fi Amr al-Hayl (Commentary on the comprehensive book on the management of horses), which is an abridgment of a previous book by Egyptian scholar ‘Abd al-Mu'min ibn Khalaf al-Dimyaṭi (d. 1306). The book is a collection of hadith (episodes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his sayings) on the subject of horses. The 17th surah of the Qurʼan reports that, during Al-Isra' (the night journey), the mythological steed al-Burāq carried the Prophet from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there to the Heavens, where he met the prophets that preceded him, before riding back to Mecca. Many traditions about Muhammad’s love for, and wisdom about, horses developed right from the first centuries of Islam. In Qaṭr al-Sayl fi Amr al-Hayl, al-Bulqīnī collects an impressive number of these equestrian traditions, including the sayings of the Prophet in which horses are mentioned in a metaphorical sense.

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Title in Original Language

كتاب قطر السيل في امر الخيل

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Physical Description

33 leaves (21 lines), bound : paper ; 20 x 15 centimeters


  • Paper: yellowed cream with watermarks (two crescent moons). Leaves are loose from binding, the first two and the last two have been repaired, and the title page and other pages show damage from humidity. Black and red ink on title page, text mainly in black, with titles of chapters and other words rubricated. Catchwords at bottom of rectos. Naskhī script; 21 lines in written area, 14 x 9 centimeters


Last updated: August 29, 2017