Burhān-i qāṭiʻ

Burhān (Muḥammad Ḥusayn ibn Ḵhalaf Tabrīzī, fl. seventeenth century)
Burhān-i qāṭiʻ  برهان قاطع  (Burhan’s definitive dictionary)

India, 1699
MS Add.188 f.1v

Lewis had a special interest in dictionaries, owning ten in all. This Persian dictionary, dated 1699, was compiled in India by Muḥammad Ḥusayn ibn Ḵhalaf Tabrīzī, who used the pen-name Burhān. He completed the work in 1651 and dedicated it to Abdullah Qutb Shah, the seventh sultan of the Shiʿite dynasty of Golconda in the Deccan, who ruled from 1626 to1672. Burhān’s fame, however, is due to the great popularity which his dictionary acquired. This can be attributed to its disciplined arrangement of word order and the fact that Burhān combines meanings derived from other dictionaries into one volume. Frequently reproduced in manuscript from, it became a basis for subsequent Persian dictionaries. The spread of printing further increased its popularity, and numerous later editions were produced in India and Iran. The Burhān-i qāṭiʻ was more widely used by writers and linguists than any other Persian dictionary and would have been a relatively new at the time Lewis was in India and probably a valuable acquisition for his library.

Extended captions