Orient- und Islamwissenschaft

The Reception of Šuḏūr aḏ-ḏahab

The broad transmission of the poetry collection Šuḏūr aḏ-ḏahab testifies to the lively interest in this volume on alchemy. In recent years, research in Islamic studies has been increasingly interested in the owners and readers of occult Arabic literature.
A subproject examines the ownership and reader’s notes in the preserved manuscripts of Šuḏūr aḏ-ḏahab. One of the best-known readers of this volume of poems was undoubtedly the Moroccan Sultan Mūlāy al-Ḥasan I (r. 1873-1894). The Sultan was very interested in alchemy and brought alchemists to his court. He had an alchemical laboratory set up in his palace and his private library held hundreds of alchemical manuscripts. Interestingly, he had a special interest in Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs' Šuḏūr aḏ-ḏahab, ordering several copies of the dīwān and some of its commentaries. Occasionally, he commented on verses himself by adding notes in pencil between the lines or in the margins.
Christopher Braun will publish an article on the reception of this dīwān shortly.