Stories by an editor of Alf layla wa-layla

Shirwani, Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-. Nafhat al-Yaman fi-ma yazulu bi-dhikrihi al-shajan [Breezes from Yemen].

Calcutta, printed by Mawlawi Kabir Ud Din Ahmad at the Urdoo Guide Press, 1881.

8vo. (2), 276, (2) pp. Original pebble-grain lilac cloth.


Later Arabic edition of Ahmad Shirwani's "Nafhat al-Yaman", a book of short stories and maxims popular in 19th century India.

Shirwani (1785-1840) was born in Yemen and travelled to Western India, where he eventually won the role of instructor of Arabic at Fort William College. It was there that he became involved in the preparation and printing of several Arabic works at the Hindoostanee Press, including the famous first printed Arabic edition of "Alf layla wa-layla" in 1814-18 (a partial compilation of the first 200 Nights).

"Nafhat al-Yaman" was Shirwani's most popular work, and it gained a wide readership in India during his lifetime. The stories were surely informed by his experience of editing the "Nights" and strike a balance between entertainment and instruction - no doubt with his students in mind. The text was first published at the Hindoostanee Press in 1811 and was followed by later Indian and Egyptian editions. The present one was prepared as a text for the Higher Standard and Higher Proficiency Examinations in Arabic for British Indian Officers in the military and civil services.

Binding rebacked, extremities faded, corners rubbed, a little staining to endpapers, otherwise good. Several neat annotations in pencil and ink to the first twenty pages, rest of interior clean and fresh.


OCLC 50571232.