If the Šifāʾ (The Cure, or The Healing) in its entirety deserves to be considered Ibn Sīnā’s masterpiece in philosophy, the same can be said in particular of its metaphysical section (Ilāhiyyāt, Divine Things): this final and culminant part of the entire work instantiates at the highest degree the author’s view of the fundamental role of metaphysics in the system of philosophy, displays a massive use and thorough reworking of the previous metaphysical tradition, and evidences Ibn Sīnā’s originality and creativeness. Unsurprisingly, the Metaphysics of the Šifāʾ was soon translated into Latin and Persian, repeatedly commented upon, and abundantly quoted.
In the wait of a future critical edition of this landmark of metaphysical speculation in both East and West, and in preparation of it, the consultation of valuable manuscripts of the work proves essential. In the long-lasting and wide-ranging process of copy of the Šifāʾ, the Iranian manuscript tradition stands out in many respects, in terms of number of codices produced and of cities and libraries involved. The manuscript selected for the present facsimile edition – owned by the Malek Library (Tehran, Iran) – is a noteworthy example of this activity of copy, in so far as its colophon and its content put us in front of the most ancient extant and complete account of the Metaphysics of the Šifāʾ presently known.