Author: Saqi Mustad Khan
Translator(s): Jadunath Sarkar
Publisher: The Asiatic Society
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
The Emperor Akbar (reign 1556-1605 A.D.) set the example of having a detailed history of his reign written by official command. The result was the Akbar-namah or Book of Akbar of Abul Fazl (completed by other hands after that author’s death). Then came the emperor Jahangir, who dictated his own memoirs, known as the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, and therefore no official Jahangir-namah had to be written about him. This book, however, combines the literary characteristics of an autobiography with those of an official history or in other words, it gives the Emperor’s own reflections and feelings as well as an objective record of the events f his reign.
In all these works, or Namahs proper, the events are built upon a rigid skeleton of dates chronologically arranged; there is an accurate but tiresome assemblage of minute names of persons and places in the course of every months’ narrative of occurrences, and the mechanical division of the book into a chapter for each regnal year is followed. Such a collection of facts, if it is to be correct, requires a basis of written official records, and this basis was supplied by the waqai or official reports of occurrences regularly sent from every province to the central government of Delhi.
In this translation the text has been slightly condensed. Not a single fact or date has been omitted by me, but the prolix wording of some sentences has been replaced by a plain recital of their substance, and many trite reflections and moralizations (which are conventional in Persian historical literature at the beginning of a chapter or section) have been omitted altogether; also verses and long laudatory phrases.