Mughal India is potentially
one of the richest subjects for learning amongst early modern Islamic cultures.
Most administration records have been misplaced but huge numbers of scripts,
inscriptions as well as memorials have survived. However a small number of
manuscripts have been abridged and much less translated. Consequently some
scholars devoted themselves to printing source matter on the Mughal period.
Abridgement of Inayat khan decoded
by A. R. Fuller and abridged by W.E. Begley and Z.A. Desai is an outstanding
example. It was printed for the reason of making court chronicles ready for the
royal audiences and as well as the local people. The Shah Jahan Nama was the outline
of Padshahnama of Abdul Hamid Lahori as his employment was difficult to read
and also was very extensive it contained three volumes and each volume described
10 years of Shah Jahan’s reign, so the complete work covered thirty years of
Shah Jahan’s life.
The purpose of writing this research paper is
to carefully read study and examine the primary source of Shah Jahan’s era
which is The Shah Jahan Nama of Inayat khan. The research paper is divided into
four major parts: introduction, information of author, evaluation of the source
This is the first complete
translation in English of a contemporary court chronicle of the Mughal Emperor
Shah Jahan (1592-1666).
The ruling era of Mughal
Emperor Shahjahan, has been reflecting on mainly magnificent epoch in the
annals of the history of the pre modern South Asia. Now the question that
arises is that, what cause to be the age a golden period of medieval India is
Shahjahan’s input to the progress of art and architecture? Architecture, the
imperial art equality excellence was the center of attention of the Emperor’s
and the best known feature of his patronage but other arts and letters also thrived.
However one such prospering division
of knowledge was historiography. In order to understand carefully why Shah
Jahan was passionate with his place in history writing, it is essential to know
how the chronicles came to be written. Historiography had begun in India long
before Shah Jahan. The founder of the Mughal Empire, Babur in 1526 wrote his autobiography
called Tuzuk-i-Baburi in Turkish language which led Jahangir to write his own
autobiography called Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri in Persian language. But as Mughal were
gradually losing their facility to compose literary works. Historians believed
that’s why Shah Jahan did not continue to write his autobiography. The instant
guide for the detailed chronicles of Shah Jahan was Abul Fazl’s work Akbarnama
in which he provides coverage of more than 40 years of Akbar.
Historiography was aimed to
circulate imperial philosophy and was with determination developed to record
the imperial patronage and contribution to the endorsement of art and letters.
The court historians were selected by the Emperor after cautious deliberation.
The official historiographers compiled their narratives under the close royal
command of the Emperor. The Emperor made all achievable efforts to produce
official documents of his time in power so that generation to come would be
familiar with him and his achievements. The Emperor was completely aware of the
distinctiveness and vastness of his time in power. Therefore, he saw to it that
each deed and event of his reign was to be put down in sophisticated details
for the posterity.
Shah Jahan’s brain was honed by large amount knowledgeable minds of the
epoch clearly understood the task of historiography as an influential tool to
spread imperial ideology. It is to be prominent that Mirza Jalala Tabatabai, a
Persian intellectual of Isfahan, who landed in India in 1634, was the first
court chronicle of Shahjahan. The description which covers only five years of
the reign is called Padshahnama and is conserved in the British Library. The
other prominent author was Muhammad Amin bin Abul Qasim Qazwini, an exceptional
writer and narrator, was appointed as his certified historiographer in 1636. He
wrote a history of first ten years of the equivalent period. The literary result
of Qazwini’s thorough work is also called Padshahnama, name chose