Essay on the History of Medieval India

Chachnam:

It is the most significant and authentic fundamental source material on the history of the ruling dynasty of sindh at the time of Arab invasion in 711-12ad. It was written by some anonymous writer in Arabic and was entitled Chachnama after the name of the founder of the ruling house. The events of Arab invasion in India and the valour and chivalry of king Dihir have been discussed in it.

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Shah Jahan- nama

It was written by Inayat Khan. The father of the writer had served on the post of Wazif during the reign of Jahangir. He was the commander of Kabul and Kashmir in the reign on Shah Jahan. Hence the author had a lot of material before writing this book. He has depicted the history of early twenty years on the basis of Padshahnama of Lahauri and Waris and thrown ample light on the Central Asian Policy of Shiah Jahan. Hence it is an authentic work to know the history of the contemporary period.

Amal-i-Salib:

In this book Muhammad Salih Kambu has described a detailed history of Shah Jahan. Like other authors the attilude of Kambu was liberal towards Shah Jahan but he was a bit stern towards Nur Jahan. Details of war of succession and Khusaru’s death have been depicted in this book. In spite of its meagre size, it is a very useful book for knowning the history of Shah Jahau’s reign.

Alamgirnama:

It was written by Mirza Muhammad Kasim and contains the history of early ten years reign of Aurangzeb. It was published before Aurangzeb bad issued orders for ban of history- writing. Its description is quite effective and has a lot of source material for the readers.

Ma asir-i-Alamgiri:

Muhammad Saqi Mustaid Khan wrote this book on the basis of official records. It contains the history of fifty- one year’s rule of Aurangzeb. The author started writing this book on the instructions of the emperor but it was completed after three years of the death of Aurangzeb.

Zafarnama-i-Alamgiri:

It was written by Agjl Khan Razi. It is aIso known as ‘Aurangnama’ or ‘Halat-i-Alamgiri’. It contains the history of the contemporary period from 1650 to 1663. Professor Sarkar opines that it is the independent work of the autnor. It con­tains the description of some such events as could never be liked by the emperor.

Muntakhab-ul-Lubab:

It was also known as Tarikh-i-Khafi Khan.It was written by Hashim Khafi khan. It contains the description of all Mughal rulers from Babur to later Mughal Muhammad Shah. Although Khafi Khan started writing this book during the reign of Aurangeb but it was unknown to the people. He presented his book to Muhammad Shah.

He wrote this book in a very appreciable style and DnSarkar has remarked that h; was a great historian of the contemporary, period. But some of his narrations prove that his view­point was not impartial. However it is an important source of knowing the history of Aurangseb’s period.

Tarikh-i-Shah Shujai:

It was written by Mir Muhammad Masum who was in the service of Prince Shuja. son of Aurangzeb. As Mir Masum was in the service of Princes Shuja he had access to the official records, hence has vividly described the events that took place in the imperial court as well as in the Harem. It is, however, an important source of knowing the history of the contemporary period.

Nuskha-i-Dilkusha

Bhimsen, the author of this book is in the service of Mughal noble Daud Khan, his work is quite significant for knowing the Deccan affairs. His father Raghunandan was a noble of Burhanpur. His brother Bhagwan Dass was also in the royal service. Hence he had all the facilities to go through the records of the government. He made extensive tours at the cost of the government and gathered a lot of information.

Futuhat-i-Alamgiri

It was written by Mehta Isar Das who was a Mughal officer in the district of Jodhpur for a longtime. This work contains some significant events of the reign of Aurangzeb up to 1698. It also throws ample light on the provincial rule of Malwa and Rajputana.

Besides the above referred books the following are also sources of the history of the Mughal period:

1. Tarikh-i-Chagatai by Muhammad Shaft Teherani.

2. Jtfa’asir-ul-Umra by Shah Nawaz Khan.

3. Lubbut-Tawarikh by Vrindavana Das.

4. Tarikh-i-Alfi by Jaflar Beg and Asaf Khan.

5. Kluilasat-ut- Tawarikh of Sujan Rai Khattri.

6. Ibratnama by Muhammad Qasim.

7. Mirat-i-Armadi by Ali Muhammad Khan.

8. Tarikh-i-Bangala by Salimullah.

9. Akbarnama by Mahesh Tathur.

10. Akbar Shahi Shringar Darpan by Padma Sunder.

11. Sujan Charita Mahakavyam of Chandrashekhar

Besides the above Persian sources, the foreign tourists who visited India from time to time and wrote accounts of different Mughal rulers are significant sources for knowing the history of the Mughal period Among them, Father Anthony Monserrate, Edward Maclegan, Hawkins, Sir Thomas Roe, Terry, John De Laet, Nickolas Mannuci, Francis Gladwin, Pelsert, Peter Delia Vella, Bernier Travnier etc, were significant tourists who wrote their memoirs and threw light on the character and personality of the Mughal emperors. They-have also mentioned various political events in their writings and also thrown a flood of light on the social and religious conditions of India.

As the Mughal rulers were comparatively liberal than the Sultans of Delhi, hence they gave shelter to Hindi. Sanskrit and” regional languages as a result of which various books were published in these languages which not only enriched the literature of that particular language but also contributed to the development of historical sources.

Besides literature, archeological resources and various modern historians also throw ample light on the activities of the Mughal emperors and their contribution to Indian culture; hence all these sources enable us to understand the history of the Mughal period fully well.