Baḫtāvar Ḫān, Muḥammad d. 1096/1685

Confidant of Awrangzīb

Muḥammad Baḫtāvar Ḫān entered the service of Mughal ruler Awrangzib (see author 30) when the latter was still a prince and remained his favorite eunuch, dutiful servant, and confidant for thirty years. A patron of the arts and student of history, Baḫtāvar Ḫān employed Muhammad Sāqī Musta`idd Hān (see author 161) as his private secretary and accountant. Several works of history have been ascribed to Baḫtāvar Ḫān, though such claims seem to be highly dubious.


Mirʾāt-i ʿālam     The Mirror of the World

Composed ca. 1078/1667-8.

One such work is Mirʾāt-i ʿālam, composed ca. 1078/1667-8. Mirʾāt-i ʿālam is a general history from the time of the early patriarchs to a contemporary account of the first ten years of Awrangzīb’s reign. Though the work has often been ascribed to Baḫtāvar Ḫān, the true author is considered to be Muḥammad Baqā Sahāranpūrī, another member of Awrangzīb’s court and friend of Baḫtāvar Ḫān.

Mirʾāt-i Jahān-numā     The Cosmorama Mirror

Two recensions completed posthumously, one in 1095/1684, one in 1111/1699.

Another work, Mirʾāt-i Jahān-numā, was never ascribed to Baḫtāvar Ḫān per se, but has somehow become associated with him, perhaps due to its near identical content to the Mirʾāt-i ʿālam. The source of Mirʾāt-i Jahān-numā is considered to be the “loose papers” of Muḥammad Baqā Sahāranpūrī. The “loose papers” were published posthumously under the title Mirʾāt-i Jahān-numā, which appears in two recensions: one in 1095/1684 by Muḥammad Baqā’s nephew, and one in 1111/1699 by Baqā’s younger brother. Within the pages of Mirʾāt-i Jahān-numā, Muḥammad Baqā claims Mirʾāt-i ʿālam as his own work. Muḥammad Baḫtāvar Ḫān died in 1096/1685. Muḥammad Baqā Sahāranpūrī died 1094/1683.