Firištah, Muḥammad Qāsim Hindū Šāh Astarābādī d. after 1033/1623-4


Muḥammad Qāsim Hindū Šāh Astarābādī (“Firištah”) was probably born a few years before 980/1572 in Aḥmadnagar. However, both the date and place of his birth remain conjectural. He spent his early youth as a member of the royal guard in the service of the Aḥmadnagar sultanate. When the king was deposed and murdered during a raid on the palace in 996/1588, Firištah barely escaped with his life. He along with others migrated for safety to Bīdjāpūr in 997/1589. Later that same year, Firištah was presented to the Bīdjāpūrī court and soon entered the government service. It was as a servant of the Bīdjāpūrī sultanate that Firištah completed the Tārīḫ-i Firištah, the well-known history upon which his reputation is largely based.


Tārīḫ-i Firištah     The History by Firištah

First recension completed 1015/1606-7, second 1018/1609-10.

The Tārīḫ-i Firištah is a history of Muslim rule in India based upon a compilation of earlier histories, oral tradition and events that Firištah witnessed during his lifetime. Almost the entirety of the work is devoted to the annals and history of Muslim rule in Hindūstān, though it also contains an abstract of Hindu beliefs, a brief history of Hindūstān prior to Muslim rule and a section on Indian saints. Perhaps also of note is the authoritative status that was accorded to Tārīḫ-i Firištah in 18th century England before the rise to power of the East India Company.