Ḫwāndamīr, Ğiyā al-Dīn ibn Humām al-Dīn Muḥammad d. ca. 942/1535-6


Ğiyā al-Dīn ibn Humām al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḫwāndamīr was born to a family of officials and scholars (his grandfather was Mīr Hwānd, See author number 135) probably at Herat ca. 880/1475. Ḫwāndamīr spent most of his life and career in Herat, observer to the political exigencies of the day and engaged in literary works. His early career was characterized by the patronage of one ruler or another, often times performing political duties on their behalf. By 920/1514, however, he began the life of a retired scholar, which he maintained almost uninterrupted until 927/1520 when he completed his most famous work, Ḥabīb al-siyar fī aḫbār afrād al-bašar. In 935/1528, Ḫwāndamīr reached Agra and was presented to the Mughal Emperor Bābur. He accompanied Bābur on his expedition to Bengal in 937/1529. He also served Bābur’s son, Humāyūn. Ḫwāndamīr died ca. 942/1535-6, on the return leg of an expedition to Gujarat in which he accompanied Humāyūn.


Dastūr al-wuzarāʾ     The Instructions of the Viziers

Completed 915/1509-10.

Dastūr al-wuzarāʾ is a collecti0n of biographical accounts of important viziers of Islamic dynasties.

Ḥabīb al-siyar fī aḫbār afrād al-bašar     The Friend of Biographies Comprising the History of the Persons Distinguished Among Men [Elliot&Dowson, v. IV, chapter XXVI: PHI site]

Extends to 930/1524.

Considered Ḫwāndamīr’s most famous work, Ḥabīb al-siyar fī aḫbār afrād al-bašar is a work of general history from the earliest times until just prior to the death of Šāh Ismaʿil I in 930/1524. The work is divided into three sections: Pre-Islamic history, Islamic history extending to the end of the Abbasid Caliphate, and history of the Mongol and Tīmūrid rule until the coming of the Safavids in Iran. Each section is then divided further into four parts. The work also includes “a great number of biographies at the end of the treatment of each major historical period” as well as an epilogue containing some geographical information.

Humāyūn-nāmah     The Book of Humāyūn

Completed ca. 941-2/1534-5.

Humāyūn-nāmah is a cultural and social sketch of the Mughal Emperor Humāyūn’s reign. The work includes an account of the “rules and ordinances established by the Emperor Humāyūn and some buildings erected by him”.

Ḫulāṣaħ al-aḫbār fī bayān aḥvāl al-aḫyār     The Selection of Histories in the Times of Good Men

Completed 905/1499-1500.

Ḫulāṣaħ al-aḫbār fī bayān aḥvāl al-aḫyār is a general hist0ry that extends to 875/1470-1. The most original contribution is the author’s description of Herat, which includes a description of the artists and other notables living there.