Jawhar Āftābčī fl. ca. 995/1586-7


Jawhar spent most of his life as an attendant to Mughal ruler Humāyūn (r. 937/1530 to 963/1556) first as an āftābčī (ewerbearer) and later in other capacities, notably as a tax-collector and regional treasurer. Additionally, Jawhar “was entrusted with special State assignments on critical occasions and his counsels were given due weight”.

Jawhar’s fame rests on his work Taẕkiraħ al-vāqiʿāt, also referred to as Tārīḫ-i Humāyūn, Javāhir-i Šāhī, or Humāyūn- Šāhī.


Taẕkiraħ al-vāqiʿāt     The Memorial of Events

Begun in 995/1586-7.

Taẕkiraħ al-vāqiʿāt is Jawhar’s private memoirs of Mughal Emperor Humāyūn’s reign. It is considered to one of the best accounts on Humāyūn’s reign largely as a result of Jawhar’s proximity to the ruler and his attention to the most minute detail. However, since Jawhar did not began the writing of his memoirs until 995/1585-7, Taẕkiraħ al-vāqiʿāt “are not contemporary records of the events as they occurred, but reminiscences of more than thirty years’ standing, so that, whatever the sincerity and candour of the writer, time must have toned down his impressions, and memory had doubtless given a favourable colour to the recollections he retained of well-beloved master”.