Murtażā Ḥusayn ʿUmānī Bilgrāmī, Allah-Yār, ibn Allah-Yār ʿUmānī d. ca. 1210/1795


Murtażā Ḥusayn ʿUmānī Bilgrāmī lived during the waning days of the Mughal Empire and the ascendancy of British rule. From 1142/1729-30 until 1187/1773-4, he served under various distinguished nobles. In 1190/1776, he became a munšī (secretary) to Captain Jonathan Scott, who served as Persian Secretary to the Governor General of the East India Company Warren Hastings. At Scott’s request, Murtażā Ḥusayn completed the work for which he is known, Ḥadīqat al-aqālīm.


Ḥadīqat al-aqālīm composed ca. 1192/1778-1196/1782     The Rose Gardens of Regions

Ḥadīqat al-aqālīm is a historical, geographical and biographical work composed ca. 1192/1778 to 1196/1782. Among other things, it contains a description of “the terrestrial globe, its inhabited quarter, and the seven grand divisions of the latter,” geographical details and historical information related to what is now India, notices on prophets and kings, and the author’s account of contemporary events. While Āmīn Aḥmad Rāzī’s Haft-Iklīm is considered to have been Murtażā Ḥusayn’s model for Ḥadīqat al-aqālīm, it is the latter that is regarded as a far superior work, perhaps the best of its kind, both in its accuracy and research. He died ca. 1210/1795.