* THE author of this work styled it Tabakát-i Akbar-sháhí, and it is so called by 'Abdu-l Kádir Badáúní in his Muntakhabu-t Tawáríkh; but the name by which it is best known in literary circles is Tabakát-i Akbarí. It is also called, after the name of the author, Táríkh-i Nizámí, and the author himself observes it as a fortunate coincidence that the word Nizámí represents the date of its composition. In the Rauzatu-t Táhirín it seems to be called Táríkh-i Sultán Nizámí.

This is one of the most celebrated histories of India, and is the first that was composed upon a new model, in which India alone forms the subject-matter of the work, to the exclusion of the histories of other Asiatic countries. The work seems to have been recognized by all contemporary historians as a standard history; subsequent writers also have held it in the highest estimation, and have borrowed from it freely. Badáúní, the author of the Muntakhabu-t Tawáríkh, professes his work to be simply an abridgment of this, and acknowledges himself to be chiefly indebted to it for the relation of all events down to A.H. 1002* (1593 A.D.). Firishta states that of all the histories he consulted, it is the only one he found complete.

The Ma-ásiru-l Umará says, “This work cost the author much care and reflection in ascertaining facts and collecting materials, and as Mír Ma'súm Bhakarí and other persons of note afforded their assistance in the compilation, it is entitled to much credit. It is the first history which contains a detailed account of all the Muhammadan princes of Hindústán. * * From this work Muhammad Kásim Firishta and others have copiously extracted, and it forms the basis of their histories, deficiencies being sup­plied by additions of their own; but the Tabakát occasionally seems at variance with the accounts given by the celebrated Abú-l Fazl. It is therefore left to the reader to decide which of the two authors is most entitled to credit.”

European authors also hold the work in high esteem. Mr. Erskine considers Nizámu-d dín to be perhaps the best historian of the period, and Col. Lees is unable to conceive the reason why his work has not attracted more attention.

The Ma-ásiru-l Umará gives the following account of our author.

Khwája Nizámu-d dín Ahmad was the son of Khwája Mukím Harawí, who was one of the dependents of His Majesty Bábar, and who, at the latter part of that king's reign, was raised to the office of díwán of the household.* After the death of Bábar, when Gujarát was conquered by Humáyún, and the province of Ahmadábád was entrusted to Mirzá 'Askarí, Khwája Mukím was appointed wazír to the Mirzá. He accompanied Humáyún to Ágra, when that monarch fled with precipitation after his defeat by Sher Khán Súr at Chaunsa. The Khwája subse­quently served under Akbar.

His son, Nizámu-d dín, was incomparably upright, and ex­celled all his contemporaries in administrative knowledge, as well as in the clearness of his intellect. It is stated in the Zakhíratu-l Khawánín, that, at the opening of his career, he was appointed díwán of the household by Akbar, but this statement has not been found in any other work.

In the twenty-ninth year of Akbar's reign, when the govern­ment of Gujarát was entrusted to 'Itimad Khán, Khwája Nizámu-d dín was appointed to the office of bakhshí of that pro­vince, and when Sultán Muzaffar of Gujarát engaged in hostilities, 'Itimád Khán left the Khwája's son, together with his own, to protect the city, he himself with the Khwája having quitted it, with the object of bringing over Shahábu-d dín Ahmad Khán from Karí, which is situated at the distance of forty miles from Ahmadábád; but during their absence the city fell into the hands of the insurgents, and the house of the Khwája was plun­dered. After this, in a battle which was fought with those turbulent people, the Khwája used his best exertions to quell the insurrection with his small body of troops, in conjunction with Shahábu-d dín Khán and 'Itimád Khán, but without success; and he therefore retreated to Pattan.

On the occasion of (Mirzá Khán) the Khán-khánán's attack upon Muzaffar Gujarátí, at Bír Ganj, about six miles from Ahmadábád, the Khwája was appointed at the head of a de­tachment to attack the enemy from the rear, but in this action he again did not achieve any great success, though he used his best exertions. Nizámu-d dín continued for a long time bakhshí of the province of Gujarát, and his services will be found re­corded in his history of Akbar's reign.

In 998 A.H., and the thirty-fourth year of the reign (1589-90 A.D.), when the government of Gujarát was entrusted to Khán-i 'Azam the Súbadár of Málwa, and Jaunpúr was bestowed upon Khán-khánán in lieu of his jágír of Gujarát, Nizámu-d dín Ahmad was summoned to the King's presence; upon which occasion, with a number of camel-riders, he accomplished 1,200 miles by forced marches, and arrived at Lahore* on the festival of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the coronation. His camel-riders and retinue being an object of great attraction and wonder­ment, the King expressed a desire to inspect them; and as he was much gratified at this exhibition of the Khwája's taste and ingenuity, he conferred great honours upon him.

In the thirty-seventh year of the reign, when Ásaf Khán Mirzá Ja'far Bakhshí-begí was ordered to destroy Jalála Rau-shání, the Khwája was appointed to the post of bakhshí. In the thirty-ninth year of the reign, corresponding with 1003 H., when the King was out on a hunting excursion, the Khwája was attacked with a severe fever at Shahám 'Alí, which reduced him very much. His sons obtained permission from the King to convey him to Lahore, but as soon as they arrived at the banks of the Ráví, the Khwája expired, and “the crocodile of death dragged him into the sea of annihilation.”

'Ábid Khán, one of Nizámu-d dín's sons, was favoured with frequent marks of distinction by His Majesty Jahángír, and was employed by him in various capacities. The office of bakhshí of the súba of Gujarát, which devolved on him by hereditary right, was resigned, owing to a disagreement between him and 'Abdu-lla Khán Fíroz Jang, governor of that province, by whom he was most shamefully treated. After resigning the appointment, he took only two sheets, the one wrapped round his waist, and the other round his head, as if prepared for burial, and went thus before Jahángír, accompanied by several Tákíya Mughals. This mark of his humiliation was approved of by the King, and he was pardoned. He was afterwards appointed an immediate attendant of the King, through the recommendation of the heir-apparent, and was subsequently promoted to the office of diwán of that prince. While holding this employment, he, with Sharíf Khán Bakhshí, and several others of the body-guard, was killed at Akbar-nagar in Bengal, in a battle fought by the prince on the burial-ground where the body of the son of Ibráhím Khán Fath Jang was interred. 'Ábid Khán had no son. His son-in-law, Muhammad Sharíf, was for a short time governor of a strong fortress in the Dekhin, and was afterwards appointed hájib (chamberlain) of Haidarábád, in which capacity he passed the remainder of his days till his death.*

'Abdu-l Kádir Badáúní, who, like many others, was as staunch a friend as he was a bitter foe, gives a very favourable account of Nizámu-d dín. He says that in carrying into effect his pro­jects of economy, Nizámu-d dín gave offence to Kálíj Khán, but that he received such unqualified support from the Emperor, who entertained the highest opinion of his zeal and integrity, that his opponent, together with his adherents, were soon pro­vided for in distant posts, instead of being kept at Court, to frustrate the endeavours of Nizámu-d dín to introduce reform into the departments under his control.

“Nizámu-d dín,” continues 'Abdu-l Kádir, “left a good name behind him. I was especially attached to him by the ties both of religion and friendship. When he died, tears of sorrow fell from my eyes, and I beat my breast with the stone of despair. After a short time, I bowed in resignation to the heavenly decree, but was so much afflicted by the bereavement, that I vowed I would never thereafter cultivate a new friendship with any other man. He died on the 23rd of Safar, 1003, and was buried in his own garden at Lahore. There was not a dry eye at his death, and there was no person who did not, on the day of his funeral, call to mind his excellent qualities, and who did not hold between his teeth the back of the hand of grief. The following Chronogram records the date of his death: Mirzá Nizámu-d dín has departed; in haste, but with honour, has he gone to his final doom. His sublime soul has fled to the celestial regions, and Kádirí has found the date of his death in these words, ‘A jewel without price has left this world.’”*