[AHMAD YÁDGÁR, the author of this work, describes himself in his Preface as an old servant of the Súr kings, and says that Dáúd Sháh gave him orders to write a History of the Afghán Sultáns, and thus do the same for them as the Tabakát-i Násirí and Zíá-i Barní had done for the kings of their times. The book commences with the reign of Bahlol Lodí, and the last chapter narrates the defeat, capture, and execution of Hímú. The author mentions incidentally that his father was wazír to Mirza 'Askarí, when the latter was in command of Humáyún's advanced guard in his campaign in Gujarát; and he also several times names the Táríkh-i Nizámí and the Ma'danu-l Akhbár-i Ahmadí as the works from which he copied.*

The date of the composition of this work has not been ascer­tained, but as it was written by command of Dáúd Sháh, who died in 984 H., and as it quotes from the Táríkh-i Nizámí (Tabakát-i Akbarí), which was written seventeen or eighteen years afterwards in 1001-2 H., the probability is, that it was completed soon after the latter date and before the Makhzan-i Afghání, which was written in 1020 H. Like the other Afghán historians, Ahmad Yádgár shows a great liking for marvellous and ridiculous stories, but pays little regard to dates. He gives but very few, and he is incorrect in that of so well-recorded an event as the death of Humáyún. The deficiency of dates may, however, be the fault of the copyist, as blanks are left in the MS. for dates and headings. Sir H. Elliot found the work to “differ much from Ni'amatu-lla,” but to “give the idea of being subsequent to the Táríkh-i Dáúdí.” Still, though it “generally follows the Táríkh-i Dáúdí closely,” there are occasionally “great differences; details being omitted, and novelties introduced.” The history of the reign of Humáyún is copied verbatim from the Tabakát-i Akbarí; only one short variation has been discovered.

The MS. in the Library of the Asiatic Society of Bengal contains 224 pages, of 11 lines to the page.

By far the greater part of the following Extracts were trans­lated by “Ensign” C. F. Mackenzie, but a few, noted where they occur, are from the pen of Sir H. Elliot.]

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The siege of Dehlí by Mahmúd Sháh Sharkí.*

Mahmúd Sharkí was instigated to attack Sultán Bahlol by his wife, who was the daughter of Sultán 'Aláu-d dín. She represented to her husband that the kingdom of Dehlí had belonged to her father and grandfather, and who was Bahlol, that he should usurp their dominion? If her husband would not advance, she herself would bind on her quiver, and oppose his pretensions.

Being galled by these taunts, Sultán Mahmúd came to Dehlí in the year 856 H. (1452 A.D.), with a powerful army, and 1000 mountain-like elephants. At that time, Sultán Bahlol was near Sirhind, but Khwája Báyazíd, and Sháh Sikandar Sarwání, and Bíbí Matú, the wife of Islám Khán, with all the Afghán families, had taken refuge at Dehlí. There being but few men, Bíbí Matú dressed the women in male clothes, and placed them on the battlements to make a show of numbers. One day, Sháh Sikandar Sarwání was seated on the wall, when one of Sultán Mahmúd's water-carriers was taking away some water from a well under the bastion. Sháh Sikandar drew his bow, and sent an arrow* right through the bullock that was carrying the water-bags, and from that time no one dare come near the fort.

But as Sultán Bahlol delayed to relieve the garrison, they began to despair of succour; and as the enemy advanced their redoubts and trenches, and discharged their shells with such precision that no one could venture out of his house, they were reduced to propose terms of surrender, offering to give up the keys of the fort to any of Mahmúd's officers, on condition of their being allowed to leave the fort unmolested. Accordingly, Saiyid Shamsu-d dín took the keys to Daryá Khán Lodí, who had invested the fort, and asked to say a few words to him first in private. When Daryá Khán had sent away his attendants, the Saiyid inquired, “What is your relationship to Sultán Mahmúd?” Daryá Khán replied, “There is no relationship. I am his servant.” The Saiyid then asked, “How are you related to Sultán Bahlol?” Daryá Khán replied, “I am a Lodí, and he also is a Lodí.”* The Saiyid then placed the keys of the fort before him, saying, “Have regard to the honour of your mother and sister (who are now in the fort), and save the ladies from disgrace.” Daryá Khán said, “What can I do? Actuated by fraternal motives, I have intentionally delayed capturing the fort, but Sultán Bahlol delays to make his appearance. For the present do you retain the keys, and wait to see what I shall be able to effect in your behalf.”

Daryá Khán then went to Sultán Mahmúd, and explained to him about the surrender of the keys and their restoration, ob­serving that Bahlol, according to common report, was advancing with a large army, and that it would be better first to pay attention to him; for should he be conquered, Dehlí would of itself fall into their hands. The Sultán inquired what had better be done under the circumstances. Daryá Khán suggested that he and Fath Khán should be despatched against Bahlol, so as to prevent his passing Pánípat. This counsel being approved of, they were sent with 30,000 horse and forty war elephants against Bahlol, who by this time had advanced as far as Narela. Mahmúd's army encamped two kos on the side of Narela, and on the very night of their arrival the enemy twice carried off their bullocks, camels, and horses. Next day, both armies were drawn up in battle array. The army of Bahlol amounted to 14,000 cavalry.

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Sultán Bahlol's expedition against the Ráná, and against Ahmad
Khán Bhattí

Some time after, Sultán Bahlol marched out against the Ráná, and pitched his camp at Ajmír, where he collected a powerful force.* Chattar Sál, son of the Ráná's sister, was at Údípúr with 10,000 cavalry. Kutb Khán advanced towards that place, and fought an action with the rascally infidel. At first, the Sultán's army was repulsed by the impetuous onset of the infidels, and several Afgháns obtained martyrdom in that contest; but, in the end, Kutb Khán and Khán-khánán Farmulí, determining to sell their lives dearly, advanced to close combat with swords and daggers, and so completely routed their black-faced foes, that Chattar Sál was slain in the field; and so many infidels fell, that a pillar was raised of their heads, and streams of their blood began to flow. Five or six elephants, forty horses, and much plunder fell into the hands of the Sultán's soldiers, while those of the Ráná took to flight. Subsequently, the Ráná made peace, and in Údípúr prayers were offered and the coin was struck in the name of the Sultán.

After that, the Sultán carried his victorious army into Mún-khár. * He plundered and depopulated that entire country, and the army acquired great booty. Thence he returned to Sirhind, and after two or three months, advanced with his troops towards Lahore, where he passed some days in festivities.

At that time, Ahmad Khán Bhattí,* who had acquired great power in the country of Sind, and had 20,000 cavalry under him, had revolted against the Governor of Multán; whose petition arrived, representing that Ahmad Khán was plundering the villages of Multán, and that if the Lord of the World would not come to the rescue, he himself would not be able to hold his own in Multán; and that after the loss of Multán, the Panjáb would be exposed to ravage. The Sultán, vexed at this intelli­gence, appointed 'Umar Khán, one of his chief nobles, and Prince Báyazíd, to command an expedition against Ahmad Khán, at the head of 30,000 valiant horsemen. After taking leave of the Sultán in all honour, they moved by continued marches from Lahore till they reached Multán, where they were joined by the Governor, who acted as their guide till they reached the enemy's country.

Ahmad Khán, proud in the strength and courage of his army, disregarded the Imperialists, and, not thinking it worth his while to move, sent his nephew, at the head of 15,000 cavalry, to oppose them. That youth was desperately enamoured of a strumpet, who was indeed surpassingly beautiful, and he never moved out on any excursion of pleasure or hunting without being accompanied by her; and, even on the day of battle, he seated her in an 'amárí, mounted on an elephant, and carried her with him. Naurang Khán, for that was his name, detached Dáúd Khán with 10,000 cavalry against the Imperialists, and the two parties charged each other with such impetuosity that rivers of blood began to flow. In the end, Dáúd Khán was slain, and his troops defeated. When those who had fled from the field informed Naurang Khán of the disaster, he took leave in sorrow of his mistress, and arrived on the field of battle, where he displayed such valour and desperation that he clove several men of the Sultán's army in twain, and felled them from their horses. At last, a ball from a camel-gun cut him also in half, and killed him.