ACCORDING to the inevitable will of destiny— “truly he is appointed vicegerent on earth, from the presence of him who is lord of every coun­try, and who giveth to whomsoever he chooseth,” —it has been decreed, that Abú-Nasr Mujáhidu-d-dín Ahmad Sháh* should bear the ensigns of Royalty, and the seal of the Khiláfat. Being adorned with the signet of Prophecy, and bearing the exalted title of Kiblah of the world, and Kaba of the universe, the same is a king great as Jamshíd,* and an emperor, whose court is exalted as the sky. He is styled pro­tector of the glorious religion, such being recorded by the power and will of God, (granting nobility and conferring favour) and has bestowed on the world both ease and comfort.

Moreover, the glad tidings of the clemency, kindness, and justice, of this mighty king, (who cherishes his servants and consumes his ene­mies) having spread abroad into the four quar­ters of Hindústán, let all subjects and vassals observe the usual obedience, and perform the customary services, giving thanks for such great presents, as are the blessings of this fortunate, prosperous, and tranquil age; and, praying continually that the state may remain stedfast, let them not oppose or resist the sublime decrees, that are to be honoured like those of fate.

And let this be known to governors, and keepers of the royal records, that, in past time, and after the passage of Aurangzíb Álamgír Pádshád* from this transitory world, there happened to be confusion in the settlement and arrangement of the countries of Hindústán; and, because of the discord and innovation of that time, both trouble and perplexity began to spread themselves over the four quarters of that country; while ease, satisfaction, and security, necessarily and inconveniently disappeared. It being the will of God, that confusion should daily increase, and that there should be a cor­rupt negligence, both in the business of the treasury and administration, an anxious desire to mutiny arose in every heart; and, ambition being produced in every mind, each Názim* of a province grew disobedient and refractory, and became independent.

Wherefore business generally, and the important concerns of civil government, being thus impeded, fell into neglect and arrears; while the ordinances and regulations concerning such matters being lost and gradually forgotten, the treasuries and magazines became empty, as the hands of the poor. With respect to the Súbah of Ahmadábád* Gujarát,* after Hámid Khán,* in the year of the Hijra 1137, A.D. 1724-25, had put to death Shujáat Khán Bahádur,* the deputy of Mobárizu-l-Mulk* in that province, he usurped the government lands and arrears of revenue; and, seeking to get rid of the ser­vants and assignments, gradually obtained the volumes of the records, from the Register Office, where they had been accumulating for years. In this manner the revenue exchequer became useless. Other governors, perceiving this, retained the management of the province in their own hands, without the assistance of a minister; and, as there was neither inquiry nor question made from court concerning this, the collector-generalship of Gujarát, once the most import­ant of any in Hindústán, was thus in a manner set aside. Nothing, at present, remains but the name and the remembrance of the office; and, as the affairs of the revenue court had been ended, the keepers of the records were scattered here and there, looking after their own affairs, or searching for employment; and the usual yearly records of the districts ceased alto­gether. Moreover, the volumes of the cur­rent business passed for the most part into the possession of Hámid Khán; and such as remained behind were entirely disregarded and neglected.

Truly, according to the saying, “times change with men,” the period of the latter part of Mohammed Sháh's* reign will be explained by the blessing of God.

The writer of these pages, being appointed revenue administrator of the province, in the first year of Ahmad Sháh's reign, Hij. 1161, A.D. 1747-8, saw nothing to be done in this appointment; and, having ascertained that the records, like the office of the administrator, were only known by name, he made diligent search and inquiry regarding the affairs of the Súbahs, Cities, Sirkars, Parganahs, and Towns, whilst registering the village lands and pay­ment, the present revenue and assessment; and being, moreover, guided in these matters by the advice of Mittha Laal, of the Kait Tribe, who became his assistant, and had kept the provin­cial accounts, as did his father and forefathers, he thus collected the whole in the form of a book. He employed himself in correcting and arranging this, and, having brought it to a con­clusion, named it the Mirát Ahmadí, or a History of the Province of Gujarát. It was also his intention to send one copy to the record office of the province, and the other to the Imperial Court; there being no such register known, on account of those accidents which have been mentioned. But, while anxious to forward the latter copy through Jáwíd Khán Nawáb,* who was then the Emperor's Lieutenant and Minister, (and regarded this your servant,) it happened that unkínd heaven took away the Nawáb's life; so the strong wish, then existing, that this book should be made perfect, became void; and, on hearing of this distressing event, the correction was deferred and delayed.