The Khazā‘īnul Futūḥ

This book, which contains an account of victories, has been given the title of ‘Khazā‘īnul Futūḥ’ from Heaven.* All praises are for the Opener, who opened the gates of victories for the religion of Moḥammad and raised his helpers high with Divine assistance: Exalted is His Dignity and Supreme His Kingdom! And blessings on the Prophet of the Sword, who with a sign cut open the moon and the breast, and showed with conclusive proofs: ‘And Allāh did certainly assist you at Badr.’* And peace to his Family and his pious Companions, who woke up the sleepers with the tongue and the sword. May love for them never cease to cling to our hearts even as victory clings to the sword of the pious Sulān of the world! After praises of God in all sincerity, and of the Prophet in particular, the treasury of praises is not deserved by any one except the august Emperor. It will be right if I said in his praise, that he is the exalted sun which illuminates the moon. And he is the Sulān of the monarchs of the earth, more brilliant than the sun and moon when they rise! The ‘shadow of God’ over the heads of men! The protector of all creatures from the vicissitudes of time! The crystal sphere of excellence! The exalted sun! ‘Alāuddunyā waddīn! The equal of the sun and moon on high! The light of both the worlds in darkness, etc., etc. Adorned with every exalted virtue, Moḥammad Shāh, the Sulān! May God cast his shadow over all things so long as the clouds drop dew over the earth from on high!*

* The panegyrist of the ‘Alāī Empire, the servant Khusrau, states that however high his pen may raise its feet and crawl through all the regions of black and white, it is unable to pass the first stage of the Emperor’s praise. But as it was written in the Book of Creation that the pen, which eulogises the Emperor, should come within my fingers ‘like the shooting-star within the crescent or the sun in its constellation,’ Divine kindness, the key to unlimited blessings,—‘and for Allāh are the treasures of Heaven and Earth’—opened to me the gates of His treasures. Gems such as had never been bestowed on Bakhtarī and Abū Tamām were showered on my pages; though every one of them was such as Venus could not afford to purchase, yet none was worthy of being used in praise of the celestial monarch. Nevertheless, since more precious gems were not to be found in the human mind, as a matter of necessity I stringed these in order, expecting that the Emperor will be an ocean of mercy, which throws out nothing that falls into it.

* I believed that my crooked words, like the offerings of an ant before Solomon’s throne* (May it rule for ever over men and jins!) will be accepted, for every poem I present to the Emperor, though it be nothing else but a dried up river, is yet filled with water through the stream of his kindness, and, aided by the favourable current, the boats of my mind can float through all the regions of land and sea. Having been drowned in his favours in the past, I am emboldened to proceed further; and having often dived in oceans of poetry and brought out heaps of pearls, I also wished to adorn some pages of prose for the high festival. And even like the effect of the sun on precious stones, the Emperor’s look will turn them into things of value. As my pen, like a tirewoman, has generally curled the hair of her maidens in verse and has seldom shown them in pages of prose, she raises her grateful face to the Emperor: ‘May the august eyes disregard my defect.’*

* If the stream of my life was given the good news of eternal existence, even then I would not offer the thirsty any drink except the praises of the Second Alexander.* But as I find that human life is such that in the end we have to wash our hands off it, the fountain of my words will only enable the reader to moisten his lips. Since the achievement of my life-time, from the cradle to the grave, cannot be more than this, I did not consider it proper to plunge to the bottom of endless oceans but contented myself with a small quantity of the water of life. * The mirror of the Second Alexander* is such that, if totally illuminated, its images cannot be contained by the looking-glass of the sky. How, then, can they appear in the rust-eaten mind of his servant? Still some things, which I have, I will show according to the capacity of my imagination and in such a way as I can,—so that if critics have any doubts about my talents, such doubts may be removed. I hope that when this spotless mirror, in which his virtuous existence has been portrayed, comes before the eyes of the Second Alexander, he will compare it with the original; if it is well con­structed and its images are correct, he will place it among his select courtiers; but, if from inartistic or crooked execution, there is anything in it contrary to the picture of fire, he will signify so, in order that I may correct it so far as possible. I hope, however, that he will not turn away his face from it, for then my images will vanish as if they had never been. But I know that a mirror constructed in the reign of Alexander can never be crooked. * In this book, known as the Khazā‘īnul Futūḥ, I have only narrated one out of a hundred events from the conquest of Deogīr to the conquest of Arangal. It will be seen in this ‘Chapter of the Iron’* what Hindū kingdoms have disappeared from the face of the earth, and how far the ‘Word of Light’ has overcome the ‘darkness of infidelity’; so that the success of the Faith may be estimated from the light and the smoke. May the kindness of the Merciful bless the Emperor!

* I will also narrate some events of the reign of this Caliph, who is Moḥammad in name, Abū Bakr in truthfulness, and Umar in justice. I will show how, like ‘Umān, he has brought the benevolent words of God into the book of realization, how like ‘Alī he has opened the gates of knowledge in the City of Islām, Delhī, with the key of his favour. Through his munificence, which flows like the Tigres, he has raised this Imperial City to the greatness of a new Baghdād. The Abbāsīde standards, which had fallen down owing to great cataclysms, he has in his Caliphate again raised upon foundations of justice.* Through the exercise of his strong judgment, he has maintained peace in the countries of the world. And in all matters he has sought the aid of, and held fast to Allāh. Strange is his prosperity, for God holds his wishes in special regard! For instance, fire is killed by water the moment the two are united, yet if it crosses his mind that the two elements should be married, the Dīwān-i-Quzā will at once perform the ceremony.* The powers of nature are so much under his orders, that though the earth is desolated by the wind and the wind is dusty with the earth, yet if he gives the sign, the twain will be united and the guardians of the atmosphere will turn the wind into water and mix it with the earth. If his mind so desires, it is not impossible that opposites should be made to meet!