Through Fresh contri­bution towards the life of the author. the publication of the first part of the Lubábu’l-Albáb* of our author, many incidents of his life have been revealed in the masterly introduction of Mírzá Muḥammad Khán of Qazwín, and in fact his research is an advance upon that of Nathaniel Bland*, Charles Rieu*, Prof. E. G. Browne* and Th. W. Juynboll*; the present notice is a continuation of the above, and is chiefly based on a closer study of the three works of our author, viz., the above-mentioned Lubáb, the Persian Translation* of at-Tanúkhí’s al-Faraj ba‘da’sh-Shidda, by our author, and the Jawámi‘u’l-Ḥikáyát*, the present work, which we mean to discuss in this Introduction.

In Investigation of three problems. this estimate of the life and works of al-‘Awfí, only those points are dis­cussed which were doubtful, and required a thorough investigation, e. g. his real title, the actual period of his life, and his literary career. For the first point documentary evidence is recorded and examined, for the second, an attempt is made to adduce circumstantial evidence, in order to determine the distinct phases into which his life falls, and for the third, a critical estimate of his individual works is affixed.


Until Discussion on his Laqab, as Sadídu’d-Dín, not Núru’d-Dín nor Jamálu’d-Dín. now, the laqab of the author Muḥammad al-‘Awfí has been known as Núru’d-Dín, which is founded on a wrong basis. Surely al-‘Awfí was known to his contemporaries as Sadídu’d-Dín, and how it was converted into Núru’d-Dín, one cannot say; probably the earliest authority for this innovation is that of Ḥamdu’llah Mustawfí al-Qazwíní, but we possess ample proofs to the contrary, and even contemporary documentary evidences regarding his correct laqab as Sadídu’d-Dín.

The The endorse­ment of a con­temporary. latter statement is based, firstly, on an extract from a subscription to al-‘Awfí’s Persian Translation of al-Faraj ba‘da’sh-Shidda*, which runs as follows: — [Ind. Off. 1432] = Ethé’s Cat. No. 737 f456b-f457a.


This endorsement of a contemporary establishes beyond doubt, the title by which al-‘Awfí was known in his own times; actually his title was Sadídu’d-Dín and not Núru’d-Dín as the later authorities are inclined to believe. There has been a great confusion about it from the earliest down to modern times; Ḥamdu’llah Mustawfí al-Qazwíní being the first author to give an account of him, a very short one, in his Ta’ríkh-i-Guzída (see facs., p. 811). This history was composed in 730 A. H. = 1330 A. D., that is to say a century after the death of al-‘Awfí, and in it he mentions his title as Núru’d-Dín, in which he has been followed by all the later writers, except H. Khalfa (Vol. II, p. 510 No. 3899) whose knowledge of al-‘Awfí’s works is very inaccurate, and who mentions his title as Jamálu’d-Dín. This error has multiplied, as we find Flügel (Vienna Cat. [Persisch 422] Vol. I, p. 410) and a host of other Orientalists incorrectly describing the authorship and dedication of the Jawámi‘.

There Recognition of it by the author himself. is no mention in the text of the Lubáb or in the oldest and most reliable Mss. of the Jawámi‘, of his title as Núru’d-Dín, except in F.* on f135b, which is an abridged and supplemented codex. On the other hand, the title of al-‘Awfí as Sadídu’d-Dín is confirmed by another authentic record concerning al-‘Awfí, i.e., a line preserved in the Lubáb (I, p. 158-9) which occurs in a communication addressed by a friend of al-‘Awfí, called Muhadhdhabu’d-Dín Manṣúr b. ‘Alí al-Asfuzárí* (or Asfizárí), and is acknowledged by the author:


The words Sadíd and ‘Awfí, which occur in the last hemistich with the definite article, are not merely ornamental, but they form a part of the author’s full name; thus the shortened laqab and nisba are very aptly combined here.

In As recorded in the [Supplé­ment Persan 95] Bib. Nat. Paris. support of this argument, the second oldest extant Ms. of the Jawámi‘ = B. dated 717 A. H. can also be adduced. In the body of the text at the end, on f289b in conclusion the author calls himself Sadíd-i-‘Awfí, and on the frontispiece f1a. of this Ms. the following words are written in the gilded border decoration.

<Arabic> and again on f202b. <Arabic> (f203a) <Arabic>

The As duly acknowledged in the Tajáribu’s-Salaf. fourth item of evidence in proof of his title as Sadídu’d-Dín is based on the three quotations in the Tajáribu’s-Salaf*, the enlarged Persian translation of the Kitábu’l-Fakhrí, by Hindúsháh b. Sanjar al-Kírání aṣ-Ṣáḥibí, who composed this work about 724 A. H. = 1324 A. D. In two of these quotations from the Jawámi‘ he acknowledges in clear words the title of the author as Sadídu’d-Dín:


In point of time Hindúsháh is as much later as Ḥamdu’llah, but the former acknowledges the title of the author and quotes correctly, whereas the latter in his Nuzhatu’l-Qulúb borrows from the Jawámí‘, yet mentions neither the laqab nor the nisba of the author. Perhaps the only passage that supports the claims of later writers* who give his title as Núru’d-Dín is this:


This short and unsatisfactory notice in the Ta’ríkh-i-Guzída is contrary to the weighty arguments advanced in proof of his correct title as Sadídu’d-Dín; hence Ḥamdu’llah’s version deserves very little credit, and henceforward his laqab will be regarded as Sadídu’d-Dín.

Before Determination of the Periods of his life. proceeding to discuss the actual details of our author’s life, it is necessary to determine the probable dates of his birth and death, but in this direction only internal and external evidence can be brought forward, and only approximate limits can be fixed, for we are not possessed of conclusive dates.

In The earliest limit. the year 597 A. H. = 1200/1 A D., we find him vigorous*, coming out of his native town Bukhárá, as an accomplished scholar, and appearing at the court of the Sultan Jalálu’d-Dín Ibráhím b. al-Ḥusayn Ṭamgháj Khán of Samarqand, who reigned 574-597 A. H. = 1178/9-1200/1 A. D., and having literary discussions in the company of teachers and learned men like the Amír ‘Amíd Bahá’u’d-Dín, the tutor to the Prince Nuṣratu’d-Dín Qilij Arslán Kháqán ‘Uthmán*, whose reign terminated about 609 A.H. = 1212/3 A. D. and whom he thinks to be 15 years old at that time. It is natural enough that al-‘Awfí, after his long studies in Bukhárá, should have attained an age of 25-30 years, after which he started on his literary tour, or in search of some position at the courts of the different princes, to which he pays visits in turn, as we shall notice presently; therefore on this hypothesis his birth can be placed between 567 and 572 A. H. = 1171/2-1176/7 A. D.

Whereas The latest limit. in the Jawámi‘* there are conclusive proofs that our author lived up to 630 A. H., one significant line in the memoria technica of the ‘Abbásid Caliphs suggests a much longer period than what is supposed. Our author has written the accounts of the 36 Caliphs of the ‘Abbásid line, and has brought down the history to the Caliphate of al-Mustanṣir, (623-640 A. H.), from whom his patron-monarch Shamsu’d-Dín Iltutmish received the nominal insignia of office in 626 A. H., in order to establish friendly relations between Baghdád and Dihlí (A. f118b. I. v. 362) but it appears that this line was added later on and the discrepancies were overlooked.


The Approximate age 60 years. persistence with which thirteen Mss. repeat this line makes one believe that the author lived at longest until the accession of al-Must‘aṣim, the last of the ‘Abbásid Caliphs, and added this line about 640 A. H. = 1242 A. D. Thus the period of his life falls roughly speaking between 567 and 640 A. H. = 1172-1242 A. D., or 572-635 A. H. = 1176/7-1232/3 A. D. which is probably nearer the truth. According to the latter reckoning al-‘Awfí lived a little less than 60 lunar years.

This Divisions of his life-period. period of about 60 years is marked by three distinct phases of his life:

I. Birth, childhood, and early education i.e., 572-597 A. H. = 1176-1200 A. D. in Transoxiana, mostly in Bukhárá his native town.
II. Itinerary period, i.e., 597-617 A. H. = 1200-1220 A. D. from his first appearance at Samarqand, up to the time of settling at the court of Malik Náṣiru’d-Dín Qabácha al-Mu‘izzí, the ruler of Sind.
III. The period of literary productivity, i.e., 617-630 A. H. = 1220-1232/3 A. D. from the composition of the Lubáb until the completion of the Jawámi‘, and even later.