§ 18. Strict Justice between a Prince and a Commoner

Prince Muhammad Azam Shah wrote a letter to Inayetullah Khan with instructions to submit to the Emperor the purport of the letter and his requests. He stated therein, “Sayyid L'al, who has been holding a rank (mansab) in the imperial service for three generations, drinks wine and does many kinds of irreligious practices (bid'at) in my jagir of Mandesor. The Emperor should order his jagir to be taken away from him and given to me, so that this evil may be put down.” The Emperor wrote across the petition,—“It is a novel and funny manner of appropriation to take on yourself a work which appertains to the Censor of Morals and to pray for the transfer of another's jagir. It is impossible to transfer a jagir held for one generation only,—not to speak of one enjoyed for three genera­tions. Nobody's jagir is transferred at the mere word of another man. In being my servants this son and Sayyid L'al are exactly equal, while the latter, by reason of his being a Sayyid, is a thousand steps higher. The chief Sadar should write to the Censor of that place to enquire into the truth of the matter and report the details to me. Praised be God that I have not given my sons predominance as the Emperor Shah Jahan did, lest I should be put to disgrace [by them].”

Text.–Ir. MS. 3a–3b, MS. N. 8b–9a incomplete and confused.

Note.–Censor of Morals or Muhtasib, an officer appointed to see that the ordinances of Islam are strictly observed in private life. [See my Mughal Administration, 2nd ed., ch. 2. § 8.]