§ 45. The mystic number Twelve.

When the Emperor marched from Islampuri (other­wise called Brahmapuri) in the month of Jamadi-us-sani of the 42nd year of his reign, to conquer the forts of the Deccan,—he ordered that every day Mukhlis Khan, the second paymaster, should present to His Majesty ten mansabdars (military officers) from among the hereditary servants (khanahzad) and others, but exclud­ing the Deccanis. The Khan submitted, “As your Majesty has followed the verse ‘These are the ten perfect ones,’ in ordering that ten officers with their retinue (misl) should be daily paraded before you, it is good. Otherwise, if the number be twelve, there is no harm.” The Emperor replied, “Your request, too, is not unsupported by [scriptural] authority. (Verse)

Behold the hours of the day and the Signs of the Zodiac,
Day and night and the heavens too obey the number twelve!”

Muhammad Amin Khan said, “Ay, companionship has a wonderful effect, as I find to-day. Why should there not be four instead of twelve?” His Majesty replied, “Four is included in twelve.” He smiled and continued, “Why is it not three, [you might ask]. But twelve is related to three as the double of double. You are free to choose. Do whatever is likely to benefit the creatures of God most.”

Text.–Ir. MS. 16b & 17a.

Notes.–Aurangzib marched out of Islampuri, on 5th Jamadi-ul-awwal, in the 43rd year of his reign (=19 October, 1699) to conquer the Maratha forts. Mukhlis Khan, appointed 2nd pay­master in July, 1692, died 3 January, 1701. Muhammad Amin Khan Chin Bahadur was Sadar at this time. One section of the Shias are followers of the twelve [Imams].