Author's Introduction.
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

When the bird of amr zibàlin does not commence its flight with the vigour of Praise, it sheds its plumage without reaching its destination, and falls down in such a (miserable) way that it rises no more. [Note. The soarings of a powerful imagination even cannot be sustained without the invocation of divine help. The lines refer to the following tradition: Kulloamrin zibàlin làyubdao feehà bismillàhe fahoowà abtarun, that is, every work, which an intelligent man does not commence in the name of God, is worse done.]

The tongues of the birds of the vernal abode of Love and Sincerity chant perpetually, from the pulpits of the branches of Bounty and Obligation, thousands of hymns of Praise and Eulogy with charming voices and sweet tunes, and convey them in the course of months and years to the ears of holy congrega­tions (i.e., angels) and the superintendents of the aspects of mankind (i.e., saints and guardian-spirits),

So that, before the Creator—to whom the garden of the sphere is but one petal in the rose-garden of his Art—the tray may be full of oblations from the gems of prayers, for the sin­gers of his praise.

And a thousand songs of greeting and congratulation proceed from the throat of the nightingales of the garden of the Unity of Existence, that is, from the musicians of the assembly of witnesses, and the songsters of the mansion of pleasure of the Ecstacy of Existence.

To the rose of the Garden of Messengership, before whose face the rose of this garden is but a petal, the birds have no lesson (example) from the leaves of the garden excepting the qualities of his Beauty. [Note. Shahad and Kashf are two classes of saints. Ablàg and Jamàl are descriptive of the pro­phet's praises.]

After these premises, it is represented that at this agree­able time, my dear child Ziàyuddin Usuf has engaged himself in learning the rudiments of the Arabic speech, and gathering the principles of the arts of etiquette. And it is not unknown that to raw children and unexperienced boys, dread sits in their heart and gloom sits on their mind if we teach them idiomatic expres­sions, with which their natures are unacquainted and with which their ears are not familiar; so, (allowing) for the delicacy of his head and for whetting his mind, often a few lines were read from the august book of Gulistàn of the famous Shaikh and the great master Mosallah-ud-din Sa'di-i-Shiràzi,—the mercy of the Highest God be upon him and may God be pleased with him,—

It is not a gulistàn (i.e., a rose-garden) but a garden of para­dise, the thorns and rubbish whereof are of the nature of am­bergris. [Note. It is incorrect to read the first word of this line as nuh, meaning nine.] The chapters thereof are the gates of heaven, and the graceful stories therein are as sweet and copious as Kawsars. The sallies of wit hidden behind the veil excite the jealousy of delicate Huris (on account of their beauty and delicacy). Its heart-attracting verses are lofty trees watered by the pleasant moisture of the rivers below (i.e., the rivers of paradise).

In the meantime, it occurred to my mind to compose a few pages in that diction and a small tract in that style in imitation of his noble prose and in likeness of his sweet poetry, so that to those present it may serve as a story, and to those absent it may be an offering from a distance.

When this purpose was accomplished and this circumstance was completed,

I asked my intellect how to adorn this my new bride, so that in the eye of those who court her, her elegance and beauty may be enhanced. It replied: (adorn her with) pearls of pane­gyric of the successful sovereign, the aid of the world, honoured of religion, the asylum of the east and west,—the star of the constellation of glory, the jewel of the casket of exaltation, the lamp of (every) assembly, of the family of Taimur Khán, Sultàn Hussain! Of the power of heaven, to look at whom with an eye of sympathy is as obligatory on the eye as is at the sun of the dusty atoms of the world! Religious,—all the needs of the people guaranteed to be fulfilled by his liberality: his liberality little likes the disgrace of indebtedness (for the protection it affords).

Though ere this was completed the Gulistàn by Sa'di in the name of Sa'd-bin Zangi, my Behàristàn has got its name from one, whose slave Sa'd-bin Zangi ought to be.

Stroll in this abode of spring, so that you may see rose-gar­dens therein; in each rose-garden, roses growing, and aromatic herbs blossoming, with gracefulness.

The Behàristàn has been arranged in eight gardens, every one garden like paradise, comprising anemones of various hues and fragrant herbs of various odours: neither the anemones thereof wither away from the blasting devastation of autumn, nor the aromatic herbs freeze (and die) owing to the attack of frost.

Meadows blossom forth on its sides, and tulip-beds bloom in its vicinity: from night-dew the tulip had (drops of) perspiration (hanging) down the eartips, and from rain the buds had wine in their cups. The narcissus makes a sign to drink wine: ‘pardon my sins and I shall live.’ [Note. This last line is a quotation from the Qoràn.] I fear that, on account of its graceful blan­dishments, it makes wine lawful to the abstainers therefrom. [Note. The scene is so attractive, that if a pious man cannot resist the temptation that it offers for drinking wine, he is to be excused.]

One request to the promenaders of these gardens,—which are without the thorn of any studied animadversion and with­out the rubbish of (any) search of selfish aims,—that when they pass through them with the steps of magnanimity and look at them with an eye of esteem, they should with good wishes remember, and with panegyric please, the gardener thereof, who has drunk the blood of his own liver (i.e., under­gone immense exertions) in (planting and) arranging them, and brought his sweet life on to his lips (i.e., laboured restlessly and enormously) in their soils.

For everyone of those fortunate persons who sits under the shade of, or plucks any fruit from, these blooming trees, it is better that he should practise the principle of thanks-givings, travel the path of generosity, and adopt the canon of prayers, saying: O God! May humble Jàmi, who planted this garden, sit always full of God and empty of his own self (i.e., may his only object of contemplation be God and God alone)! May he not run except on His road! May he not seek anything but His union! May he not speak anything but His name! May he not see anything but His face!

Notes on Author's Introduction.

In the first few lines of his introduction, the author, after the usual style of Mahomedan writers, invokes divine help, and then says a few words in praise of God and his prophet.

Bahesht.—This word seems to be a corruption of the Zend word Vahishta, meaning best. The word Jannat from jann, concealed, literally means something concealed; hence paradise, which is concealed by means of flowers and fragrant herbage. The Qoràn gives fascinating accounts of the pleasures to be en­joyed in heaven. These pleasures are so many that each faith­ful will be given the strength of a hundred men to enjoy them fully.

“God hath rewarded their constancy with paradise, and silken robes reclining therein on bridal couches; naught shall they know of sun or piercing cold: its shades shall close over them and low shall its fruits hang down, and vessels of silver and goblets like flagons shall be borne round among them; fla­gons of silver whose measure themselves shall mete. And there shall they be given to drink of the cup tempered with zanjàbil (ginger) from the fount therein, whose name is Salsabil. Blooming youths go round among them. When thou lookest at them, thou wouldst deem them scattered pearls; and when thou seest this, thou wilt see delights and a vast king­dom; their clothing, green silk robes and rich brocade: with silver bracelets shall they be adorned; and drink of a pure beverage shall their Lord give them. This shall be your recompense.”

There is a tree called Tubà in paradise, the trunk of which is situated in the prophet's house, while the branches reach the house of each of the faithful; and these branches instantaneous­ly yield everything that is wanted, flowers, fruits, drinks, &c., and will sing and dance if commanded to do so. Besides these there are the Huris or fairies of paradise. They are large and black-eyed beautiful damsels, called Hur-al-a'in, whose com­pany will be the chief source of enjoyment to the faithful. These damsels are created of pure musk, free from all the impurities and infirmities of mortal women, and live in pavilions of hol­low pearls.

“Therein are rivers of water (Rahik) which corrupt not: rivers of milk (Tasnim) whose taste changeth not: and rivers of wine (Kawsar) delicious to those who quaff it; and rivers of clarified honey (Salsabil).” The banks of these rivers are of gold and the sand is all pearly.

Kawsar is the river from which all other rivers are supposed to derive their source. “It is a river which God has given me in paradise, its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, and on its water are birds whose necks are like the necks of camels”