There is a real need for a good history of Sind. As it requires an abler hand to write such a history, I thought of furnishing materials for it, in the form of bare histori­cal facts, collected and translated from some Persian manuscripts, which are mostly unknown to the public, and often difficult to obtain.

Commencing with the ancient history of Sind, which consists of the Hindú period down to the Arab conquest, I could only find three books of some importance on the subject, viz.,—the Chachnámah, the Táríkh Maasúmí, and the Tuhfatulkirám. As the last two books were written after the first book and were partly based on it, and as they did not give much detailed account of the period, I preferred the Chachnámah as my text book, and com­menced translating it. At first I intended to give as many facts on the same subject as I could collect from different books, in my own words, but I was advised by a learned friend of mine to confine myself, in the beginning, to one book alone and give a faithful translation of it, leaving the future historian as well as the general public to form their own judgment about the verity of the facts from the style, the tone and the cheracteristics of the original author. Accordingly I took in hand the literal translation of the Chachnámah.

But in doing that work I experienced many difficulties. There were so many mistakes and gaps in my copy of the book, that I was obliged to collect as many copies as possible from different quarters, in order to compare my copy with them and to fill up the blank spaces and correct the mistakes. I succeeded in securing seven or eight copies from Hyderabad, Tatta, Sukkur and Shikárpur, through the kindness and indulgence of some of my friends. After a deal of trouble and patience, and with the assistance of some Arabio scholars, I corrected the mistakes and filled up the gaps as far as possible.* Then I translated the book, keeping as close to the original words as possible.

I have given numerous notes, both explanatory and referential, which, I hope, will prove useful to the reader. I have also given comparative extracts trans­lated from the Táríkh Maasúmí and the Tuhfatulkirám, about the same events. I have given references to chap­ters and parts of the Koran for the verses quoted from it, often using Sale's translation. I have given equivalent years of the Christian era for those of the Muhammadan era from Mr. Richardson's Chronological Tables. In writing proper names I have followed the Hunterian system of transliteration, except that for the letter ?? (ain) I have used the letter A.

In doing the translation, I have been obliged occasion­ally to use a few words and phrases, for the sake of idiom or style, that are not in the original book. These will be found in parenthesis.

A word now about the Chachnámah itself and some other histories of Sind. It will be seen from the book that the Chachnámah is a Persian translation of an Arabic manuscript on the conquest of Sind by Arabs, written by Alí son of Muhammad Kúfí, originally of Kúfah (in Syria), but subsequently a resident of Uch, in 613 A. H. (1216 A. D.) About the year 991 A. H. (1583 A. D.),* Mír Muhammad Maasúmsháh, a Sayad of Bakhar, wrote a history of Sind in Persian and called it the Táríkh Maasúmí. It gives the Hindú as well as the Mussalman period down to his own time.* Then in the reigns of Emperor Akber and his son Jahángír, other books were written on the subject, as for instance, the Arghún námah, the Tarkhán námah, and the Beglar námah, which treated chiefly of some particular rulers in whose periods their authors lived. Later on in 1187 A. H. (1773 A. D.) Sayad Alí Sher Kánea, a resident of Tatta, wrote a book on universal history in three parts, the last of which treated of the history of Sind. It contains a concise history of Sind up to his own time, i.e., up to the reign of Mian Sarfráz Kalhórá.



20th November 1900.


I have to offer my hearty thanks to Dayaram Gidumal, Esq., B.A., LL. B., C.S., Sessions Judge, Shikarpur, for the trouble he has taken in going through the manuscript and seeing the proofs of the book, and in writing a learned introduction for it.

K. F. M.