The Persian Translator's Preface.

In the name of God, the most merciful and compas­sionate.

Unlimited praise and gratitude are due to that One all-nourishing, all-powerful, all-forgiving, and compassionate Being, Who is the protector of the earth and the heavens, and the guardian of the world, and its inhabitants, and Who has brought so many thousands of concordant and discordant forms of creatures from the plane of nonentity to the plane of existence. He allotted to every one a distinct shape and motion and calling, to every one He gave a different colour, and a peculiar habit; and for every one He appointed a different art and a different profession. And He made every one pleased with his own line and his own lot.

And boundless blessings and innumerable praises are due to the dauntless leader and chief of all the prophets and saints, and the intercessor for the host of sinners on the day of judgment; to whom praise is accorded by the blessed and holy God in His sacred Word and glorious Book (where it is said “Muhammad is really an apostle* ”), and whose honour and dignity are confirmed by the greatness of the Great Being with the sublime decree: “T. H. We have not sent down the Koran unto thee that thou shouldst be unhappy.”* According to a tradition, the angel Gabriel once brought the following message from God to the Prophet: “O moon of the fourteenth night,* by your coming into existence all (future) apostleship has come to an end. All your wishes and requests are complied with by the eternal Being. Why, then, are you troubled at heart and anxious? Say what burden lies on your heart, so that I may relieve you of it, by bringing you good news.” Thereupon the leader of the way and the guide to truth unlocked the casket of thought and uttered words, precious as pearls, saying: “O brother Gabriel, verily, he was a grateful servant* : inasmuch as I have received so many marks of favour and (so many) encouraging words from the great and august court of God, Who in one place has conveyed tidings of mercy to the people of the world by saying ‘We have not sent thee, O Muhammad, other­wise than as a mercy unto all creatures’;* in another place, has favoured my companions by my apostleship, by saying ‘Muhammad is the apostle of God and those who are with him (are fierce against the unbelievers, but compas­sionate towards one another);* ’ in a third place, has made secure the treasury of prophetship with the stamp of apos­tolic seal, by declaring ‘Muhammad is the apostle of G d and the seal of the prophets’* ; and in a fourth place, has issued the decree of happiness to the pious and the true, and of solemn threats to the (spiritually) poor, the wicked and the refractory, by saying ‘O prophet, wage war against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, (and be severe unto them)’* ; and inasmuch as I have been charged with the control of religion and have been made the crowning end of apostleship, it is but meet that the darkness of error and heresy he displaced by the light of Islam and faith, the foundation of hypocrisy and ignorance be destroyed, the standards of Islam be raised high, the duration of this religion and the laws of this faith be made permanent and everlasting, as in the primeval days of the world, and not liable to any kind of injury, and the rose of righteousness be preserved unimpaired by the thorn of heresy and dissent.” Gabriel (peace be on him!) departed with the above message and immediately returned, and said: “O Muhammad (on whom and on whose descendants be peace and the blessings of God), the great God has given His greetings and blessings to you. I am to obey the immutable command of God, that has been issued afresh, viz., ‘Verily (O Muhammad), thou canst not direct whom thou wilt, but God directeth whom. He pleaseth; (and He best knoweth those who will submit to be directed)* O Muhammad, on whom and on whose children be the blessings of God, and peace, when­ever We call any person to Us, he will come to our court by your calling him, and whenever We drive away any person from Our court, no being will be able to call him back to Us. When We created man, We exclaimed ‘Am not I thy Lord’?* The appointed souls with the excessive desire of fulfilling the words, “They answered yea,”* bent low on their knees, and acknowledged Our unity. We shall shine eonspicuously on the servants of the kingdom of Muhammad (on whom and on whose descend­ants be the blessings of God and peace), and in the reign of that favourite of ours, in order that, through his intercession and importunity, they may be invested with the honour of Islam, while all those who would disobey Us and make excuses and pretexts for (such disobedience) will be denounced as infidels and misguided beings, and in accordance with Our order, ‘Wage war against the infidels and hypocrites,’* and in obedience to Our hint,— ‘Kill the idolators wheresoever ye shall find them,’* will be made the food of blood-thirsty swords and heart-piercing spears and arrows. The accounts of the conquests of Khurásán, Ajam, Irák, Shám, Rúm and Hind* will be entered in records, and the memory of these will, for ever, remain on the margins of time; and God knows best the right thing.”

A reference to Kabácha-tussalátín.

The occasion for writing this exquisite account, and for recording this pleasant history, hap­pened to arise at a time when the kingdom of the august prince, the martyr, the king of Islam, the sovereign of a great empire, the monarch of the territories of God, the supporter of the servants of God, the helper of the creatures of God, the destroyer of the foundation of heresy and error, the strengthener of the laws of religion and true faith, the defender of the saints of the world, the conqueror of the tribes of the children of Adam, the glory of secular and religious worlds, the sup­porter of Islam and the Moslems, the chief person in the world, Abul Muzaffar Muhammad son of Sám Násir,* the Commander of the Faithful (may God pardon him and make paradise his resting place and his habitation!), had just been adorned with the honour of the empire of the glorious and the powerful king, the greatest sovereign, the agent of God, the chief of mankind, the founder of the seat of the Khalífat, the helper of the world and of religion, the glory of the standards of Islam, the vanquish­er of enemies and rebels, Abulfath Kabácha-tussalátín, the Commander of the Faithful.* On his succeeding to the throne, the tent curtains of his greatness were pulled up and firmly fixed with the ropes of constitutional sway (and the strength of strong) tribes, and his positive and negative commands were strictly and absolutely obeyed in various parts of the world and countries inhabited by the children of Adam. (In his reign) all the rebellious and refractory people drew their heads into the collar of retirement (and disappeared); and the abstinent and the pious brought their feet within the skirts of the garment of tranquillity and safety. Thanks to the great God, the constitution of the kingdom and the administration of the empire are excellent to such a degree that in every direction the sub­lime heavens make a firm resolution to co-operate with him, and the bride of empire puts her arm on his neck with willingness and pleasure.

Verses—“O king! may the kingdom be lucky to you; and may the whole world be granted to you. By your existence, tyranny and injustice have disappeared; by your assistance may the foundation of justice and equity be firm. Public orations have become prominent and exalted by your name being mentioned in them; may years and months be long honoured in the same way. Whatever could not be found or procured in the reign of King Jamshed,* may that be made subject and continue subject to your signet, may the auspicious crown of your glorious magnanimity remain under the shadow of the great name of God. Every heart that entertains evil thoughts towards you, may all its affairs be in confusion like the ringlets of beautiful charmers. As long as ‘much’ and ‘little’ are brought into calculation in this world,* may your friends be many and your foes few

May the great king make firm and strong the constitu­tion of this kingdom and the splendour of this empire, by giving it permanence and perpetuity, and may he always preserve the structure of this state and protect the fortifi­cations of this affluence from the accidents of time and the mishaps of nature. May publíc orations adorn the pulpits, and his impression adorn the coins, with his great titles and appellations, till the end of the world; and may the sun of his world-encircling greatness and the moon of his royalty rise glowing from the horizon of glory and the eminence of perfection, as long as the earth remains fixed and the heavens revolve, for the sake of Muhammad and all his children and friends.