I have adduced this narrative that it may be known that all human arrangements are vain before God’s predestination, and that every one upon and to whom the sealed decree descends, and the known last hour arrives, must go as chosen for the stated hour of death and ever-recurring destruction, as is declared in the glorious Kurán, “Say if you be in your houses on the day when those who are written down to die go out to battle (you would die) upon your beds.” Upon this there is a well-known saying of the Lord of the Law (Muhammad? peace be with him) When God wills to carry out His decree to the utmost He deprives the intelligent and the wise (of their qualities) that He may fulfil His purpose and His decree. And every one knows that if he would fly and seek refuge he must do so to the holy presence and mighty Court. There he must seek protection, and must hold fast by a good mind, and right rule, and pleasing conduct, like the Emperor, the just Múíd-Muzaffar-Mansúr, holy warrior, perfect uniter of the State and religion, victor for Islám and Muslims, Ulugh-Barík (Heaven magnify his power!) whose deeds in these times give forth perfume, by reason of his justice and equity, in the good ways of Heaven. And Heaven has guarded him and his house from misfortune, and with generous liberality hath brought him out from the deluge of this blood-eating conjuncture and cloudy fortune. May his days be prolonged and may he find support, if God will. In verification of the words of my introduction I will narrate one of God’s mercies to him, that his goodness may not perish or his bounties be unfruitful, as the Kurán speaks plainly, “As to ye who believe and do good works, ye shall not lose the reward of the good ye have done.” In the days of the difference and strife of Sultán Togrul with the army of the Atábegs this king was taken prisoner. All his longed-for liberty was cut off, all hope of liberation and deliverance intercepted. His family and dependents had not a glimpse of hope, and in cautious and confused apprehension their breath went out of their bodies, and strength from their hearts. The troops killed his son-in-law, Sharfaddin, a young man purer than the moon and more handsome than the cypress, and carried his head before his dependents, upon a spear. The Sultán having obtained possession of the citadel of Farzín and sent a governor there, this king became the hostage for this fortress, and all were in despair. At that time I was at Court and saw that the just Lord, Chief of Vizirs, Abúl-Kásim-’bn-Al-Husain, during this sad calamity, sought to wash himself (with weeping) like a fish, and poured tears from his eyes, like the rain. Day and night he lamented and grieved before Heaven, and gave alms at his door, throwing himself on the ground in the mosques and temples, and imploring the aid of the prayers and meditations of the worthy, until the Lord, the changer of hearts, and causer of causes, caused it to be intimated, in the Bazár of Hamadán, by the tongue of one of the ryots of Kashán, as follows: The Atábeg Muhammad bought Jamal-Addín (father of Ulugh-Barík) for two or three hundred dínars;— Oh, that the Sultán would sell him to us for an hundred thousand dinars, then men would with accord collect droppings of gain (small collections) by mentioning it in the lanes and houses, during their gossiping conversations, so that they would redeem him, since we have seen much good in him, and it were pity that distress should come upon such nobleness! By good chance one of the Sultán’s private household passing by heard this, and informed the Sultán, and the Providence of God aided, and when the Sultán’s eyes were sleeping like poppies, but his sight awake, he thought, what a life such a one has passed amid his subjects! It would be a perfect disgrace to set a value on such a man, or for worldly considerations to injure so pure a soul; he therefore, after a few days, liberated him, and caressed and honoured him. And the people observed his day of release as if it were his birth­day. Let the men of the world take example from this affair and understand the truth of this senti­ment, “If God take you in hand for evil let not your passions be displayed to Him, and if He take you in hand for good (be equally resigned) for He is mighty over all things, He is supreme over His servants, He is the wise Revealer of novelties.”— (Kurán). During these confusions the misery of the people was inconceivable, and throughout all the regions of Irák not one old family remained. Palaces upon which thousands had been expended were demolished and their ruins sold for eight brass coins, and an incomparable (dwelling) &c., which in times of quietness was worth ten or twenty gold coins, through the straitness of provi­sions, and the many taxes and extortions of the army was given gratis. And no one was bold enough to go out, for there was no security against the dread of hyænas and lions, who made their dens in the dwellings of husbandmen and farmers, and no one had an idea of going out except with comrades and weapons. In several places an hideous scarcity ensued, wherein the poor perished, and the revenue of the rich and powerful fell, and the sons of men became foolish and oppressors, and all turning aside from the dress (habits, customs, &c.) of parents and ancestors, relinquished the sword and pen, and rested all their eagerness upon dagger and sword, so that the destructive and ill-disposed obtained the superiority, and affairs became unsettled and wise men wished to die. And amidst this confusion Jarbázkán shared more than other cities in trouble, for two reasons; one, that it was midway between two capitals, and in the neighbourhood of some fortresses which had sprung up, so that it suffered in every new calamity of Irák, as the lines express it (Verse)

“I have been at Jarbázkán and I have complained of a restive horse, after a vicious one,” &c. (i. e., I suffer from both parties.)

And the second cause was that every year three wicked divisions (of banditti, &c.) came, who ceased not to injure Muslims, both in life and property; and the rulers of the interior were worthy of the time and oppressed mankind, so that even great men thought safety and their lives a gain, and neither dumb or speaking beings remained in their palaces, so that in the confusion most pre­ferred to exile themselves from their homes, and to depart and to be content with absence, until God gave help. And the Sultán appointed Ulugh-Barík and the Khwájah Jihán, Sayyid of Vizírs over the finance. And they, seeing the helpless­ness and distress and misery of the country, gave it the sceptre of compassion and considered how to rectify its affairs. They revived the population, restored the revenue, and established equity. They annihilated with the sword those gushing fountains of iniquity which had appeared in times of weakness, so that the people of vanity drew their heads within their collars and placed their feet upon the skirt of good manners, ceasing from violence, and betaking themselves to letters and handicrafts. And they resolved that the adminis­tration should be confided to none other than to the Amír Rais-Jamál-Addín, Mayor and Lieutenant of the city, a young man of remarkable ability, who won the love and fidelity of all. He had in youth the experience of age, was generous as the rain or the sea, in anger like an enraged lion, in liberality he would displace Hatim-Tai. When he was settled he began, like a physician, to search the causes (of the disease) and cut up by the roots all that caused the injury of the people. He restrained his two brothers, oppressors and evil-doers, and as to their followers, the fountains of wrong, some he slew with the sword and others he impaled. When he saw worthy people he took them to himself. He lived upon his own property and oppressed none, and removed the fires of con­fusion which had existed some years. Hence peasants and workmen gladly returned to their different employments, and the fugitives sought their homes, and tranquillity and peace resulted. Therefore all were well inclined to their king and assigned themselves to his rule, for his moderation and self-restraint and feeling gave confidence to the subject. They redoubled their love and regard, and, when on the carpet of prayer, their supplications arose from the heart to Heaven, for the just King Ulugh-Beg and the Lord of Vizírs Azz-Násir. Their renown is spread throughout all regions of the earth, and in mansions eternal there will be a home for them in Paradise, a recompense for their good deeds will be there assigned, and apportioned to them on the day of judgment, when their rank will be very great amongst that assembly of jubilant guests (if it be Heaven’s will).


The author, after some final encomiastic verses, thus concludes:—

This short history has been written in the heroic bosom (private residence, &c., or patronage) of Táj-Addin-Muin-Al-Islám, Sayyid Al-Amáthal­wa-Assadúr, Ali-’bn-Muhammad-’bn-Abúl-Ghayth, Grand Agent of the empire and centre tie of the State, and this book is concluded by his assistance. The Persian verses which have been composed and annexed are more than was enjoined by the lucid mind and obedient nature of him who can compose rhyme and blank verses, and make up a history with lawful magic (fascination) and clear water (beauty). His glory, his ancestors, and the virtues of his father, who was the Ibn-Amíd of his time, and the Abdul-Ahmíd of the age, are brought forward in this complete book, entitled “A gift to the universe upon the merits of Irák.”*

I will demand, as in marriage, from thy love, the falling away from blaming (this work). I will endow what I demand with all that I have freely and liberally. If those who are fully equal to this difficult work be desired we (Heaven prolong the remaining years of the high Court!) are in afflic­tion, of the humblest of his people, and poor, and (even) the nobler are but suspected amongst his tribe, chiefly on account of two wants and sorrows, want of talent and distance from our country. But the officers and the high assembly (Heaven perpetuate its greatness, and the greatness of his accomplished comrades and guests, and of his ministers in guiding and consoling!) [still remain].* When, however, the dove is cooing his excellent notes one does not make the pigeon fly (in rivalry) and when the cymbals warble no responsive strains can aid her sweetness; and if he would be willing to superadd heaviness (im­portance) to my light weight he in wisdom is adapted for the highest place (function) (beyond me). Unto him will I be attached, morning and evening, and will serve him as spiritualized bodies serve. Hereby I shall attain great glory and happy blessedness, and augmented exaltation to my mind.


The Arabic text concludes thus:—

May God have mercy upon his servant who saith Amen. Now is completed the Kitab-Al-Yamini, upon the explication of the history of the Sultán Yamin-Addoulat-wa-Amin-Al-Millat, Abul-Kasim-Mahmúd-’bn-Sabaktagín, and the commen­dation of the assemblies of his contemporaries and comrades, with the annexed histories of the princes of the provinces in his vicinity, as collected by Abú-Nasr-Muhammad -Abdul-Jabbár-Al-Utbi, wonder of scribes. May God illuminate his grave and gladden his glory!