THIS work is named after the author, Mír Táhir Muhammad Nasyání, son of Saiyid Hasan, of Thatta. The author, his father, and grandfather, were intimately acquainted with the affairs of the Arghúns and Tarkháns, and were dependants of the members of the former family. Táhir Muhammad, indeed, dedicates his work to, and writes it at the instigation of, Sháh Muhammad Bég 'Ádil Khán, son of Sháh Bég 'Ádil Khán Arghún, governor of Kandahár. The Tuhfatu-l kirám (p. 74), styles Sháh Bég a Tarkhán, not an Arghún, and states that it was to him that the Táríkh-i Táhirí was dedicated.

The author, independent of what he says in his rambling pre­face of twenty pages, which is replete with the most fulsome adula­tion, gives us several incidental notices of himself and family in the course of his work.* We learn that in 1015 H. (1606 A.D.), when Kandahár was beleaguered by the Persians, he went to Thatta to complete his education, and that he was then twenty-five years old. He placed himself under Maulána Ishák, a celebrated teacher, who was well instructed in Sufyism by an attentive perusal of Shaikh Sa'dí, Jámí, Khákání, and Anwarí.

His maternal grandfather, 'Umar Sháh, and his son Dáúd Sehta, Chief of the Pargana of Durbela, afforded such effective aid to Humáyún, in his flight from Shír Sháh, that the Emperor wrote a document expressive of his satisfaction, and of his deter­mination to reward their fidelity with a grant of their native district of Durbela, should he succeed in his enterprises and be restored to his throne. At the instigation of Mahmúd Khán, the governor of Bhakkar, they were both put to death for this injudicious zeal; one being sewn up in a hide and thrown into the river from the battlements of Bhakkar; the other flayed alive, and his skin sent, stuffed with straw, to Mirzá Sháh Hasan Arghún. The family fled to Ahmadábád in Guzerát. The document above alluded to was unfortunately destroyed, when Mírzá Jání Bég ordered Thatta to be fired on the approach of the imperial army. The author, nevertheless, hoped to meet with his reward, should it ever be his good fortune to be pre­sented to the reigning Emperor Jahángír. In one part of his work he calls 'Umar Sháh by the title of Jám, from which we may presume that he was a Samma. Dáúd, 'Umar's son, is also styled Sehta, and, from a passage in the Extracts, it will be seen that Jám Sehta, one of the descendants of the Samma refugees, is spoken of as one of the Chiefs of Kach.

Táhir Muhammad informs us that, notwithstanding all the enquiries he made, he was not able to procure any work which dealt with the periods of history which he had undertaken to write. There might, perhaps, have been some written in the Hindí character, but on that point he was ignorant. This is disingenuous, for his early history must be derived from some written source, though he does not choose to declare what it was. He quotes a poem by Mír Ma'súm Bhakkarí, and is, perhaps, indebted to his prose also, but to no great extent, for in describ­ing the same events, our author is fuller, and his credulity induces him to indulge in strange anecdotes, which the other rejects. His later history, in which he is very copious, is derived not only from his father, who was himself an actor in some of the scenes which he describes, but from other eye-witnesses, as well as his own observations. His residence seems to have been chiefly at Durbela, but we hear of his being, not only at Kanda-hár and Thatta, as previously mentioned, but at Multán and Lahore; so that, for a Sindian, we may consider him what Froissart calls a “well-travelled knight.”

The Táríkh-i Táhirí was completed in 1030 H. (1621 A.D.), in the fortieth year of the author's age. Its style is bad and confused, and occasionally ambitious. We are told that it is divided into ten chapters (tabka), but they are not numbered beyond the fourth, and only seven can be traced altogether. The first, consisting of sixteen pages, is devoted to the Súmra dynasty. The second, of ten pages, to the Samma dynasty. The third, of 30 pages, to the Arghúns. The fourth and all the others, comprising 172 pages, to the Tarkháns—so that it is evident that to them he directs his chief attention, bringing their affairs down to the latest period, when Mirzá Ghází Bég was poisoned at Kandahár, in 1021 H. (1612 A.D.), and the power of the Tarkháns was brought to a close even as Jágírdars—a title they were suffered to retain after their entire loss of independance under Mirzá Jání Bég. We have nothing on the subject of the Arab dominion in Sind, and the chapters upon the Súmras and Samma form no continuous narrative of their transactions. Even the later chapters are very deficient in dates, though there is no break in the history of the Arghúns and Tarkháns. Where dates are inserted they are not always correct.

Besides the present history, it would appear from one of the Extracts given below, that the author composed another work upon some of the Legends of Sind. The name of “Nasyání*” is not a patronymic, but, as we are informed in the Tuhfatu-l kirám (p. 192), a mere poetical designation, assumed by the author. The same passage gives us also some information re­specting his descendants.

This work is rare out of Sind, where it is procurable without much difficulty. The Amír of Khairpur and the Saiyids of Thatta have a copy. I have not met with it anywhere else in India, and I believe there is no copy in Europe. Size, quarto (12 × 9 inches) containing 254 pages, each of 17 lines.


The Destruction of Alor.

From the year of the Hijrí 700 (1300 A.D.), until 843 (1439 A.D.), that is to say, for a period of 143 years, the Hindu tribe of Súmra were the rulers of Sind; and that portion which is now flourishing was then a mere waste, owing to the scarcity of water in the Sind or Panjáb river, which is known by the above name below Bhakkar.* No water flowed towards those regions, and water is the very foundation of all prosperity. The capital of this people was the city of Muham­mad Túr, which is now depopulated and ís included in the pargana of Dirak. Not I alone but many others have beheld these ruins with as­tonishment. Numbers of the natives of that city, after its destruction, settled in the pargana of Sákúra, which was peopled in the time of the Jáms of Samma, and there they founded a village to which they also gave the name of Muhammad Túr.* In this village resided many great men and zamíndárs, disciples of the Shaikh of Shaikhs and defender of the world, Makhdúm Shaikh Baháu-d dín (Zaka-ríya) Mullá Khalífa Sindí, so well known in Hind, who sprang from them and that village. The cause of the ruin of the above-named city, and of its dependencies, which had flourished between nine hundred and a thousand years, was as follows:—Below the town of Alor flowed the river of the Panjáb, which was indefinitely called by the three names of Hákra, Wáhind, and Dáhan, and by others— for its name changes at every village by which it flows. After fertilizing the land, the river pours its waters into the ocean. Dalú Ráí governed the country between the two above-mentioned cities (Muhammad Túr and Alor). He was a tyrant and an adul­terer: every night he possessed himself of a maiden. From the merchants who brought their goods that way in boats from Hind to the port of Déwal,* he levied a toll of half their property; traders thus suffered incalculable injury. At length, a certain merchant* reached the place with a vast amount of goods, and was much astonished at this tyrant's proceedings. When the customs' officers perceived the valuable nature of his merchandise, and found him to be a traveller from distant parts, they resolved to exceed their usual demands. The merchant had also with him a handmaiden, young, and beautiful as the full-moon. When the impious tyrant was informed of this, he determined, according to his odious habit, to get her into his possession. The traveller, who was a wise and God-fearing man, said to himself that it was impos­sible to escape from the tyrant with honour and without distress, and hence it would be better to make some bold effort; in which, by God's help, he might succeed, and which would stand re­corded on the page of destiny until the day of judgment. He prayed for and obtained three day's grace to forward the amount of duties along with his beautiful damsel. During this time he collected a number of skilful and expert artizans, men who excelled Farhád in piercing mountains, and could close a breach with a rampart like Alexander's. To these men he gave whatever they desired, and rewarded their labour with gold, jewels, and stuffs. His intention was to erect a strong embankment above* the town of Alor, and turn the course of the waters towards Bhakkar. Night after night these strong and able workmen laboured to dig a new channel and erect an embankment. The river was thus turned from its old course and flowed towards Síwán and the Lakkí Hills, with such force that the merchant was, by God's mercy, quickly carried with his ships and goods far away beyond the oppressor's reach. When the people of the tyrant's country awoke in the morning, instead of several fathoms of water, they found nothing but mud and muddy water. All were amazed, and informed their master of the mode of the merchant's escape, and of the ruin that had come on the country. He ordered them to turn the river into its old channel, but they all replied that it could not be done now the water had flowed else­where. The Rájá's regret and repentance were all too late. “When the evil is done, oh fool! what avails your regret? Stuff not cotton in your ears, but be alert—sleep not at the hour of action.” In short the scarcity of water soon caused the grass and the fields to wither, and death laid its grasp on men and cattle, but the tyrant paused not in his evil career, until his crimes destroyed both him­self and his people.