[THIS is a work in three volumes by 'Alí Sher Káni'. The first two volumes are of considerable length, but all the matter of special historical interest is comprised in the third. A succinct synopsis of the contents of the work is prefixed to the first volume. According to this the work commences with—

Vol. I. A Preface in two parts and three books. Book I. contains three sections,—On the (1) Prophets; (2) Kings; (3) Philosophers, saints, poets, and great men before the time of Muhammad. Book II. is divided into five sections, (1) Ancestors of the Prophet; (2) Memoirs of the Prophet; (3) the Four Khalifs; (4) the Four Imáms; (5) Celebrated Descendants of the Four Imáms. Book III., in three sections, (1) The Um-mayide Khalifs and their representatives in 'Irák and Khurásán, with notices of the chiefs and great men of the times; (2) The 'Abbáside Khalifs, including those who set up the Khalifat in Egypt, and also the great men and warriors of the period; (3) Kings cotemporary with the 'Abbásides.

Vol. II. General History, with notices of philosophers, nobles, ministers, and other great men.

Vol. III. Special History of Sind, including descriptions of its cities and villages, histories of its rulers, and memoirs of its great, learned, and distinguished men.]

This third volume, as it is the latest, so it is the most compre­hensive and consistent of all the histories of Sind. In the portion relating to the early history of the province, it is not quite so copious as the Tárikh-i Sind of Mír M'asúm; but even in that part it presents us with more miscellaneous information, and introduces subjects not treated of in that work, such as the legendary tales which are familiar in the country, the origin of some of the tribes, and the separate biographies of the principal officers and nobles who acquired distinction under the later dynasties. The authors are both equally credulous in recording the miracles of saints, but the extent to which the hagiography runs in the Tuhfatu-l Kirám is much greater than in the Tárikh-i Sind; there being scarcely a village in that priest-ridden country which has not its tombs of holy men, whose lives and powers are here recorded with implicit faith.

The work opens with the dynasties of the Ráís and Brah­mans, followed by the history of the Arab conquest, well abridged from the Chach-náma. This comprises twenty pages. In thirty more we have the legends, the governors appointed by the kings of Dehlí, the Súmras and Sammas; then the history of the Arghúns and Tarkháns, with their nobles, in thirty-six pages; the imperial governors under the Tímúrians in twenty-four pages, and an account of the Kalhora dynasty to the time of Míán Sár-faraz, Khán in twelve pages. All this is comprised in a little less than half the volume. The rest is entirely devoted to the saints, seers, saiyids, shaikhs, and devotees, with a notice of the poets and caligraphists of Sind.

There are two chronograms at the end of the volume, repre­senting that it was completed in A.H. 1181 (1767-8 A.D.); but near the middle, at the close of the account of the Kalhoras, we have later dates several times mentioned, extending to the year A.H. 1188.

The author quotes as his authorities all the native histories noticed in the preceding articles; and in the accounts of the saints we find incidentally mentioned the Jawáhiru-l Aulyá, the Hadíkatu-l Aulyá, the Ma'lámátu-l Áfák, and the Taghíratu-l Murád. Some other authors quoted in the body of the work are obtained at second hand.

Extracts from the Tuhfatu-l Kirám have been given by Lt. Postans in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Numbers lxxiv., 1838, and clviii., 1845. In the latter we have the por­tion relating to the Arab conquest of Sind, which, as before mentioned, is abstracted from the Chach-náma.

The Tuhfatu-l Kirám is the title of one of the works of the celebrated Jalálu-d din Soyútí, according to the Parisian catalogue of his writings given in G. Fluegel's edition of Hájí Khalfa's Lexicon Bibliographicum, Vol. vi. pp. 665-679.

[Sir H. Elliot's copy consists of three volumes quarto. Vol. I., measuring 11 in. by 8 in., contains 746 pages. Vol. II., 889 pages, of 17 lines each. Vol. III. is a little larger (12 in. by 8 1/2 in.), and contains 242 pages, of 25 lines each, in a much smaller hand There is also a new copy of Vol. III.]


The Sindian Ordeal of Fire.

Some customs have obtained from of old among the inhabitants of Sind,* which, although they spring from ignorance, their practice is specially observed by them.

When a person is suspected of any grave offence, and desires to purge himself of the charge, he offers to pass through the flames of a large fire, like a salamander, and come out of it unharmed, like Khalíl. In the story of Sassí and Márúí we shall have an instance of this ordeal.

Another ordeal, still practiced among the most ignorant, is that of taking up a red-hot spade, and this will also be noticed in the story of Márúí. Green leaves of a tree are tied on to the hand of the suspected person with raw thread, and an iron spade, heated to redness, being then placed on his palm, he must carry it for several paces quickly; and it has often been seen that neither the thread nor the leaves have been in the slightest degree affected by the heat of the red-hot iron, although when cast to the ground it scorched it like the sand in the oven of a parcher of grain. Verily this is by the virtue of Truth, for if otherwise, how is it that such fire does not burn the hand?

A modern story runs thus:—A woman stole a pair of shoes belonging to the wife of a certain horseman, but denied the theft. When the time approached for undergoing the ordeal of the hot iron, she artfully concealed the shoes in a basket filled with cotton; and making it seem as if the carrying that were her business at the moment, entered the assembly, and handing it to the horseman's wife, asked her to take charge of it during the ordeal. She then said, “The truth is, I did find a pair of shoes belonging to so and so, and I have made them over to the owner! By the same token I now take up this red-hot spade.” She took it up unharmed, and was then purged of the charge. The complainant then angrily threw the basket on the ground, and, as Truth is sure to prevail, the trick of this artful woman was exposed.

The Ordeal of Water.

A stout post is fixed in deep water, the accused is then told to dive to the bottom, and stay by the post. One of the company shoots an arrow to a long distance, and another person goes and brings this arrow back. The post is then shaken; if the accused be innocent, he will, up to that time, by holding his breath, have been able to remain at the bottom, and on this signal he will come up to the surface. But if guilty, he cannot any how stay so long under water.


Furthermore, several of the people of this country practise magic and incantations. For instance, they can roguishly transfer their neighbour's curds to their own stock, as the following instance will show. A respectable man relates that he was the guest of a woman residing in a village, and that she had but the curds of the milk of one cow. However, about the time she was going to make the butter, she stepped over to a neighbour's house on pretence of fetching fire, and there the woman of the house had a large dish of curds before her, which she was preparing to make into butter; the witch wrought her spells, and retraced her steps, and from the curds of the milk of her one cow she made about ten times the usual quantity of butter!


The science called Shána* is known to some of the hill-people, who are called “Mánsing.” From certain indications on a fresh shoulder-blade, they learn what they wish to know, and it comes to pass accordingly. A party of hill men, driven from their homes by fear of their enemy, were pursuing their way. Having yet gone but a little distance, the Mánsing said that he saw from his Shána that they were hotly pursued by troops, and that there was no escape except by artifice. The party were ordered to empty all the leathern water-bags on the ground, and then to pass over the spot. It so chanced that a Mánsing was also among the enemy's forces; he, too, consulted his Shána for intelligence of the fugitives. It showed him that they had crossed over a stream. This dis­heartened the pursuers, who turned back, and thus the former were saved. This is but a slight illustration of what this tribe can do by the use of the Shána.

Another Custom.—Several ropes, confusedly entangled, are thrown on to the ground, and their unravelment reveals secret things.

Other Sindian Customs:—Liver-eaters—Trackers—Ornithocritics.

There are also women who feed on liver,* and foretell things to come, as will be shown in the history of Mirzá Muhammad Bákí.*

Again, there is the science of Jogní; this is chiefly in vogue with women. An example of it will be shown in the history of Ráí Dáhir.

There is a tribe entitled Bawaratiya, who go about in the guise of beggars, professing to explain mysteries and past events, and thereby deceive men. They also make predictions of the future, which seldom come true.

Some men are so skilful in the art of tracking footprints, that they can tell whether they belong to men or women, strangers or acquaintances, old or young; so also they can distinguish the prints of horses, camels, oxen, and buffaloes. They can pursue the tracks of thieves over hills and through deserts, and possibly they can even follow them through water.