[MUHAMMAD TÁHIR, who received the title of 'Ináyat Khán, and was poetically named 'Ashná, was son of Zafar Khán bin Khwája Abú-l Hasan.

Zafar Khán, the author's father, was wazír of Jahángír. In the reign of Sháh Jahán, he was at one time ruler of Kábul, and afterwards of Kashmír, during which latter government he effected the conquest of Tibet recorded in the foregoing pages (p. 62). At a later period he was appointed to the administration of Thatta. “He was celebrated as a poet, as a patron of letters, and as a just and moderate ruler.”

'Inayat Khán's maternal grandfather, Saif Khán, was governor of Ágra, and when Prince Shujá' was appointed ruler of Bengal, Saif Khán was sent thither to conduct the administration until the arrival of the prince.

The author, it appears, was born in the year that Sháh Jahán came to the throne. In the seventh year of his age he received, as he informs us, “a suitable mansab.” He was sent to join his father in Kashmír while he was governor there. He was afterwards daroghá-i dágh, and subsequently employed in a more congenial office in the Imperial Library. “He inherited his father's talents and good qualities, and is said even to have surpassed him in ability. He was witty and of agreeable manners, and was one of the intimate friends of Sháh Jahán. Latterly he retired from office, and settled in Kashmír, where he died in A.H. 1077 (A.D. 1666). In addition to the history of Sháh Jahán's reign, he was author of a Díwán and three Masnawís.”*

The sources of the first part of this Sháh Jahán-náma are plainly acknowledged by the author. The first twenty years are in entire agreement with the Bádsháh-náma, but are written in a more simple style. The history comes down to 1068 A.H. (1657-8 A.D.), the year in which Aurangzeb was declared Emperor, but of this event he takes no notice. The author does not inform us whether he used any other work after the Bádsháh-náma as the basis of his own, or whether the history of the last ten years is his own independent work.

The following is the author's own account of his work trans­lated from his Preface:

“The writer of these wretched lines, Muhammad Táhir, com­monly known as Ashná, but bearing the title of 'Ináyat Khán bin Muzaffar Khán bin Khwája Abú-l Hasan, represents to the attention of men of intelligence, and acumen that in Rabí'u-l awwal, in the 31st year of the reign of the Emperor Sháh Jahán [six lines of titles and phrases], corresponding to 1068 H., he was appointed superintendent of the Royal Library, and there he found three series of the Bádsháh-náma, written by Shaikh 'Abdu-l Hamíd Láhorí and others, each series of which comprised the history of ten years of the illustrious reign. The whole of these memoirs completed one karn, which is an expression signifying thirty years. Memoirs of the remaining four years were written after his death by others. The author desires to observe that the style of these volumes seemed difficult and diffuse to his simple mind, and so he reflected that, although Shaikh Abú-l Fazl was ordered by the Emperor Akbar to write the history of his reign, yet Khwája Nizámu-d dín Ahmad Bakhshí wrote a distinct history of that reign, which he called the Tabakát-i Akbar-sháhí. Jannat-makání Nuru-d dín Muhammad Jahángír, imitating the example of his ancestor the Emperor Zahíru-d dín Muhammad Bábar, himself wrote a history of his own reign; yet Mu'tamad Khán Bakhshí wrote a history of that reign, to which he gave the title of Ikbál-náma-i Jahángírí. Ghairat Khán Nakshabandí also brought together the chief events of that reign in a book which he called Ma-ásir-i Jahángírí. (With these examples before him), it seemed to the writer of these pages that, as he and his ancestors had been devoted servants of the Imperial dynasty, it would be well for him to write the history of the reign of Sháh Jahán in a simple and clear style, and to reproduce the contents of the three volumes of Shaikh 'Abdu-l Hamíd in plain language and in a condensed form. Such a work (he thought) would not be superfluous, but rather a gain. So he set about his work, and the Almighty gave him leisure, so that in a short time he completed it. The history from the fourth to the tenth year is based on the Pádsháh-náma of Muhammad Amín Kazwíní, commonly known as Amínáí Munshí, which is written in a more simple style. And as only a selection has been made of the events recorded, this work is styled Mulakhkhas.”

The title Mulakhkhas “Abridgment,” which the author gave to his work, was too indefinite to last, and it is commonly known as Sháh Jahán-náma.

MSS. of this work seem to be common. Sir H. M. Elliot has three borrowed copies. There are three in the British Museum, and one in the Library of the Asiatic Society. A copy belonging to the Rájá of Benares is a handsome quarto of 12 inches × 8 1/2, and contains 360 leaves of 19 lines to the page. The whole of this work, from the beginning of the third year of the reign to the accession of Aurangzeb, with which it closes, was translated by the late Major Fuller. It fills 561 folio pages of close writing, and is in Sir H. M. Elliot's Library. The follow­ing Extracts are taken from that translation.]


In the news from Balkh, which reached the ear of royalty about this time, through the representations of the victorious Prince Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahádur, was the following:— Nazar Muhammad Khán, who, after abandoning the siege of fort Maimanah, had stood fast at Nílchirágh,* continued watching, both day and night, the efforts of 'Abdu-l 'Azíz Khán and his other sons, who were gone to oppose the royal army with all the Uzbek forces of Máwaráu-n Nahr, Balkh and Badakhshán, anxious to see what would be the result. As soon as he heard that they also had, like himself, become wanderers in the desert of failure, owing to the superior prowess and vigour of the royalists, finding his hopes everywhere shattered, he despatched an apologizing letter to the illustrious Prince, expressive of his contrition for past misdeeds, and ardent longing for an interview with His Royal Highness, stating that he was desirous of retrieving his fallen fortunes, through the intercessions of that ornament of the throne of royalty. The illustrious Prince having kept the envoy in attendance till the receipt of an answer, waited in expectation of the farmán's arrival, and the Khán's letter, which His Royal Highness had forwarded to Court in the original, with some remarks of his own, was duly submitted to the auspicious perusal. As it happened, from the commencement of his in­vasion of Balkh, this very design had been buried in the depths of his comprehensive mind, viz. that after clearing the kingdoms of Balkh and Badakhshán from the thorny briers of turbulence and anarchy, he should restore them in safety to Nazar Mu­hammad Khán. The latter, however, scorning the dictates of prudence, hastened to Írán; but finding his affairs did not progress there to his satisfaction, he turned back, and at the suggestion of the Kalmáks and other associates, came and be­sieged the fort of Maimanah, in order that he might seek shelter within its walls, and so set his mind at rest. In the end, however, after infinite toil and labour, seeing the capture of the stronghold in question to be beyond his reach, he de­parted without effecting his object, and moved to Nílchirágh, all which occurrences have been already fully detailed in their proper place. From the letters of reporters in those dominions, it was further made known to his world-adorning understanding, that notwithstanding the servants of the crown had manifested the most laudable zeal and anxiety to console the hearts of the peasantry in Balkh and Badakhshán by giving them seed, and assisting them to plough and till their fields: yet, owing to the inroads of the Almáns, most of the grain and crops had been destroyed, and the populous places desolated; and that the commanders of the army, and the chiefs of the soldiery, owing to the dearth of provisions and the scarcity of grain, were ex­tremely disgusted, and averse to remaining any longer in the country. From the contents of the Prince's letter, moreover, his unwillingness to stay at that capital was also discerned. Taking all this into consideration therefore, an edict was issued, direct­ing His Royal Highness to deliver up Balkh and Badakhshán to Nazar Muhammad Khán, provided the latter would come and have an interview with him, and then set out with all the victorious forces for Hindustán, the type of Paradise.