August 11, 2011

Book of Akbar

Akbar Namah (Book of Akbar) is a historical discourse on Akbar’s rule in India written by Ḥamīd ullah Shāhabādī Kashmirī, a reputed historian and poet of Kashmir, India. Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (1542–1605), also known as Akbar the Great, was a Mughal emperor who ruled India from 1556 to 1605. The manuscript was made by an unknown copyist in the 19th century. The fringe of the manuscript is adorned with gold inlaid on each page; the first page is specially decorated with gold inlaid floral designs. The manuscript contains three paintings, facing page 48, page 50, and page 63.

Shirin and Khusraw

Shirin va Khusraw (Shirin and Khusraw) is a story written in the 12th century by Shaykh Niẓāmī Ganjavi (circa 1140-1202), based on a tale found in Shahnamah (Book of kings), the epic-historical work of Persian literature composed at the end of the tenth century by the poet Firdawsi (circa 940–1020). The legend was well known before Firdawsi and further romanticized by later Persian poets. The story chosen by Niẓāmī was commissioned by and dedicated to the Seljuk Sultan Tughrul and to the sultan’s brother, Qizil Arsalan. This copy was made by Sidiq Mir in 1857.

The Great History of the Events of Kashmir

Tārīkh-i A‘ẓami: Vāqi‘at Kashmīri (The great history of the events of Kashmir) is a history of Kashmir, India, from the 12th century to the 18th century, written in 1747 by the saint, scholar, and poet of Kashmir, Mohammad A‘zam Diddimrī Kashmirī (flourished 18th century). The work is considered to be one of the important authentic sources for the medieval history of Kashmir. This volume is a 19th-century copy from an unknown hand.

Letters by ‘Alī Ḥamdānī

Maktūbāt-i Sayyid ‘Alī Ḥamdānī (Letters by Ali Hamdani) is a collection letters by the famous Persian scholar, saint, and preacher Sayyid ‘Alī Ḥamdānī (1314–85 A.D.; A.H. 714–87). He came from Hamdan in Central Asia and traveled to Kashmir in 1372–73 A.D. to spread the message of Islam. This is one of the rarest extant manuscripts of letters from the saint to his disciples, directing them how to unravel the secrets of Islamic mysticism. In the letters, Sayyid ‘Alī Ḥamdānī quotes a number of couplets from a 12th-century Persian poet, Shaykh ‘Attār. It is not known when this copy was made or by whom.

The Life of the Prophet

Maghāzī al-Nabī (The life of the Prophet) depicts the life of the Prophet Muhammad in poetical form. The original work was composed by a famous Arabic and Persian scholar of Kashmir, Ya‘qub Ṣarfī (1521–95). The unique poetic and biographical work, transcribed in two columns on each page of manuscript, includes some supplications and eulogies for the Prophet of Islam. Each column is bordered in lines inlaid with gold. The writing of the manuscript is clear and vivid.

Treatise on the Rules and Meters of Poetry

Risalat-i‘Urūḍ va Qafiyah (Treatise on the rules and meters of poetry) is about rules and conventions to be followed in writing good poetry. The manuscript, copied in Kashmir, India, in 1677 (1088 AH) from a work by an unknown author, discusses different aspects of the writing of poetry and elucidates the different elements and considerations used in creating good poetry.