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The Content and the Form in Amīr Khusraw's Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān 1

  • MICHAEL BORIS BEDNAR (a1)

Abstract

Modern scholars approach Amīr Khusraw's Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān as either a historical ma avī that relates Delhi Sultanate conquests or as a romantic ma avī that combines the love story between the crown prince and a Hindu princess with tragedy resulting from their fate. While the content of the Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān is well known, the form of the text and its implications for reading both history and romance remains unexplored. Reading the form inverts the historic and romantic division of the text. It reveals the historical elements as romantic panegyric created by Khusraw in praise of the Delhi Sultanate and the romance as a source-based historical biography.

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1

A Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship in India and England from 2000–2002 and a Research Council/Summer Research Fellowship from the University of Missouri in 2008 funded research for this article. I translated the Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān with Professor A.W. Azhar Delhvi and Sadique Hussain at Jawaharlal Nehru University from 2000–2001. These translations represent a combined effort, although any error is my own. I would also like to thank Blain Auer and Manan Ahmed for commenting on an earlier draft of this article. I am using a version of Steingass’ transliteration system that represents letters as they sound in Classical Persian (Khiẓr Khān instead of Khiḍr Khān, żikr instead of dhikr) and minimizes overlap with Sanskrit, Hindi, and Urdu. The Persian alphabet in transliteration is: alif, b, p, t, s, j, ch, ḥ, kh, d, ż, r, z, zh, s, sh, ṣ, ẓ, , , ayn (ʿ), gh, f, q, k, g, l, m, n, vav, h, ye. Alif is transliterated as a/i/u, vav by v/ū/ō/aw, and ye by ī/ay/ē. The letter hamza is transliterated (ʾ) and iẓāfa as –i.

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2 The standard text is Duwal Rani Khazir Khān (Delhi, 1988), (ed.) Khaliq Ahmad Nizami (Delhi, 1988) based upon the critical edition of manuscripts published as Diwal Rānī-yi Khaḍir Khān, ed. Rashīd Aḥmad Sālim Anṣārī (Aligarh, 1336/1917). Previous studies and partial translations of the text include K.A. Nizami, Introduction to Duwal Rani Khazir Khan, pp. 1–82 and Losensky, Paul E. and Sharma, Sunil (ed.), In the Bazaar of Love: The Selected Poetry of Amīr Khusrau (New Delhi, 2011), pp. 117130 . Books and articles on Amīr Khusraw's life and works include Paul Losensky and Sunil Sharma (ed.), Introduction to In the Bazaar of Love, pp. xi-liii; Gabbay, Alyssa, Islamic Tolerance: Amīr Khusraw and Pluralism (Abingdon and New York, 2010); Sharma, Sunil, Amir Khusraw: The Poet of Sultans and Sufis (Oxford, 2005), and Mirza, Mohammad Wahid, The Life and Works of Amir Khusrau: Thesis Submitted for the PhD Degree of the London University in 1929 (1935; reprint, Lahore, 1962).

3 Nizami, Introduction to Duwal Rani Khazir Khan, pp. 31–37; Losensky and Sharma, In the Bazaar of Love, pp. 117–130.

4 DR 1.2–4.

5 On the interaction between Sufi communities and the sultan's court, see Auer, Blain, Symbols of Authority in Medieval Islam: History, Religion and Muslim Legitimacy in the Delhi Sultanate (London and New York, 2011), pp. 104–134; Nizami, Khaliq Ahmad, The Life and Times of Shaikh Nizam-u'd-din Auliya, 2nd edition. (New Delhi, 2007), pp. 110134 , 183–190; Ernst, Carl W, Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center, 2nd edition. (New Delhi, 2004), pp. 561 ; Kumar, Sunil, “Assertions of Authority: A Study of the Discursive Statements of Two Sultans of Delhi”, in The Making of Indo–Persian Culture: Indian and French Studies, (ed.) Alam, Muzaffar, Delvoye, Françoise ‘Nalini’, and Gabourieau, Marc (New Delhi, 2000), pp. 3765 ; Digby, Simon, “The Sufi Shaykh and the Sultan: A Conflict of Claims to Authority in Medieval India”, Iran 28 (1990), pp. 7181 ; Digby, Simon, “The Sufi Shaykh as a Source of Authority in Medieval India”, Puruṣārtha: Islam et Société en Asie Du Sud (1986), pp. 5777 .

6 DR 15.3–8.

7 Alexander the Great possessed a mirror that allowed him to view what was occurring throughout his kingdom.

8 DR 16.14–17.5.

9 KF 5, 67, 100, 161; Goron, Stan and Goenka, J. P., Coins of the Indian Sultanates: Covering the Area of Present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (Delhi, 2001), p. 37 ; Sunil Kumar, “Assertions of Authority”, pp. 45–46.

10 ʿAlāʾ al-dīn's son and eventual successor, Qu b al-dīn Mubārak Shāh Khaljī, did attempt to claim the position of caliph, as discussed by Nizami, Khaliq Ahmad, Royalty in Medieval India (New Delhi, 1997), pp. 2125 and Blain Auer, Symbols of Authority in Medieval Islam, pp. 119–121.

11 DR 21.13–22.5.

12 DR 24.14–25.1.

13 DR 26.2.

14 DR 26.5–10. The weight of a mann varies over time and throughout the Muslim world.

15 Another example of blurring the lines between genres can be found in Ahmed, Manan, “The long thirteenth century of the Chachnama ”, Indian Economic and Social History Review 49 (2012), pp. 459491 . A discussion of the Mirrors for Princes tradition occurs in Julie Scott Meisami, Medieval Persian Court Poetry (Princeton, 1987), pp. 180–236; Levy, Reuben, An Introduction to Persian Literature (New York and London, 1969), pp. 4463 ; Rypka, Jan, History of Iranian Literature (Dordrecht, 1956), pp. 661662 and 617–634.

16 DR 41.11–17.

17 Blain Auer noted in a previous draft of this article that this is a classic case of imlāʾ. Comments by Auer and Ahmed (above) indicate that more work needs to be done on the poet-patron relationship within the text.

18 Khusraw's use of the word hindī is a bit unusual and he uses the more common hindavī in the next passage. For a study of Hindavī romances, including some references to the Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān, see Behl, Aditya, Love's Subtle Magic: An Indian Islamic Literary Tradition, 1379–1545 (New York, 2012).

19 DR 44.7–9. Deval Dī probably refers to the Sanskrit name Devalla Devī. Naycandra Sūri's Sanskrit work, the Hammmīra Mahākāvya, states that Hammīra Cauhān of Ranthanbōr, whom Sultan ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Khaljī defeated in 1301, also had a daughter by the name of Devalla Devī. A Persian reader would read the word dvl as duval, the plural of dawlat (fortune, good luck). In an attempt to follow both the Persian and Indic traditions, I refer to the text as Duval Rānī and the historical person as Deval Rānī.

20 DR 44.10–16.

21 ʿIṣāmī: FS 30–34; Futūẖū's Salā īn or Shāh Nāmah-i Hind of ‘Iṣāmī, tr. Agha Mahdi Husain (Bombay, 1967), pp. 67–71, 79–81; Davis, Richard H., Lives of Indian Images (Princeton, 1997), pp. 9699 , 190–191. Ẓiyāʾ al-dīn Baranī: FJ: 10, 25, 64, 82, 95, 114, etc.; Sarkar, Nilanjan, “‘The Voice of Maḥmūd’: The Hero in Ziyā Baranī's Fatāwā-i Jahāndārī, Medieval History Journal, 2 (2006), pp. 327356 .

22 KF 14, 46–49.

23 DR 47.14–48.10.

24 DR 48.16.

25 DR 49.1–9.

26 DR 53.2–7.

27 DR 54.4.

28 This wordplay extends over four verses: DR 54.3–6.

29 DR 55.8–56.5.

30 I believe the expression “freed the Mongols through the rope” is a reference to the Mongols’ execution by hanging. Their bodies were later hung in display from the Delhi ramparts as recorded by Khusraw, KF 44–46.

31 DR 62.7–15.

32 Nizami, Introduction to Duwal Rani Khazir Khān, pp. 31–37; Losensky and Sharma, Bazaar of Love, pp. 117–130.

33 Alyssa Gabbay, Islamic Tolerance, pp. 66–85. Nath, R. and Gwaliari, Faiyaz, India as Seen by Amir Khusrau (Jaipur, 1981); Wahid Mirza, Life and Works of Amir Khusrau, pp. 181–189.

34 A longer explanation of Persian meter may be found in Thackston, Wheeler M., A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry (Bethesda, 1994), pp. xiiixx ; Thiesen, Finn, A Manual of Classical Persian Prosody (Wiesbaden, 1982) and Blochmann, Heinrich Ferdinand, Prosody of the Persians according to Saifi, Jami, and Other Writiers, (Calcutta, 1872).

35 A description of Persian end-rhyme may be found in Thackston, Millenium of Classical Persian, pp. xxiv-xxv and Blochmann, Prosody of the Persians, pp. 75–86.

36 Kulliyāt-i Ghazaliyāt-i Khusraw, 4 vols., (ed.) Sayyid Vazīr al-Ḥasan ʿĀbīdī (Lahore, 1975).

37 This footnote and the next two footnotes do not provide a critical apparatus, but rather a few examples that reflect the manuscript as a whole. British Library ms. Add. 21104 (copied April 1517): folios 827b, 828a, 837a, 837b, 842a, 842b. British Library ms. IO Islamic 1951/Ethé 1188 (copied 1526–27): 657b, 658a, 663b, 664a, 670a, 670b. British Library ms. Or. 335 (copied 1574): 103b, 104a, 111a, 112a, 116a, 117a. British Library ms. IO Islamic 412/Ethé 1187 (copied 22 Sept. 1599): 655b, 656a, 661b, 662a, 668a, 668b. Bodleian ms. Ouseley Add. 128 (copied Jan. 1604): 41a, 42b, 57a, 567b, 61a, 62b. British Library ms. IO Islamic 188/Ethé 1216 (copied 27 Feb. 1806) contains a title ghazal az zabān-i ḥikāyat-i ʿāshiq (fol. 47a), although other folios (32b, 33a, 37b, 38a, 47b, 52b, 53b, 62a, 63a, 67a, 68b) appear to follow the standard form.

38 Bodleian ms. Pers. D. 55 (copied Sept. 1578): folios 13a, 14b, 15b, 15b, 19a, 19a, 21a, 21b. British Library ms. Harleian 414 (copied 17th century): 35b, 36a, 44a, 45a, 49b, 50b. This manuscript seems far more recent than the 17th century and contains a number of descriptive titles invented by the copyist (e.g., dar bāgh-i hindūstān on fol. 19b and dar fatḥ-i hindūstān on fol. 26a). British Library ms. IO Islamic 2796/Ethé 1215 (no date, Ethé dates the manuscript to the mid-17th century) appends gūyad on 40a, 41a, 46b, 47b, 61b, 62a. Bodleian ms. Elliot 124 (15 Feb. 1654) contains some titles that append gūyad (fol. 37b, 38b), while other section titles do not (44a, 44b, 54a).

39 Bodeian ms. Ouseley 145 (undated) simplifies the title to “A ghazal from the tongue of the lover/beloved” (fol. 52a, 52b, 75a but is missing a response from the beloved, 96a, 108b). A few pages in this manuscript also append khvāb (dream) to the phrase producing “A dream from the beloved's tongue” (81a, 88a, 96b). British Library ms. Add. 7754 (dated early 16th century) shows the most variation with titles such as “A response from the beloved's tongue” (fol. 27b, 31b, 61a, 73b, 86b), “A ghazal from the beloved's tongue” (104b, 127b), and “A dream of the beloved from the lover's tongue” (41a, presumably 60a and 114a which drop the word khvāb, ‘dream’).

40 DR 63.11–12.

41 DR 41.12 and 41.15.

42 Nizami, Introduction to Duwal Rani Khazir Khān, p. 39.

43 Delhi Sultanate historians previously believed the Delhi Sultanate conquered Gujarat in this 1299 campaign. Such a view can be found in Lal, Saran, History of the Khaljis (New Delhi, 1980), pp. 6771 and Saksena, Banarasi PrasadAlauddin Khaljī”, in Comprehensive History of India, vol. 5, (ed.) Habib, Mohammad and Nizami, Khaliq Ahmad (Delhi, 1970), pp. 335, 400. Historians now believe the 1299 campaign was a raid, with the annexation occurring in a second campaign between 1305–1310 (when the Sultanate army also captured Deval Rānī). This latter view can be found in Misra, Satish Chandra, The Rise of Muslim Power in Gujarat: A History of Gujarat from 1298 to 1442 (New York, 1963), pp. 6466 ; Desai, Z. A., “A Persian Inscription of Karna Deva Vaghela of Gujarat”, Epigraphia Indica Arabic and Persian Supplement 1975, 1320 ; Jackson, Peter, Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 195197 ; Elizabeth Lambourn, “A Collection of Merits Gathered from Different Sources: The Islamic Marble Carving and Architecture of Cambay in Gujarat Between 1200 and 1350 AD.” PhD dissertation, School of Oriental and African Studies (London, 1999), pp. 47–50.

44 Ranthanbōr (DR 65.1–66.10), Chitōr (DR 66.11–67.11), Malwa (DR 67.12–68.7), Māndū and Samāna (DR 68.8–69.9), Telingana and Arangal (DR 69.10–70.14), Hoysalas and Maʿbar (DR 70.15–71.14), Pāṇḍyas (DR 71.15–73.3), and the golden Hindu temple (DR 73.5–9).

45 DR 74.6–13.

46 DR 75.9–76.1, excerpted from a total of 22 ghazal verses.

47 DR 77.2–76.8, excerpted from a total of 20 ghazal verses.

48 DR 80.10–81.5.

49 Scholars generally transliterate the name krn as karan. The name krn in the Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān, however, is scanned as a single overlong syllable, karn, throughout the text (DR 80.14, 84.5, 85.11, 86.11, 87.1, 92.15, 96.13).

50 DR 88.2–7, excerpted from a total of 21 ghazal verses.

51 DR 89.9–90.1, excerpted from a total of 20 ghazal verses.

52 DR 90.10–14.

53 Nizami, Introduction to Duwal Rani Khazir Khān, pp. 31–37; Losensky and Sharma, Bazaar of Love, pp. 117–130.

54 For example, compare DR 41.17–42.13 with NS 166.7–167.4, 179.11–181.10; DR 43.15–44.2 with NS 152.11–18.

55 Wahid Mirza, Life and Works of Amir Khusrau, p. 178 based on British Library ms. IO Islamic 1215.

56 Hardy, Peter, Historians of Medieval India: Studies in Indo-Muslim Historical Writing, Revised edition (New Delhi, 1997), pp. 69 , 92.

57 Hardy, Historians of Medieval India, p. 93.

58 This point made and explored further by Losensky and Sharma, In the Bazaar of Love, pp. xlvi-lii. See also Wahid Mirza, Life and Works of Amir Khusrau, pp. 190–203.

1 A Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship in India and England from 2000–2002 and a Research Council/Summer Research Fellowship from the University of Missouri in 2008 funded research for this article. I translated the Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān with Professor A.W. Azhar Delhvi and Sadique Hussain at Jawaharlal Nehru University from 2000–2001. These translations represent a combined effort, although any error is my own. I would also like to thank Blain Auer and Manan Ahmed for commenting on an earlier draft of this article. I am using a version of Steingass’ transliteration system that represents letters as they sound in Classical Persian (Khiẓr Khān instead of Khiḍr Khān, żikr instead of dhikr) and minimizes overlap with Sanskrit, Hindi, and Urdu. The Persian alphabet in transliteration is: alif, b, p, t, s, j, ch, ḥ, kh, d, ż, r, z, zh, s, sh, ṣ, ẓ, , , ayn (ʿ), gh, f, q, k, g, l, m, n, vav, h, ye. Alif is transliterated as a/i/u, vav by v/ū/ō/aw, and ye by ī/ay/ē. The letter hamza is transliterated (ʾ) and iẓāfa as –i.

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The Content and the Form in Amīr Khusraw's Duval Rānī va Khiẓr Khān 1

  • MICHAEL BORIS BEDNAR (a1)

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