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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 July 2021
This article is an attempt to add a mathnawī of the sixteenth century Mughal India composed by a Mughal poet and noble, Mīrzā Khanjar Beg, for his contemporary ruler, Akbar, to the vast treasure of what is known as the advice literature or Mirror for Princes. The article deals with the content, structure, and style of the mathanwī, and contextualises it in contemporary partisan politics along with an emphasis on its features as an advice book for rulers.
I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions and insights. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Dr Shahid Jamal, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, for his help in Persian translation.
2 Jamāl Isfahānī, Khāqānī followed his model in their panegyric poems while Niẓāmī Ganjawī in his mathnawī. Moreover, Shaykh Saʿdī Shīrāzī, and ʿUmar Khayyām also composed didactical poetry on ethics and politics. See, Qasmi, Fārsī Shāʿirī, p. 113–116; For the advisory works written in both prose and poetry, see Amir, Muhammad Amin, ‘Fārsī Adab mein Akhlāqī Qadrein’, Taḥqīqāt-i Islāmī 28, 4 (2009), pp. 83–106Google Scholar.
3 Qasmi, Fārsī Shāʿirī: Ek Muṭālaʿ, pp. 108–109.
4 Noʿmānī, Shiblī, Sheʿr al-ʿAjam (Azamgarh, 2014), v, pp. 156–160Google Scholar; Qasmi, Fārsī Shāʿirī, pp. 108–109.
7 Sunil Sharma, ‘Ḵamsa of Amīr Ḵosrow’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 20 April 2012, https://iranicaonline.org/articles/kamsa-amir-kosrow (accessed 13 March 2021).
8 Sayyid Sabaḥ al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Bazma-i Tīmūriya (Azamgarh, 2011), i, p. 131; Munibur Rahman, ‘Abuʾl-Faiyż Fayżī’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 24 January 2012, https://iranicaonline.org/articles/fayzi-abul-fayz (accessed 15 March 2021).
9 Paul Losensky, ‘ʿOrfi Širazi’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 20 July 2003), https://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/orfi-of-shiraz (accessed 15 March 2021).
10 Muzaffar Alam's work on the genre of advice literature or mirror for princes written in prose form in Mughal India does not discuss any advisory text composed for Akbar in the sixteenth century. See Alam, Muzaffar, The Languages of Political Islam in India c. 1200–1800 (New Delhi, 2004), pp. 26–69Google Scholar; Similarly, Sayyid Sabāḥ al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān discusses the poets of Akbar's time and their works but does not mention the composition of a single poetic work on advice related to the management of state affairs for the emperor except Khanjar Beg's mathnawī. See al-Raḥmān, ʿAbd, Bazma-i Tīmūriya (Azamgarh, 2011), i, pp. 431–432Google Scholar.
11 A number of advisory texts were composed after the death of Akbar. The Risāla-i Nūriya-i Sulṭāniya of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Dehlawī, see Muhammad Saleem Akhtar, Sind under the Mughals (Islamabad, 1990), p. 134. The Mawʿiẓa-i Jahāngīrī of Muḥammad Bāqir Najm-i Thani (see the introduction of Sajida Sultana Alvi in Muḥammad Bāqir Najm-i S̱anī, Mau‘iẓah-i Jahāngīrī, (ed. and trans.) Sajida Sultana Alvi, Advice on the Art of Governance: Mau‘iẓah-i Jahāngīrī of Muḥammad Bāqir Najm-i S̱ānī (New York, 1989), p. 12; Akhlāq-i Jahāngīrī of Qāḍī Nūr al-Dīn Khāqānī, see Alam, The Languages of Political Islam in India, p. 71 were composed for Mughal Emperor Jahāngīr (r. 1605-1627). ʿAbd al-Ḥaq also composed an advisory treatise, Tarjuma al-Aḥadīth al-Arbaʿīn fī Naṣīḥat al-Mulūk wa al-Salāṭīn for Shāhjahān (r. 1628-1658), the successor of Jahāngīr. See Akhtar, Sind under the Mughals, p. 134; Moreover, an advisory text, al-Ḥikmat al-Khālida of Ibn Miskūyah was translated into Persian from Arabic by Taqyī l-Dīn Shustarī with the title of Jāwidān-i Khirad in Jahāngīr's time. This text (Jāwidān-i Khirad) was retranslated by Ḥājī Shams al-Dīn on behalf of the Mughal noble, Shāʾistā Khān during the late seventeenth century. See Alam, The Languages of Political Islam in India, p. 69. Ādāb al-Salṭanat was also composed for Jahāngīr by Jerome Xavier, a Jesuit father at Mughal court. See Zver, Uroz, ‘‘I Picked these Flowers Knowledge for You’: Jesuit Rules of Statecraft for the Emperor of Mughal India’, in Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law Volume 19, 2016–2017, (eds.) Lau, Martin and Nasrallah, Faris (Leiden, 2019), p. 85Google Scholar.
12 Abūʾl-Faḍl mentions a number of prose and poetic writings including advisory books written in Perso-Islamic world such as the Akhlāq-i Nāṣirī of Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī, the Qābūsnāma of Kaykāwus b. Iskandar, the Gulistān and the Būstān of Shaykh Saʿdī, the Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaqīqa of Ḥakīm Sanāʾī, the Mathnawī-i Maʿnawī of Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, the Shāhnāma of Firdawsī, the Khamsa of Niẓāmī, poetic collection of Amīr Khusrow, Mawlānā Jāmī, Khāqānī and Anwarī etc. These books were in the imperial library and were read out to the emperor Akbar. See Abūʾl-Faḍl, Āʾīn-i Akbarī, (eds.) H. Blochmann (Calcutta, 1872), i, p. 115; Abū ʾl-Faẓl, The Āʾīn-i Akbarī, (trans.) H. Blochmann (Calcutta, 1927), i, p. 110; ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Bazma-i Tīmūriya, i, pp. 97–98.
13 Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb, Tadhkira-i ‘Allama Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ṭāhir Muḥaddith Pattanī: Tarjuma-i Risāla-i Manāqib, (Urdu trans.) Sayyid Abū Ẓafar Nadwī (Delhi, 1954), p. 103; Muhammad Saleem Akhtar discovered a manuscript of this text in the Public Library of Khairpur, Sind, but the modern research is not available on this book. See Akhtar, Sind under the Mughals, p. 134.
14 Noʿmānī, Shiblī, Sheʿr al-ʿAjam (Azamgarh, 2014), iv, pp. 189–190Google Scholar; My own translation.
15 Edward Sachau and Hermann Ethe mentioned a mathnawī entitled, ‘Naṣāʾiḥ ba Pādshāh Akbar (Pieces of Advice addressed to Akbar)’ in the catalogue through the reference of Safīna-i Khushgo, a book on biographies of poets composed in the eighteenth century. See Sachau, Ed. and Ethe, Hermann, Catalogue of the Persian Turkish, Hindustani, and Pushtu Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1889), i, p. 655aGoogle Scholar. However, the title of the mathnawī has been given neither by the poet nor in the writings of his contemporary and in the writings of the later centuries. They only mentioned that Mīrzā Khanjar Beg composed a mathnawī which contained poet's own condition, praise and advice given to Emperor Akbar. See ʿAbd al-Qādir Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, (eds.) Aḥmad ʿAlī and Kabīr al-Dīn Aḥmad (Calcutta, 1869), iii, pp. 223–224; ʿAbd al-Qādir Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, (trans.) Wolesely Haig (Patna, 1960), iii, pp. 310–311; Lakshmī Nārāyan Shafīq, Shām-i Gharībān, (ed.) Muḥammad Akbar al-Dīn Siddīqī (Karachi, 1977), p. 91; Shaykh Aḥmad ʿAlī Khān Hāshmī, Makhzan al-Gharāʾib, (ed.) Muḥammad Bāqir (Lahore, 1970), p. 87. In fact, Sachau and Ethe misunderstood the description—“mathnawī mushtamil bar ḥasb-i ḥāl-i khud wa naṣāʾiḥ ba pādshāh Akbar guzrānīda būd” (a mathnawī based on his own condition and advice presented to Emperor Akbar)—given in Safīna-i Khushgo. In this description Bindrāband Dās Khushgo, the author of Safīna-i Khushgo, says that Khanjar Beg composed a mathnawī which consists of his own condition and advice given to Akbar rather mentioning the title of the mathnawī. See Bindrāban Dās Khushgo, Safīna-i Khushgū (Oxford, The Bodleian Library, MS. Elliott 400), f. 72b.
16 It clearly appears from the only and undated manuscript of Khanjar Beg's Dīwān which contains the mathnawī that it was composed during the time of Akbar. As it has been written on the fly-leaf of the first folio by the same hand that “Dīwān-i Khanjari dar muddat-i ḥazrat Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar Pādshāh-i Ghāzī ba-siyār gufta” (the Dīwān of Khanjar Beg was written well during the time of Akbar). See Mīrzā Beg, Khanjar, Dīwān-i Khanjar (Oxford, The Bodleian Library), MS. Selden Superius 23), f. 1aGoogle Scholar.
17 Bayram Khān's regency period (1556-1560) has been divided into four phases. The first phase covers the period from the accession of Akbar to the imperial throne (January 1556) to just before the second battle of Panipat (October 1556). In this phase, benefiting from the critical situation of Mughals in India which happened due to the accidental death of emperor Humāyūn, Akbar's minor age and the threat of Afghans, Bayram Khān secured the approval of his appointment as the regent of the empire (wakīl al-salṭanat) from all nobles, who did so to protect their common interests. All powerful Mughal nobles, who could contest the regent for the post of wakīl such as Tardī Beg Khān, Munʿim Khān, Khiḍr Khwāja Khān, Khwāja Jalāl al-Dīn Maḥmūd and Khwāja Muʿaẓẓam on the basis of their long service, blood relations with the emperor, recognised his position but all of them wanted to share power with him. They even did not want that the regent exercise power as de facto sovereign. The third phase begins from April 1557 and lasted to the middle of the year 1559. This phase witnesses the decline of the regent's power gradually. The fourth phase covers the period from the latter half of 1559 to 1560. This period witnessed attempts of the regent to regain his power and the growth of factional strife which led Akbar to dismiss him. See, Khan, Iqtidar Alam, ‘The Mughal Court Politics during Bairam Khan's Regency’, Medieval India –A Miscellany 1, (1969), p. 22Google Scholar.
18 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 223; Haig, iii, p. 310; Khwāja Niẓām al-Dīn Aḥmad, Ṭabaqāt-i Akbarī, (ed.) B. De (Calcutta, 1931), ii, p. 447; Khwāja Niẓām al-Dīn Aḥmad, Ṭabaqāt-i Akbarī, (trans.) B. Dey (Calcutta, 1936), ii, p. 675; Shaykh Farīd Bhakkari, Dhakhīrat al-Khawānīn, (ed.) Syed Moinul Haq (Karachi, 1961), i, p. 229; Shafīq, Shām-i Gharībān, p. 91; Khushgo, Safīna-i Khushgo, f. 72b; Hāshmī, Makhzan al-Gharāʾib, ii, p. 87; Saʿīd Nafīsī, Tarīkh-i Naẓm wa Nathr dar Īrān wa dar Zabān-i Fārsī (Tehran, 1965), i, p. 545; Muḥammad Muẓaffar Ḥusayn Ṣabā, Tadhkira-i Roz-i Raushan (Bhopal, 1879), p. 204; ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Bazm-i Tīmūriya, i, p. 431.
19 Khanjar Beg himself claimed to be Humāyūn's confidant and boon companion in one of couplets of the mathnawī, Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 122b, line, 162.
20 The references given in the contemporary sources suggest that Khanjar Beg was always assigned confidential or personal works of Humāyūn along with other confidants. They also illustrate his close relation with the emperor and his service at Mughal court. For instance, when Humāyūn made the secret plan for blinding his brother, Mirzā Kāmrān in 1553, Khanjar Beg was appointed for carrying out the act along with some other imperial servants such as ʿĀrif Beg, Sayyid Muḥammad Pakna, ʿAlī Dost and Jauhar Aftābchī, the writer of Tadhkirat al-Wāqiʿāt. See Aftābchī, Jauhar, Tadhkirat al-Wāqiʿāt, (ed.) Sajida Sherwani (Rampur, 2015), p. 189Google Scholar; Khanjar Beg was present with them even at the time when Kāmrān was being blinded. See Bāyazīd Bayāt, Tadhkira-i Humāyūn wa Akbar, (ed.) Hidāyat Ḥusain (Calcutta, 1941), p. 159; In one incident he was portrayed as the person who, along with a group of people, helped Jalāl al-Dīn Maḥmūd Ubhī, the superintendent of imperial household (mīr-i buyūtāt) in the preparation of food for Humāyūn. See Bayāt, Tadhkira-i Humāyūn wa Akbar, pp. 73–74; He was also entrusted, along with five other persons, with the very confidential work of moving the dead body of Humāyūn to Sirhind after his accidental death at Delhi in 1556. See Abūʾl-Faḍl, Akbarnāma, (ed.) ʿAbd al-Raḥīm (Calcutta, 1876), ii, p. 66; Abūʾl-Faḍl, The Akbarnāma of Abuʾl Fazl, (trans.) Henry Beveridge (Calcutta, 1907), ii, p. 102.
21 Badāyūnī, , Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, (eds.) ʿAlī, Munshī Aḥmad and Lees, William Nassau (Calcutta, 1865), ii, pp. 13–14Google Scholar; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, (trans.) William Henry Lowe (Patna, 1984), ii, pp. 6–7.
22 Badāūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, ii, p. 14; Lowe, ii, p. 7; Abuʾl Faḍl, Akbarnāma, ii, pp. 32–33; Beveridge, ii, pp. 51–52; ʿĀrif Qandhārī, Tārīkh-i Akbarī, (eds.) Sayyid Muʿīn al-Dīn, Sayyid Aẓhar ʿAlī and Imtiyāz ʿAlī ʿArshī (Rampur, 1962), p. 50. Tardi Beg was the last hurdle for Bayram Khān in his way to become the de facto sovereign after dismissing all powerful nobles from their significant positions. See Khan, ‘The Mughal Court Politics during Bairam Khan's Regency’, pp. 22–27.
23 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, ii, p. 14; Lowe, ii, p. 7; Abuʾl Faḍl, Akbarnāma, ii, p. 32; Beveridge, ii, p. 52; For the followers of Tardī Beg, see Khan, ‘The Mughal Court Politics during Bairam Khan's Regency’, pp. 27–28.
24 For the mathnawī and other poems of Khanjar Beg composed for Akbar, see Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar.
25 Khan, ‘The Mughal Court Politics during Bairam Khan's Regency’, pp. 22–26.
26 In this article I have used Wolesely Haig's translation for the couplets incorporated in Badāyūnī's Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh but I have replaced old words with their modern equivalents in order to make them reader-friendly. However, I have used my own translation for the rest of couplets. Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 129b, lines, 364, 366; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 224, lines, 6-7; Haig, iii, p. 311, lines, 6-7.
27 Khan, ‘The Mughal Court Politics during Bairam Khan's Regency’, pp. 28–30; Husain, Afzal, The Nobility under Akbar and Jahāngīr: A Study of Family Groups (Delhi, 1999), p. 17Google Scholar.
28 Husain, The Nobility under Akbar and Jahāngīr, p. 18.
29 It was a small round seal in shape and was one of the most important seals used for issuing, farmān-i Thabtī, the most important imperial order. It was used for rewarding imperial titles, high appointments in administrative posts, assigning jāgīr (revenue assignment) and large sums. It was entrusted to the most trusted person and not to the regent (wakīl) or to finance officer (dīwān). The contemporary sources do not reveal as to whom this seal was entrusted during the period of Bayram Khān's regency. After the regent's fall, it was placed under the charge of Khwāja Jahān. For the detail of seals and farmān-i Thabtī. See Abuʾl Faḍl, Āʾīn-i Akbarī, i, pp. 47–48 and 194; Blochmann, i, pp. 54 and 270–273; Hasan, Ibn, The Central Structure of the Mughal Empire (Lahore, 1967), pp. 100–101Google Scholar.
30 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 130a, lines, 376-377; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 225, lines, 17-18; Haig, iii, p. 312, lines, 17-18.
31 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 131a, line, 411; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 226, line, 41; Haig, iii, p. 313, line, 41.
32 Khan, ‘The Mughal Court Politics during Bairam Khan's Regency’, pp. 35–36.
33 Abuʾl Faḍl, Akbarnāma, ii, p. 57; Beveridge, ii, p. 88.
34 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 130a, lines, 386-388; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 225, 19–21; Haig, iii, p. 312, lines, 19-21.
35 Khanjar Beg enumerates his skills in various arts and sciences such as in rhyming prose, poetry, astronomy, astrology, use of astrolabe, composition and solving of enigmas, arithmetic, mathematics, handling figures and geometry. Moreover, he also portrays himself a connoisseur of the art of music by claiming to have the unique and extraordinary knowledge of music both in theory and practice. For instance he claims to know about different forms of musical tunes, Indo-Persian music and his mastery over the art of musical theme and air (fann-i ṣaut wa naqsh). See Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, ff. 120b-121a, lines, 94-106.
43 Khanjar Beg portrays Humāyūn as the shadow of God (ẓill-i khudā) who possessed the throne (takht), crown (tāj), empire (mulk) and army (sipāh); and conquered the world. But when the governance of Hind (India) fell into his hands, he bestowed himself and his kingdom with new life. See Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 129a, lines, 358-360.
44 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, ff. 117b-133a.
46 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, pp. 224–226; Haig, iii, pp. 311–114.
47 Wolesely Haig wrongly translated the words ‘sī ṣad bayt’ with ‘three hundred couplets’. ‘Abd al-Qādir Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, (trans. and ed.) Wolesely Haig, revised and enlarged by Brahmadeva Parasad Ambashthya (Patna, 1960), iii, p. 310.
48 Shafiīq incorporated thirty couplets in his book while Khushgo included only nine couplets. However, Hāshmī, a nineteenth century tadhkira writer, informs about the mathnawī without quoting a single couplet. Shafīq, Shām-i Gharībān, pp. 91–92; Khushgo, Safīna-i Khushgo, pp. 72b-73a; Hāshmī, Makhzan al-Gharaʾib, ii, p. 87.
49 ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Bazm-i Tīmūriya, i, pp. 431–432.
50 Sachau and Ethe, Catalogue of the Persian Turkish, Hindustani, and Pushtu Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, i, p. 655a.
51 The other contemporary scholars, Niẓām al-Dīn Aḥmad, Shaykh Farīd Bhakkarī mentioned Khanjar Beg as a poet and noble but they did not refer to his mathnawī on the advice for Akbar. See Aḥmad, Ṭabaqāt-i Akbarī, ii, p. 447; Dey, ii, p. 675; Bhakkari, Dhakhīrat al-Khawānīn, i, p. 229.
52 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 226; Haig, iii, p. 314; Shafīq, Shām-i Gharīban, p. 91.
53 Addressing Akbar in a couplet, Khanjar Beg says that “I am in Agar at this time”. See Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 132a, line, 449.
56 The use of the words or expressions such as “Listen to me,” or “Understand what I am saying,” is called the use of base language in terms of addressing the imperial authority because they show the speaker's lack of expression; these are useless interpolations in his discourse, a deviation from eloquence and articulacy, and a sign of being dull witted. See Meisami, Medieval Persian Court Poetry, p. 14.
57 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, ff. 27b-131a, lines, 302-415.
60 Meisami, Medieval Persian Court Poetry, pp. 12–13.
63 Al-Buḥturī composed two poetic works, one elegy for al-Mutawakkil, and other panegyric for his son, al-Muntaṣir billah who got his father murdered and usurped the throne. In the former accusing al-Muntaṣir for the murder of his father, al-Mutawakkil, al-Buḥturī stigmatised al-Munstaṣir and tried to get support from others against him while in the latter he panegyrised al-Muntaṣir. This dual service has been seen in terms of a ritual for the transfer of allegiance between patrons. See Ali, Samer Mahdy, ‘Praise for Murder?’: Two odes by al-Buḥturī Surrouding an Abbasid Patricide’, in Writers and Rulers: Perspectives on Their Relationship from Abbasid to Safavid Times, (eds.) Gruendler, Beatrice and Marlow, Louise (Wiesbaden, 2004), pp. 1–3Google Scholar.
64 Lambton, Ann Katherine Swynford, ‘Islamic Mirrors for Princes’, in Theory and Practice in Medieval Persian Government (Variorum), (London, 1980), p. 420Google Scholar.
65 There are also two examples from the time of Akbar and his successor, Jahāngīr, which show the dislike of criticism by Mughal emperors. ʿAbd al-Qādir Badāyūnī was critic of Akbar and his policies but he secretly composed his book. See Mukhia, Harbans, Historians and Historiography during the Reign of Akbar (New Delhi, 1976), p. 111Google Scholar. But when the book appeared in the time of his successor, Jahāngīr, he was displeased; however, he did not take any harsh. See Muḥammad Bakhtāwar Khān, Mirʿāt al-ʿĀlam, (ed.) Sajida Sultana Alvi (Lahore, 19790), ii, p. 431. Similarly, Qaydī Shīrāzī, who was associated with Akbar's court and got close to him, but when he criticised Akbar's policy of dāgh and maḥallī, which Akbar did not like, he lost his imperial favour. See ʿAbd al-Raḥman, Bazm-i Tīmūriya, i, p. 463.
66 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 130b, line, 399; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 225, line, 32; Haig, iii, p. 313, line, 32.
67 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, ff. 130b-131a, lines, 396-411.
68 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, ff. 130b-131a, lines, 396-397, 401, 407, 409; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawarikh, iii, pp. 225–226, lines, 29-30, 34, 38, 39; Haig, iii, p. 313, lines, 29-30, 34, 38, 39.
69 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 131a, lines, 413-415.
70 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 129b, lines, 370-372; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 224, lines, 11-13; Haig, iii, pp. 311-312, lines, 11-13.
71 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 131, lines, 416-418.
76 Badāyūnī mentions the Dīwān of Khanjar Beg and presents him the author of several books but he highlights the mathnawī only. Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 224; Haig, iii, p. 310.
77 ʿAbd al-Raḥmān gives the mathnawī an important place in his work because the mathnawī which contains the characteristics of truthfulness and frankness was composed at the time when the contemporary poets were engaged in composing panegyric poetry for erstwhile imperial authority. Commenting on the features of this mathnawī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān points out, “One of the most important characteristics of this mathnawī is that when other poets were trying to compose poetry for panegyrising Akbar, Khanjar Beg was busy in advising Akbar in clear and conspicuous words which bear truthfulness and honesty. I [Ṣabāḥ al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān] quote this long passage from the mathnawī so that a new style of poetry of that period could be brought to light.” See ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Bazm-i Tīmūriya, i, pp. 431–432; My own translation.
78 Cristian Bratu, ‘Mirrors for Princes (Western)’, in Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms - Methods – Trends, (ed.) Albrecht Classen (Berlin, 2010), i, pp. 1921–1949; Mark David Luce, ‘Mirrors for Princes (Islamic)’, in Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms - Methods – Trends, (ed.) Albrecht Classen (Berlin, 2010), i, pp. 1916–1920.
79 Ann Katherine Swynford Lambton, ‘Islamic Mirrors for Princes’, pp. 419–442; Marlow, Louise, ‘Mirrors for Princes’, in The Princeton Encyclopaedia of Islamic Political Thought, (eds.) Bowering, Gernahard, Crone, Patricia, Kadi, Wadad, Stewart, Devin J. (New Jersey, 2013), pp. 348–350Google Scholar; Louise Marlow, ‘Advice and Advice Literature’, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three, 2008, http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/encyclopaedia-of-islam-3/advice-and-advice-literature-COM_0026 (accessed 30 November 2019); The most famous advisory texts in Arabic produced in Perso-Islamic world are: the Kitāb al-Tāj of al-Jāḥiẓ and ʿUyūn al- Akhbār of Ibn Qutayba and the Tahdhīb al-Akhlāq of Ibn Miskūya etc., while the popular texts composed in Persian prose are: the Qābūsnāma of Ibn Iskandar and the Siyāsatnāma of Niẓām al-Mulk Ṭūsī and Naṣīḥat al-Mulūk of al-Ghazālī and the Akhlāq-i Nāṣirī of Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī etc. See ‘Abdel Hakim Hassan Omar Muḥammed Dawood, ‘A Comparative Study of Arabic and Persian Mirrors for Princes from the Second to the Sixth Century A.H.’, (unpublished PhD dissertation, University of London, 1965), pp. 26–60; Walzer, Richard and Gibb, H. A. R., ‘Akhlak’, in The Encychlopaedia of Islam, (eds.) Gibb, H. A. R., Kramers, J. H., Levi-Provencal, E., Schacht, J. (Leiden, 1986), i, pp. 325–326Google Scholar; F. Rahman, ‘Aḵlāq’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 29 July 2011, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/aklaq-ethics-plural-form-of-koloq-inborn-character-moral-character-moral-virtue (accessed 19 December 2018).
80 Lambton, ‘Islamic Mirrors for Princes’, p. 419.
84 Alam, The Languages of Political Islam in India, pp. 10–11.
86 For details of the main duties of an ideal ruler in the advice literature of the adab tradition, see Alam, The Languages of Political Islam in India, pp. 26–46.
87 This image of ruler (shepherd) and the subject (flock) was very popular in the medieval Perso-Islamic world and advisory authors incorporated it in their works. See Lambton, A. K. S., ‘Justice in the Medieval Persian Theory of Kingship’, Studia Islamica 17 (1962), p. 94Google Scholar.
88 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, ff. 130a-b, lines, 388-392; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 225, lines, 21-25; Haig, iii, p. 312, lines, 21-25.
89 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 117b, line, 1.
91 Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī, Akhlaq-i Nāṣirī, (eds.) Mojtaba Minawi and Ali Raza Haidari (Tehran, 1976, pp. 301–302; G. M. Wickens (trans.) The Nasirean Ethics (London, 1964), pp. 227–228.
92 Lambton, ‘Justice in the Medieval Persian Theory of Kingship’, pp. 102–103.
93 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 130b, lines, 393-395; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 225, lines, 26-28; Haig, iii, pp. 312-323, 26-28.
94 Lambton, ‘Justice in the Medieval Persian Theory of Kingship’, pp. 91–119; Haider, Najaf, ‘Justice and Political Authority in Medieval Indian Islam’, in Justice: Political, Social and Juridical, (eds.) Bhargava, Rajeev, Dusche, Michael and Reifeld, Helmut (Delhi, 2008), pp. 75–93Google Scholar.
95 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 129b, lines, 373-375; Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, pp. 224–225, lines, 14-16; Haig, iii, p. 312, lines, 14-16.
99 Ibid., ff. 130a-132a, lines, 380-381, 385-386, 393, 396-397, 99, 402, 404-409, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 43.
100 In one of the couplets, he praises and considers the erstwhile imperial orders as law and says that it is the best way to maintain kingship. Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 130a, line, 376.
104 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 227; Haig, iii, pp. 314–315.
105 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 226; Haig, iii, p. 314; Shafīq, Shām-i Gharībān, p. 91.
106 Khanjar Beg, Dīwān-i Khanjar, f. 129b, line, 370.
107 Badāyūnī, Muntakhab al-Tawārīkh, iii, p. 224; Haig, iii, p. 311.
108 ʿAbd al-Raḥman, Bazm-i Tīmūriya, i, p. 493.
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