Sponsored By: Infinity Foundation

Zubdatu-t Tawarikh

Zubdatu-t Tawarikh of Shaikh Nuru-l Hakk
In The History of India as Told by its own HistoriansThe Posthumous Papers of the Late Sir H. M. Elliot. John Dowson, ed. 1st ed. 1867. 2nd ed., Calcutta: Susil Gupta, 1956, vol. 6, pp. 120-132.

  1. Overview

The Zubdatu-t Tawarikh is a general history of India, beginning with the reign of  Sultan Qubt-ud din Aibak (1206 CE), and ending with the close of Akbar’s reign (1605 CE).  It was composed sometime in the early seventeenth century.  The significant portions of the work are copied verbatim from earlier histories such as the Tabakat-i Nasiri and the Akbar-nama.  Its author was Shaikh Nuru-l Hakk, al-Mashriki, al-Dehlivi, al-Bokhari.  It was written for his patron, Shaikh Faridu-d din Bokhari.

The excerpts included here deal with events during the reign of the Sultan Sikanar Lodi (1489-1517) and his son and successor, Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (1517-26 CE), the last of the Delhi sultans.

  1. Excerpts

1. Sultan’s Sikander Lodi’s religious views
2. Sultan Ibrahim’s assault on the fort of Raisin1.

[p. 125]

Sultan Sikandar Shah Lodi

About this time (900 H.; 1492 CE) the scarcity of corn was so great that the people were relieved of the established zakat.

It is said that one day a Brahman declared in the presence of several Muhammadans that the religion of Islam was true, but that his own religion was also true.  When this declaration reached the ear of the Doctors, they reported it to the Sultan and as he was remarkably fond of religious and legal questions and theological controversies, he summoned the learned from various quarters, and invited their opinion on what the Brahman had asserted.  The learned gave it unanimously as their opinion that he should be imprisoned, and that he should then be desired to embrace Islam, and if he should reject it, that he should be slain.  Accordingly, when the Brahman was desired to embrace the Muhammadan religion, he refused to do so, and he was put to death.  Many other similar instances of his zeal for religion occurred during his reign.

In his time, Hindu temples were razed to the ground, and neither name nor vestige of them was allowed to [p. 126] remain.  In the city of Mathura, if a Hindu wished to have his head or beard shaved, there was not a barber that dared to comply.  He prohibited the procession of the spear of Salar Mas’ud Ghazi, which went every year to Bahralch, and women were not allowed to go on pilgrimages to shrines.

2.Sultan Ibrahim, Son Of Sikandar Lodi Sher Khan

In the year 950 H. (1542 CE) Puran-mal, son of Salhdi, held occupation of the fort of Raisin, and brought several of the neighbouring parganas under subjection.  He had 1000 women in his harem, from the east and from Sind, and amongst them several Musulmanis, whom he made to dance before him.  Sher Khan, with Musulman indigna- tion, resolved to conquer the fort.  After he had been some time engaged in investing it, an accommodation was proposed, and it was finally agreed that Puran-mal, with his family and children, and 4000 Rajputs of note, should be allowed to leave the fort ummolested.  Several men learned in the law gave it as their opinion that they should all be slain, notwithstanding the solemn engage ment which had been entered into.  Consequently, the whole army, with the elephants, surrounded Puran-mal’s encampment. The Rajputs fought with desperate bravery, and after killing their women and children and then burning them, they rushed to battle, and were annihilated to a man.