On on the suggestion of Inayat Khan,

On 4 Rabi’I 1068 (10 December
1657), soon after the completion of the third volume of Padshahnama, Inayat
Khan was consigned to the position of supervisor of the Darogha-i-Kutub,
Khana), when he was at the age of thirty. He tells us in his prologue that when
he saw the Padshahnama, he said that it was lengthy and difficult for all.

There are two theories on the
work of Shah Jahan Nama, first that on the suggestion of Inayat Khan, Shah
Jahan got the idea to make a simplified and diminutive version and second is
that it was the decision of Shah Jahan.

This work was titled as
Abridged or Mulakhkhas but it is commonly called as the Shan Jahan Nama, in
English it’s called as “the chronicle of the king of the world”. Alas the
original version in Persian language was never published, in present era only
some manuscripts survive which can be seen in the British Library.  Book is in nature of accounts, statements of
facts and events, Inayat Khan himself painted out the aim of its compilation in
the preface of his book, where he writes the purpose of his Shah Jahan Nama was
to simplify the Padshahnama of Abdul Hamid Lahori in lucid language in order to
make it easy for the local readers. He hassles the truth that he has not
composed his own history but has summarize the work of Abdul Hamid Lahori. In
his work it is evident that he was inspired by Qazwini’s work as it contained

Shah Jahan Nama contains thirty
chapters, and each defines a year of Emperors regional years. The work begins
with the accession of Shahjahan to the imperial throne. Prince Khurram
(1592-1666), son and successor of the Emperor Nuruddin Jahangir (r. 1605-27),
ascended the Mughal throne on 8 Jumada al-sani 1037/Monday, 14 February 1628,
with the title Abul Muzaffar Shihab alDin Muhammad Sahib Qiran-i-Sani Shahjahan
Padshah Ghazi, ” Father of Victory, Star of Religion, Lord of the auspicious
planetary conjunction, King of the World, emperor, Warrior of the Faith.” The
public ceremony took place in the Diwan-i-am, the Hall of Public Audience in
the royal citadel of Akbarabad consisting of the grandees, ministers and the
distinguished men of sword and pen of the realm, amidst singers reciting
melodious ghazals. Poets and men of letters composed felicitous chronograms and
were richly rewarded.

The author noted that the
numerical value of the phrases “Shahjahan
the warrior king May God protect and preserve him” (Shahjahan Padshah ghazi
sallamahu Allah wa abqah) and “Shihabuddin
Muhammad the Second Lord of auspicious Conjunction” (Shihab aldin Sahib
Qiran-i-sani) are equivalent to the numerical value of the Quranic verse (S.2,
verse 30)

“Verily I shall install a caliph on this earth. (inni
jailuna fi al arz khalifa). Hakim Rukna Kashi whose poetic name was “Masih”

 Composed following hemistich as the chronogram
of the auspicious coronation: Remain in this world as long as the world
endures. The incomparable poet-designer Saida Gilani entitled Bebadal Khan said

 May the accession of
Shahjahan be the ornament of the nation and religion?

 Others also discovered dates of the phrases:
Ornament of the religious law (zeb-i-sharia). “God gave the right to the deserving” (Khuda haq ba haqdar dad).

The emperor wrote with his own
hands: “God the Almighty has bestowed
upon me by the grace of His infinite bounteousness, the vast kingdom of entire
Hindustan (badshahi kul Hindustan). And in this eternal sovereignty I deem you
a partner and together we and our kingdom will ever flourish with the blessings
of the most compassionate Almighty.”

Emperor as narrated in the
introduction of the first volume of the final version of Lahori and Qazwini is
excluded from the present version. However it is evident that the author was
the eye witness of many events particularly that took place in the reign of
Shah Jahan and also the starting era of Aurangzeb Alamgir.

The author quotes verses from
the poetry of the Persian poet-moralist Sadi Shirazi, the lyricist Shamsuddin
Muhammad Hafiz of Shiraz (1315-1390), and the classic Persian poets Anwari, and
Khaqani. It also provides quotations from the poetics of the court poet Abu
Talib Kalim Kashani especially the verses in which the poet celebrates the
beauties of the River Jamuna, and fine buildings and luxuriant gardens of the
Mughal Agra, the riverfront garden city and the brilliant capital. It refers to
the earlier autobiographies like Baburnama, and Jahangirnama the elegant
memoirs of the Emperor Babur (1483-1530) and Jahangir, Masir-i-Jahangiri of
Khwaja Kamgar Husaini (d.1640) and Zafarnama of Mulla Sharafuddin Ali Yazdi,
the history of illustrious ancestor and the great Central Asian empire-builder

In order to maintain
briefness, this compilation of Inayat Khan has excluded some important affairs
such as records of imperial manuscript and royal orders but it has an important
significance as more than half of the book delivers accounts of military
campaigns, bestowal of mansabs, state offices, stipends also appointment and
dismissal from expeditions, It provides panoramic views of Shahjahan’s darbar settings,
royal audiences with nobles, foreign travelers and ambassadors, all full of
pageantry and an integral part of court life. Most of all, it provides rare
glimpses into the lives of the ruler and his family and the rest provides aspects
of events, generally royal audiences at which major promotions and appointments
were made especially on the occasion of nauroz, lunar and solar weighing,
birthdays and marriages also other festivals.

The mansabdar nobles who got
high profile ministries of the empire with promotions in their ranks were as
follows: Khani-Alam, Qasim Khan Juwaini, Lashkar Khan Mashhadi, Wazir Khan,
Sayyid Muzaffar Khan, Mirza Khan, Diler Khan Barha, Bahadur Khan Rohilla, Mirza
Muzaffar Kirmani, Raja Bharat Bundela, Mustafa Beg, Sardar Khan, Raja Bithaldas
son of Raja Gopaldas, Bahadur Singh Bundela, and Safdar Khan. Raja Gaj Singh
son of Suraj Singh.

The work make up an important
source for the reconstruction of the careers of the Mughal administrative
elite, as it depicts personal and collective route of those whose fortunes were
bound with the empire. It contains the most complete information of the high
profile nobles such as Asaf Khan down to many lesser known officials of the

The book also states the
mansabs of the Prince’s

The lunar weighing of his Majesty was held in celebration
of the completing forty-eight years of his life on Rabiul Awwal 1047 Hijri
August 1637. On this occasion the mansab of his Royal Highness Prince Dara
Shikoh who held the mansab of 12,000/8,000 was fixed at 15, 000 zat with 9,000
sawar. The mansabs of the Princes Muhammad Shah Shuja Bahadur and Muhammad
Aurengzeb Bahadur by an increase of 2,000 and 1,000 were each raised to 12,000
zat with 7000 sawar

The incessant military
activities in Deccan, siege of Parenda by Azam Khan, capture of the fort of
Qandhar in 1631, internal politics of Nizamshahi kingdom of Ahmadnagar and its
consequent extinction, disgraceful role of Fath Khan, death of Ibrahim Adil
Khan of Bijapur, campaign against Bijapur, conquest of Daulatabad under the leadership
of Mahabat Khan, peace treaty with Muhammad Adil shah of Bijapur and Abdullah
Qutubshah, the ruler of Golconda in the year 1636, are discussed in more than
satisfactory manner. Even the revolts of nobles and local chiefs which are
interpreted as a devastating factor on the strength of otherwise powerful
empire are dealt with numerous details. Obviously the rebels were denounced as
enemies of peace and harmony. Such are the descriptions of the rebellion of
Jujhar Singh, the Bundela chief, and the revolt of Khan-i-Jahan Lodi.

Siege of Kandhar mentioned in
Shah Jahan Nama

 “Ultimately the
duration of the siege extended beyond has months, the winter began to set in,
all the lead, powder, and cannon-balls were expended, and neither was there any
forage left in the meadows, nor provisions with the army. A Farman likewise was
issued to this effect, that as the winter was close at hand, and they had
already been long detained in Kandahar, if the reduction of the fortress could
not be effected just at once. They might stay if necessary some short time
longer; or otherwise return immediately. Rustam Khan, who had been recalled
from Bust for the purpose of sharing in the assault, having. Dismantled that
fortress, distributed the provisions among his men, and reached Kandahar with
his comrades, bringing all the artillery stores, and property in the Karkhana,
that was there, along with him. With an eye therefore to the safety of the
property mentioned above, he deemed it expedient to return, and not one of the
royalist commanders proposed staying any longer. The Prince Buland Ikbal
consequently, on the 15ih Zi-1 ka’da this year, set out from Kandahar for

It is not clear that how much
time was taken by the author to compile the book, in his preface the author
writes he compiled his work in a short time, and in the end he seems to entail
that Shah Jahan was still on the throne. But the author also writes about the
defeat of Dara Shikoh at the battle of Samugarh on June 1658, so it is clear
that the Shah Jahan nama was compiled when the war of successions between the
sons of Shah Jahan. But there’s a prospect  that the book was compiled during the first
few years of Aurangzeb as in the last two chapter’s Inayat Khan commends
Aurangzeb more than in Padshahnama also in the last he calls Aurangzeb,”
Alamgir” which was his title.

It noted the formal royal
visits of the emperor to the mansions of his grandees, such as that of Asaf
Khan and Ja’far Khan, where the emperor was extravagantly entertained along
with his family. It carefully recorded the births and deaths of children and
grandchildren in the imperial household, illness and death of the significant
nobles of the empire.

The author successfully
conveys monumentality and splendor of royal the imperial court mainly due to
painstaking concern for details. “In the
month of 1045 Hijri (1636) the metropolis of Akbarabad was graced by the entry
of royal standards. The world-protecting-monarch started from the Bagh-i-Nur
Manzil on a mountain-like swift speed elephant and entered the Palace with
thousands of auspiciousness. He took seat in the iwan called makan i-khas WA am
Hall of Public Audience. The Hall was decorated like heavens for the
celebration of the weighing ceremony on the occasion of completion of forty-six
solar years of His Majesty’s eternal age. The emperor sat on the monarchical
seat of his heaven like throne commonly called the jeweled throne.”

The author sought to project
his patron the emperor an enlightened monarch as well as a dedicated husband
and a thoughtful father. The emperor dedicated every precious moment of his
life to the upholding of justice and peace throughout his realm. “His Majesty often says that it is a pity
to waste in sleep of negligence as many unthankful, imprudent and
self-indulgent persons do the time which can better be spent in administering
justice, nourishing people, performing urgent affairs of the world, granting
requests to the poor, storing up the means of God’s pleasure, and maintenance
of the affairs of sovereignty.”

Among his many accomplishments
the emperor Shahjahan was most conscious of his architectural achievements,
therefore, along with the portrayal of the opulent splendor of the Shahjahan
court the official historiographers provided fascinating and in detail
descriptions of the imperial buildings and majestic opulence of his numerous
architectural monuments While other arts and letters also flourished under
Shahjahan’s patronage his most exceptional and long term artistic achievement
belongs to the kingdom of architecture. Shahjahan’s reign represented an era of
great architectural awareness too, when designing and construction of new
buildings was a fashion at the court. The author provides the widespread
details of imperial architectural projects for the future historians of
architecture in the most fascinating manner. It contains the most exact details
about the planning, designing, ground-plan and the layout of most of the royal

It contains a number of
indigenous terms such as jharokha darshan, parchinkari (inlay work) phulkatara
(dagger), chauk, (plaza, square, open court) chaukidar (mounted guards),
bangla, chabutra (square, raised platform) which were gradually assimilated in
the emerging Indo-Persian language. It should be noted the compilation contains
honorific titles, which are Sahib-i-Qiran (lord of the auspicious planetary
conjunction)it refers to pillar of world and religion this was the title of Amir
Taimur, similarly Firdous Makani is the title of Babur the founder of Mughal
dynasty,jannat Ashyani is used for Humayun which means resting in the hevenly
garden, arsh ashyanni  which means
resting on the divine throne is referring to Akbar,  Jannat Makani is used for Jahangir which
means residing in the hevenly gardens. The titles used for Shah Jahan are
Hazrat Shahinshah (his imperial majesty), Hazrat-i-Khilafat-Pinahi (his majesty
the refuge of the Caliphate) and Hazrat Zill-i-Ilahi (his majesty the shadow of
God). The title Nawwab Mahd’ Ulya (her majesty the queen) is for Mumtaz Mahal
Begum, while the title Nawwab’ Ulya (her royal highness) is for princess
Jahanara Begum also called begum Sahab. The titles Shazada-i-Bulland Iqbal and
Shah-i-Bullan Iqbal are used for Prince Dara Shikoh. The phrases
Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba (prince of high rank) and jalil-al-Qadr (supremely
dignified) are for high ranked prince. The appellations Wala Gauhar (precious
gem), Wala Nauzad (of eminent race), Wala Nasab (of exalted genealogy) Kamgar
(successful) A’la Miqdar (high ranked), Wala Tabar (of exalted family),
Padshahzada-i-‘Alam (Prince of the world). The title Yamin al-Daula (right hand
of the state) denoted Asaf Khan, ehile Rukn al-Sultanat (pillar of the empire)
was used for Khwaja Ab’ul-Hasan, the compiler’s grandfather.

Being a formal official
chronicle the description is full of hyperbolic praise for the patron-emperor. On
the other hand the author effectively portrays the complex personality of the
suave and sophisticated emperor of India, as well as the complex character of
his reign. Despite the employment of demonstrative prose and hyperbole, the
author effectively conveys zeitgeist, the true spirit the Shahjahan era. Being
the official history the text presents an image that the emperor preferred to
communicate of himself and that of the vast empire of Hindustan which extended
from Kabul in the present day Afghanistan to Aurangabad and from the Arabian
Sea to the Gulf of Bengal. The language is ornate but lucid.

With such prominent family
connections, it is hardly surprising that Inayat Khan became quite vain about
his noble lineage. His Shah Jahan Nama contains numerous references to the
honors bestowed by the Emperor upon his grandfather, his father and himself.
Through his book it is evident that the author tried to create a better image
of his family’s impression on the readers. Inayat Khan also avoids telling that
Emperor removed and deposed his father Zafar Khan and also Inayat khan for some

The author also give wrong
information at some events like he writes in his book that he was awarded
mansab rank at the age of 7 lunar years. This was when Emperor first visit to
Kashmir but history tells us that the award was given on 7 Rabi’I 1044 (30 September
1634) and the author at that time must have been born on 1637. Book states:

“At the lovely spot of Vernag, on the 7th Rabi’I 1044 (30 September
1634), a festival in commemoration of his Majesty completing his 44th
lunar year was held, attended with the customary ceremonies of weighing the
august person against gold and other articles. A host of people retired from the
munificent presence of their utmost wishes gratified. Among their number, the
compiler of these auspicious annals, who at that time had only traversed seven
stages of the journey of life, was invested with a suitable mansabs,
notwithstanding his slender years”

 Inayat khan tells us that he suffered a severe
illness which forced him to resign from the Royal Library but illness may not
be the only reason behind his resign as we know in the same year was put on the
retired list.

The final reference Inayat khan
makes to himself in his compilation occur in his account of Shah Jahan’s 30th
regional year, on the event of his 64th solar birthday weighing
ceremony on 24 Rabi’I 1066 (21 January 1656). Oh the occasion of solar weighing
nobles at court offers to the Emperor, some being valued at one lakh rupees or
more. After lavish gifts by the nobles, Inayat khan makes .bold to describe his
own modest offering of 50 tolas and was highly approved by the king. Turned
out, Shah Jahan gave evidence of his endorsement by raising Inayat khan mansab
from 1000 to 1500.

The shah jahan nama of Inayat
khan concludes on the last day of the lunar month of Jumada 1067 (16 March
1657) and thus covers the same thirty year span as the official history on
which it is based.

The abridgement of Inayat Khan
was praise to Shah Jahan as Inayat Khan was a court historian so while writing
his Shah Jahan Nama he focused on making the Emperor happy. Inayat khan’s
compilation has some short comings and errors. Inayat khan omitted transcripts
of letters and state documents pertaining to dealings with the kings of Rum,
Iraq and Transoxiana in order to maintain conciseness. His work is greatly
dependent upon the earlier official histories. Also it is biased as it ignores
many of the events in which there were flaws of Shah Jahan and he tried to hide
his family’s dismissal by the Emperor.

If a historian compares the
work of Inayat khan with other sources of that era we can some difference in
information, such as Inayat khan wrote that tolas was contain 40,000 of gold
equivalent which is equal to six lakh rupees but Hamid Lahori in his work gives
a different figure of gold2.
Another example is of the inauguration to the throne of Shah Jahan; Lahori
gives the date of 3 Shawwal 1044 in his Padshahnama but Inayat khan and also
Muhammad Baqir who wrote journal of the research society of Pakistan gave the
date of 1 Shawwal 1044 and 20 March 1635.

Although the court histories of Shah Jahan time in power were not
extended beyond the close of the 30th year. So it can be said that
they were written by the time of Aurangzeb Alamgir incarceration of his father
Shah jahan. These histories were of course preserved and utilized by future
historians including Muhammad Kazim who is the author of “Alamgir nama” in which
he provides details of the events including the war of succession from the view
point of Aurangzeb Alamgir. At the same era another historian emerged Muhammad
Sadiq, he also wrote about the war of succession among the sons of Emperor Shah
Jahan. During Aurangzeb’s era another Shah Jahan Nama was written by Muhammad
Salih Kambo, his work is also called Amal-i-Saleh in which he gives details of
the final years of Shah Jahan. It is not known when Salih began his Shah jahan
nama, but similar to the one of Inayat khan it is dependent on the earlier
histories written on the Emperor Shah jahan, he also summarizes previous works
of the court historians. But unlike Inayat khan, he gives his work his own
style of writing and also relay on historical truth than other historians.3