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Alamgirnamah


Alamgirnamah the court history of Emperor aurangzeb (1658-1707) written by Mirza Muhammad Kazim. Following the tradition of the Mughal emperors from the time of akbar, Aurangzeb ordered his court historian Mirza Muhammad Kazim to record and compile the history of his reign. Mirza Kazim wrote the history up to the tenth year of the reign of Aurangzeb (1668), but the emperor forbade him to continue the work after this period. The history was a voluminous work consisting of 1107 printed pages (published by the Calcutta asiatic society of Bengal in 1868).

Saqi Mustad Khan, the author of Maasir-i-Alamgiri, written after the Aurangzeb's death, says that the cause of the prohibition of the writing of Alamgirnamah was that the emperor preferred spiritual things to displaying material life and, as such, did not like to represent worldly power and pomp and grandeur. Other modern scholars believe that the real reason was that after the 10th year of his reign, Aurangzeb had started to curtail his state expenditure and thus closed the costly department of prolix official annals.

Alamgirnamah covered the history of the Mughal Empire, but the book is also helpful for the reconstruction of the history of Bengal, which witnessed some very important developments during the first ten years of Aurangzeb's reign. The period saw the fall of shah shuja, mir jumla's unsuccessful invasion of Kamarupa and Assam, and the conquest of Chittagong by shaista khan. All these events have been recorded in Alamgirnamah. The accounts are more or less full and find support in other contemporary sources. The chronology as found in the Alamgirnamah is trustworthy, and the book ranks high among the historical literature of the Mughal period. [Abdul Karim]