Tarikh-i-Firishtah

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Tarikh-i-Firishtah a general history of India with particular reference to the Deccan states, comes down to the close of the reign of akbar. It was written in about 1612 by Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, better known as Firishtah.

The book is also known as Gulshan-i-Ibrahimi because it was dedicated to Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur. Firishtah based his work on the previously written books, particularly Nizamuddin Ahmad Bakhshi's tabaqat-i-akbari and Badaoni's muntakhab-ut-tawarikh. He visited various places to collect materials and traditions for his book. In the fashion of the contemporary historical literature, Firishtah's book is also written in fashion of chronicles.

The Tarikh-i-Firishtah is particularly important for reconstruction of the history of the sultans of Bengal. No contemporary history of the sultanate period written in Bengal has so for been available. So the history of this period has been reconstructed with materials found in the histories written in Delhi, so much so that where nothing is found in books written in Delhi, the history of sultans of Bengal is blank. Firishtah is the second author to devote a separate chapter for writing the history of Bengal under the sultans, the first being Nizamuddin Ahmad Bakhshi. For writing this chapter, Firishtah is indebted to Nizamuddin, but Firishta gives a little more information. He also acknowledges his debt to a book of Arif Qandahari, but, unfortunately, the book is not now available.

The Tarikh-i-Firishtah, through John Brigg's summary translation entitled History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India (1829) enjoys a wide reputation among English historians. But the translation is not quite accurate. [Abdul Kairm]