Tarikh-i-Khan Jahani Wa Makhzan-i-Afghani

Tarikh-i-Khan Jahani Wa Makhzan-i-Afghani is an important work of Khwaja Nimatullah dealing with the history of the Afghans in India from the time of Bahlol Lodi to the death of khwaja usman. Khwaja Nimatullah, son of Khwaja Habibullah dedicated his book to Khan Jahan Lodi, an imperial officer under jahangir. The author composed the book in between 1612 and 1613, but later in 1615 he himself added some information about the biography of his patron Khan Jahan. Tarikh-i-Khan Jahani Wa Makhzan-i-Afghani was translated into English in 1829 by Dorn (History of the Afghans, Bernhard Dorn, London) and the book was highly appreciated and accepted by the scholars. Khwaja Nimatullah cites the names of many Afghan and non-Afghan histories that he consulted in writing the Tarikh-i-Khan Jahani Wa Makhzan-i-Afghani. He was a librarian of Abdur Rahim Khan Khanan, son of Bairam Khan Khan Khanan in 1576, but later he joined as waqia-navis in the reign of Jahangir. After several years Khan Jahan Lodi, an Afghan general of Jahangir, employed him. During this time he came into contact with Haibat Khan Lodi who also was an attendant of Khan Jahan. The author gratefully recognises his indebtedness to Haibat Khan in writing his book.

The author describes in detail and in chronological sequence, the political events of the period, and the character and cultural attainments of the rulers. As a chronicle the book is of great value, the most important part of the book is the account of the early achievements of Khan Jahan Lodi, the genealogical table of the Afghans, and the history of the first eight years of Jahangir's reign. The author was an eyewitness of such events as the death of Akbar, the coronation of Jahangir and the rebellion, flight and ultimate defeat of Khusrau (eldest son of Jahangir). These events are not only systematically discussed, but the narration is also very faithful. The Khatimah or concluding portion of the book contains lives of sixty-six saints who were Afghans either by birth or by adoption. But for this work, lives of many of these saints would have remained unknown.

There is another book of the author that goes by the name of Makhzan-i-Afghani. Some scholars take it to be a shorter recension of Tarikh-i-Khan Jahani Wa Makhzan-i-Afghani. Henry Elliot and following him some modern scholars think that the two are essentially one and the same, while others, including SM Imamuddin, take the two books to represent two different titles, but written by the same author. [Abdul Karim]

Bibliography SM Imamuddin (ed), Tarikh-i- Khan Jahani Wa Makhzan-i-Afghani, Dhaka, 1960; Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol-V.