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12.19 History of India: The Rohillas (Rōhēlahs)
(1,378 words)

In Volume 1-1: Qurʾānic Literature, History, and Biography | Section 2, History, Biography, etc.

previous chapter: 12.18 Farruk̲h̲ābād

§ 909. G̲h̲ulām Muḥyī ’l-Dīn (see Ivanow 870), or simply Muḥyī ’l-Dīn, “D̲h̲auqī” b. Abī ’l-Ḥasan (Saiyid ʿAbd al-Laṭīf, see Ivanow l.c.) was the author of Madāʾiḥ al-mas̲h̲āyik̲h̲, a collection of qaṣīdahs in praise of Qādirī saints (see Ivanow 871).

Najīb-nāmah, a metrical (mat̲h̲nawī) history of Najīb al-Daulah, composed, when the author was 35 years old, probably in 1185/1771–2: Ivanow 870 (ah 1185/1771–2), Ethé 1715 (ah 1213/1798).

§ 910. Nothing seems to be known about Saiyid Nūr al-Dīn Ḥusain K̲h̲ān Bahādur Fak̲h̲rī, who, according to a note on a fly-leaf of the British Museum ms., is the author of

A detailed history of Najīb al-Daulah,1 a Rohillah chief who was made Amīr al-umarāʾ by Aḥmad S̲h̲āh Durrānī, fought against the Marāṭ’hās and Jāṭs and was virtual ruler of Delhi until his death in 1184/1770: Rieu i 306a (end of 18th cent.).

Edition: Sargud̲h̲as̲h̲t i Nawwāb Najīb al-Daulah [with an Urdu introduction by M. ʿAbd al-Salām K̲h̲ān ʿUmar-K̲h̲ail], ʿAlīgaṛh 1924* (based on the b.m. ms.).

Condensed English translation (omitting the first 13 leaves): Jadunath Sarkar An original account of Ahmad Shah Durrani’s campaigns in India and the Battle of Panipat (in Islamic culture vii/3 (Ḥaidarābād, July 1933) pp. 431–56), Najib-ud-daulah as the dictator of Delhi, 1761–1770 (ibid. vii/4 (Oct. 1933) pp. 613–39), Life of Najib-ud-daulah: the last phase (ibid. viii/2 (April 1934) pp. 237–57).

§ 911. A dependant of Ḍābiṭah K̲h̲ān, who does not mention his name in the text but who in the colophon is called Muns̲h̲ī Lac̲h̲hmī Narāyan, wrote

A turgid account of the capture of Etawah by S̲h̲araf al-Daulah Ḍābiṭah K̲h̲ān on 29 Ramaḍān 1187/1773: Rieu iii 960b (ah 1268/1852).

§ 912. Muns̲h̲ī S̲h̲īv-Pars̲h̲ād was in the service of Nawwāb Faiḍ-Allāh K̲h̲ān, the Rohilla chief of Rāmpūr, who sent him as his wakīl to Bilgrām to negotiate with the British colonel there. At the request of Mr. Kirkpatrick, whom he met at Bilgrām, he wrote his

Tārīk̲h̲ i faiḍ-bak̲h̲s̲h̲, completed ah 1190/1776 and dedicated to Faiḍ-Allāh K̲h̲ān, a history of the Rohilla Afghans of Kaṭ’hēr to their defeat by S̲h̲ujāʿ al-Daulah and the E.I.Co. at Lāl Dāng in 1188/1774: Rieu i 306b (late 18th cent.), 307a (with some omissions and additions. Late 18th cent.), 307b (lacks the preface. ad 1802), iii 959a (with additions. 19th cent.), 105la (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850), Bodleian 1972 (lacks preface), Edinburgh 236, Ethé 584, 585 (lacks the preface), 586 (lacks the preface. Extends to 1185/1771), i.o. 3942 (early 19th cent.), 3882 (ad 1893).

Free translation (with additions by the translator): An historical relation of the origin, progress, and final dissolution of the government of the Rohilla Afghans in the Northern provinces of Hindostan. Compiled2 from a Persian Manuscript and other original papers. By Captain Charles Hamilton.3 [London,] 1787°*.

Description: Elliot and Dowson History of India viii 175–9.

Criticism: Sir J. Strachcy Hastings and the Rohilla War, p. xvi.

§ 913. Nawwāb M. Mustajāb K̲h̲ān was one of the fourteen sons of the famous Rohillah chieftain Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat K̲h̲ān, who died in 1188/1774 and is buried at Barēlī (see pp. 311–312 supra, Buckland Dictionary of Indian Biography 184, Ency. Isl. ii 214–5, and the various histories of India). According to Beale’s Oriental Biographical Dictionary Mustajāb K̲h̲ān died on 2 S̲h̲awwāl 1248/[22] February 1833.

Gulistān i Raḥmat, a life of Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat K̲h̲ān written in 1207/1792–3: Bānkīpūr Suppt. i 1773 (ah 1209/1794), Ethé 587 (copied from an autograph ah 1218/1804), i.o. 3891 (ad 1878), Rieu i 307b (ad 1865), 308a (ah 1233/1818), iii 1013a (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850).

Much abridged translation: The life of Hafiz ool-moolk, Hafiz Rehmut Khan, written by his son, the Nuwab Moost’ujab Khan Buhadoor, and entitled Goohstan-i-Rehmut. Abridged and translated … by C. Elliott. London 1831 °* (Oriental Translation Fund).

Description: Elliot and Dowson History of India viii 301–12.

Criticism: Sir J. Strachey Hastings and the Rohilla War p. xvii (“They [i.e. the Gulistān i Raḥmat and the Gul i Raḥmat] have little historical value. The object of their authors was to eulogize Hafiz Rahmat; everything that seemed to throw discredit on him is suppressed, and in the narrative of the events which led to the Rohilla war the facts are often completely misrepresented. For instance, no reference, except one that is altogether misleading, is made to the treaty entered into in 1772 between the Rohillas and the Vizier, which was attested by the English Commander-in-Chief, and the non-fulfilment of which led to the ruin of the Rohilla Government”).

(Ḍamīmah i Gulistān i Raḥmat), an account of Faiḍ Allāh K̲h̲ān, the ruler of Rāmpūr, and of the hostilities between his sons after his death, written in 1233/1817–18 at the suggestion of Charles Elliott as a supplement to the Gulistān i Raḥmat: i.o. 3891 foll. 291–311 (ad 1878).

Much abridged translation: The life of Hafiz ool-moolk, Hafiz Rehmut Khan, … Abridged and translated … by C. Elliott (see above), pp. 130141.

§ 914. Nawwāb M. Saʿādat-Yār K̲h̲ān b. Ḥāfiz Muḥammad-Yār K̲h̲ān, of Barēlī, was a grandson of Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat K̲h̲ān and a nephew of Mustajāb K̲h̲ān. He is the author of a treatise on the alleged Jewish origin of the Afg̲h̲āns (Browne Suppt. 1462, Palmer’s Trinity Coll. Cat. p. 157).

Gul i Raḥmat, written in 1249/1833–4, an enlarged version of the Gulistān i Raḥmat: Bānkīpūr vii 603 (19th cent.), Rieu iii 1051b (extracts only. Circ. ad 1851), i.o. 3968 (19th cent.).

Edition: Memoirs of Hafis Ruhmut Khan surnamed Hafis ool Moolk Chief of the Rohillas. By his grand-son Nuwah Sadut Yar Khan of Bareilly (Persian title: D̲h̲ikr i Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat K̲h̲ān). Āgrah 1836°.

Criticism: see p. 548 supra.

§ 915. G̲h̲ulām-Jīlānī “Rifʿat” Rāmpūrī died in 1235/1819.4 There is a copy of his dīwān in the Rāmpūr State Library (see Nad̲h̲īr Aḥmad 137).

Durr i manẓūm, a metrical history of Nawwāb Faiḍ-Allāh K̲h̲ān and his children: Āṣafīyah i p. 240 no. 268, Rieu iii 1035b (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850).
Jang-nāmah i Nawwāb G̲h̲ulām-Muḥammad K̲h̲ān, a metrical history of G̲h̲. M. K̲h̲., the second son of Nawwāb Faiḍ-Allāh K̲h̲ān: Rieu Suppt. 351 (ad 1886).

[Amīr Mīnāʾī Intik̲h̲āb i Yādgār, Nad̲h̲īr Aḥmad 137.]

§ 916. The year 1249/1833–4 is referred to as “the present year” at the end of a

History of the Rohilla chiefs of Murādābād, afterwards of Rāmpūr, to 1219/1804–5 (beg.: Baʿd i ḥamd u t̲h̲anāy i K̲h̲udāy), probably by the same author as the Sketch of Indian History mentioned on p. 373 supra, which gives special attention to the Rohillas: Rieu iii 1007b (19th cent.), i.o. 3738 (19th cent.).

§ 917. Three years after the death of Aḥmad ʿAlī K̲h̲ān, i.e. in 1258/1842, was written

A short account of the Rohilla chiefs of Rāmpūr to the death of Aḥmad ʿAlī K̲h̲ān in 1839: Rieu iii 1012a iv (19th cent.).

§ 918. Other works:

Nuqūl u k̲h̲uṭūṭ dar ʿamal i jang i Rōhēlah: Berlin 529–30.
Nuzhat al-ḍamāʾir, a history of the Afg̲h̲ān power in India, by Aḥmad ʿAlī, a resident of Murādābād: Browne Pers. Cat. 80.

next chapter: 12.20 Jaunpūr


^ Back to text1. For an Urdu history, by Durgāprasād, son of Munnā La‘l, see Blumhardt’s India Office Catalogue of Hindustani mss. no. 50.

^ Back to text2. Capt. Hamilton refrained from calling this work a translation, though “in great measure it was literally so”, because “in some parts of it (those, in particular, which treat of such proceedings of the English government as were any way connected with it) he has necessarily had recourse to other sources of information”. Capt. Hamilton calls the author “A Rohilla, a confidential servant of one of their chiefs”, but this was no doubt merely a surmise on the part of the translator, who presumably had before him a manuscript lacking the preface in which the author mentions his name. An English note on the fly-leaf of Ethé 585 identifies the work with Capt. Hamilton’s original.

^ Back to text3. b. circ. 1753, entered military service of E.I.Co. in 1776, translated the Hidāyah (The Hedaya, or Guide; a commentary on the Mussulman laws, London 1791, 2nd ed. 1870), died 14 March 1792.

^ Back to text4. This date is given by Nad̲h̲īr Aḥmad, who mentions the Intik̲h̲āb i Yādgār of Amīr Mīnāʾī (d. 1318/1900) as an authority for G̲h̲ulām-Jīlānī’s life.

Cite this page
“12.19 History of India: The Rohillas (Rōhēlahs)”, in: Storey Online, Charles Ambrose Storey. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2021

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