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12.3.3 History of India: The Tīmūrids: Humāyūn
(1,294 words)

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

previous chapter: 12.3.2 Bābur

(See also pp. 234, 426, 440, etc.)

§ 700. K̲h̲wānd-Amīr was instructed to write the Humāyūn-nāmah on being presented to Humāyūn (b. 913/1508, acc. 937/1530, d. 963/1556) at Gwalior about the beginning of ah 941 /1534. He died probably in the next year (see p. 78 supra).

Humāyūn-nāmah, an account of Humāyūn’s rules and ordinances and of some buildings erected by him: Rosen Institut 23 (1) (10th/16th or 11th/17th cent.), Rieu iii 1024a (circ. ad 1850).

English translation by Sadāsuk’h Lāl: b.m. ms. Add. 30774 foll. 25–114.

Description with some translated extracts: Elliot and Dowson History of India v pp. 116–26.

§ 701. Mihtar1 Jauhar, for some years Āftābc̲h̲ī, or ewer-bearer, to Humāyūn, says towards the end of his Tad̲h̲kirat al-wāqiʿāt (on fol. 132 in the b.m. ms. Add. 16711, which has 146 foll.) that in 962/1554–5 Humāyūn appointed him Collector of Haibatpūr and subsequently of Tatār K̲h̲ān Lōdī’s villages. Further on (fob 135b in the same ms.) he calls himself Treasurer (K̲h̲izānc̲h̲ī) of the government of the Panjāb and Multān. In the Akbar-nāmah (i p. 34611–12, Beveridge’s trans. i p. 627) his appointment to the office of Treasurer (K̲h̲azīnah-dār) of the province (ṣūbah) is mentioned among the events of 962/1554–5.

Tad̲h̲kirat al-wāqiʿāt, memoirs of Humāyūn’s reign, written, or at any rate begun, in 995/1586–7: Rieu i 246 (ah 1019/1610), iii 1047a (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850), Lindesiana i p. 167 no. 412 (ah 1182/1768–9), no. 413 (ad 1863), Browne Suppt. 256 (King’s 84, presented ad 1788), Āṣafīyah i p. 232 no. 715 (4th year of Bahadur S̲h̲āh ii, i.e. ad 1840–1), Bānkīpūr vii no. 550 (ah 1278/1862), Lahore Panjāb Univ. Lib. (ah 1287/1871. See Oriental College Magazine, vol. ii, no. 4 (Aug. 1926) p. 50).

English translation (bad): The Tezkereh al Vakiāt, or Private memoirs ofHumāyūn, written … by Jouher …; translated by Major C. Stewart. London 1832°* (Oriental Translation Fund), Calcutta 1904°* (with index).

ms. corrections of Stewart’s translation by W. Erskine: b.m. mss. Add. 26608 and 26620.

Description and 11 pp. of extracts from Stewart’s translation: Elliot and Dowson History of India v pp. 136–49.

Later recension divided into five bābs (the last dealing with Akbar’s accession) subdivided into fuṣūl: Jawāhir i s̲h̲āhī,2 i.o. 3946 (ah 1060/1650), Ethé 221.

Later recension in ornate prose written at Jauhar’s request by Ilāh-dād “Faiḍī” Sirhindī (see p. 433 infra) for presentation to Akbar and divided into the same five chapters as the Jawāhir i s̲h̲āhī1 but having a new preface (with a dedication to Akbar) and an editor’s epilogue, in which Ilāh-dād “Faiḍī” speaks of his contribution to the work: Humāyūn-S̲h̲āhī, Blochet i 563 (ah 1187/1773), Rieu iii 927a (ah 1264/1848), Ethé 222.

§ 702. Bāyazīd Bayāt3 was the younger brother of S̲h̲āh-Birdī Bayāt, afterwards known as Bahrām “Saqqā”, the poet,4 whom he joined at Gardēz in the service of Mīrzā Kāmrān, Humāyūn’s half-brother. When Humāyūn entered Kābul in Ramaḍān 952/1545, all Kāmrān’s officers, including S̲h̲āh-Birdī, deserted to Humāyūn, and Bāyazīd went with his brother. At the time of the festivities connected with Akbar’s circumcision at Qandahār in 953/1546 S̲h̲āh-Birdī under the influence of ecstasy (jad̲h̲bah) gave up the profession of soldiering and became a saqqāʾ, or water-carrier, under the name of Bahrām i Saqqā. Subsequently at Āgrah he erected a saqqā-k̲h̲ānah under a nīm-tree on ground belonging to his brother. Considerably later than this Bāyazīd was chosen by Abū ’l-Faḍl at Akbar’s request for the purpose of writing the Tārīk̲h̲ i Humāyūn, which he began in 999/1591 at Lahore and completed in 1000/1591–2 [?].

Tārīk̲h̲ i Humāyūn, a history of the reigns of Humāyūn and Akbar, with accounts of the persons closely connected with them, opening with the year 949/1542 (when Humāyūn was forced to leave India) and ending with 999/1591: Ethé 223.

Translation (with omissions) of chapters i–iii, i.e. nearly half the work: Memoirs of Bāizīd [sic]. By B.P. Saksena (in Allahabad University Studies, vol. vi, pt. 1 (1930) pp. 71–148).

Abstract: The Memoirs of Bāyazīd (Bajazet) Bīyāt [sic]. By H. Beveridge (in jasb. lxvii, no. 1 (1898) pp. 296–316).

[Autobiographical statements (for which see H. Beveridge’s article in the jasb. for 1898 and the summary given by Maulawī ʿAbd al-Walī in the jasb. n.s. xx (1924) no. 7 p. 490); Gulbadan Bēgam Humāyūn-nāmah, ed. and tr. A.S. Beveridge, introduction, pp. 38, 64, 74.]

§ 703. Gulbadan Bēgam, a daughter of the Emperor Bābur by his wife Dildār Bēgam and consequently a half-sister of Humāyūn, was eight years old when her father died in 937/1530. She had left Kabul and joined him at Āgrah in the preceding year.

She married K̲h̲iḍr K̲h̲wājah C̲h̲ag̲h̲atāy, who was Amīr al-umarāʾ under Humāyūn.5 In 982/1576 she performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. She died at Āgrah on 6 D̲h̲ū ’l-Ḥijjah 1011/7 May 1603 at the age of 82 lunar years.

(Humāyūn-nāmah), or (Aḥwāl i Humāyūn Pāds̲h̲āh), personal memoirs written at Akbar’s request as material for Abū ’l-Faḍl’s Akbar-nāmah: Rieu i 247a (defective, breaking off after the blinding of Kāmrān (at the end of 960/1553 according to the Akbar-nāmah i 328). 17th cent.).

Editions: (1) The history of Humāyūn (Humāyūn-nāma). By Gulbadan BegamTranslated … and reproduced in the Persian from the only known MS…. By A.S. Beveridge. London 1902°* (Oriental Translation Fund, n.s. 1), (2) Humāyūn-nāmah i Gulbadan Bēgam, Lucknow [1925*].

English translation: see above Editions: (1).

[Ṭabaqāt i Akbarī ii 3128 = Elliot and Dowson v p. 391; Akbar-nāmah iii 5686, 8156, 7, 81714 etc. (see the index to Beveridge’s translation, when published); Iqbāl-nāmah i Jahāngīrī (mentioned by Rieu, iii p. 1083a, without precise reference, as authority for the date of Gulbadan’s death. The occurrence would fall in vol. ii, and therefore not in the Bibliotheca Indica text); Tārīk̲h̲ i Muḥammadī (presumably under the year 1011); Rieu i 247a, iii 1083a; Mrs. Beveridge’s introduction to the Humāyūn-nāmah; Ency. Isl. under Gulbadan (H. Beveridge).]

§ 704. In the time of Akbar was written

Humāyūn-nāmah (?), an epic poem on the life of Humāyūn: Rieu in 1000b (defective at both ends and elsewhere. 17th cent.).

§ 705. In the catalogue of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana no. 431 on p. 136 (dated ad 1826) is described as

Iqbāl-nāmah. Tārīk̲h̲ i Humāyūn Pāds̲h̲āh and is ascribed to “Faiḍī” b. Mubārak, the well-known poet of Akbar’s reign. It is not clear from the catalogue whether this is a poetical work or not, but it may be identical with poem mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

next chapter: 12.3.4 Akbar


^ Back to text1. This title is prefixed to Jauhar’s name in the Akbar-nāmah i p. 34611, and, evidently, in Ilāh-dād “Faiḍī’s” epilogue to the Humāyūn-S̲h̲āhī (see Rieu iii 927a).

^ Back to text2. The difference, if any, between the Jawāhir i s̲h̲āhī and the Humāyūn-S̲h̲āhī remains to be investigated.

^ Back to text3. This is a Turkish tribal name. Cf. Āʾīn i Akbarī tr. Blochmann p. 581, note: The Bayát tribe is a Turkish tribe scattered over Ázarbáiján, Erivan, Tahrán. Fárs, and Níshápúr; C.E. Yate Khurasan and Sistan pp. 368–9: The district [i.e. the “Sar-i-Valayat” district, headquarters “Chakana”] contained 62 villages, big and little, all inhabited by Bayát Turks, a tribe numbering some 15,000 familiesThese Bayát Turks said that they had been brought to this district by Nadir Shah from Irak, or somewhere in the neighbourhood of Teheran; Babinger Geschichtsschreiber der Osmanen p. 31: 15. Bejātī Šejch Mahmūd. Er ist türkmenischer Herkunft; der Name Bejātī deutet auf der Stamm der Bejāt (um Kerkuk).

^ Back to text4. For the dīwān of “Saqqā” see Sprenger no. 499, de Jong 173, Āṣafīyah i p. 724 nos. 23, 304, 432, Ethé 1436, Bānkīpūr ii 241–2, Lindesiana p. 214 no. 290b, Ivanow 669–70.

^ Back to text5. For further information about him see Āʾīn i Akbarī tr. Blochmann p. 365 n.

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“12.3.3 History of India: The Tīmūrids: Humāyūn”, in: Storey Online, Charles Ambrose Storey. Consulted online on 01 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2021

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