scholars and saints, but it largely reflects the
accounts of Shah Jahan’s reign by both Inayat Khan and Muhammad Salih
also have the common name of Shah Jahan Namah.
Aurangzeb’s Period Aurangzeb’s puritanism had an adverse effect on
writing of history. He issued orders that no historian should chronicle the
events of his reign. Perhaps he did not like various political, diplomatic and
military reverses of his reign to be made public. Nevertheless, the historical
spirit had reached a level where, despite discouragement, history writing
could not stop. Muhammad Saqi Mustaid Khan wrote Masir-i-Alamgiri. He
served Aurangzeb for 40 years and was an eye witness to most of the events.
The deficiency of official histories is removed by the presence of numerous
letters of the Emperor and we have several foreign testimonies which are
helpful. In the subsequent period, Muhammad Hashim Kafi Khan wrote
Muntakhab-ul-Lubab or Tarikh-i-Kafi Khan, which covers a wide range of
history from Ghori invasion to the year 1733 ad.
Foreign Travellers’ Accounts
Radical Transformation of Our Historiography by Europeans The
disadvantages of the chronicles in particular and the Islamic history in
general were largely overcome in the accounts of various travelers who
traversed in India from times immemorial. Diplomats, philosophers, religious
seers and philanthropists visited India and left valuable accounts behind,
which now form large historical literature. Various movements of people
from one part of the globe to the other influenced some people to come to
India and if possible, to settle here temporarily and then write their
With the advent of the Europeans in India, our historiography underwent a
radical transformation not merely in approach, treatment and technique, but
also in the volume of the historical literature written. Perhaps no other
country in the world can boast of such vast literature.
The fact that the Europeans came to trade and subsequently, became the
rulers necessitated a kind of administration which was all paper work. In
Europe, unlike in India, the art of writing history was always given a high
place and they carried this culture to India.
As they were basically interested in trade, most of the observations made by