FATEHNĀMAH, or Nāmah-i-Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, a letter (nāmah in Persian) that Gurū Gobind Siṅgh (1666-1708) is believed to have addressed to Emperor Auraṅgzīb prior to his better-known Zafarnāmah included in the Dasam Granth. The first reference to the existence of Fatehnāmah dates to 1922 when Bābū Jagan Nāth Dās published in the Nāgarī Prachārīnī Patrikā, Sāvan 1979 / July-August 1922, a letter supposed to have been sent by Chhatrapati Shivājī to Mirzā Rājā Jai Siṅgh. In his introduction, Bābū Jagan Nāth Dās had mentioned that he had copied around 1890 two letters from manuscripts in the possession of Bābā Sumer Siṅgh, mahant of Takht Srī Harimandar Sāhib at Paṭnā from 1882 to 1902 --- one, Shivājī's which he was publishing in the Patrikā and the other, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's which, he added, he had lost and of which he could not procure another copy owing to the death of the owner of the original document. According to Bābū Jagan Nāth Dās, the letter, which he declared was not the same as the Zafarnāmah or any portion of it, contained more than 100 couplets. He reproduced some of the couplets from memory which he sent to Sardār Umrāo Siṅgh Majīṭhīā (1870-1954), who arranged them in order and sent a copy each to the Khālsā College, Amritsar, and to Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh (1872-1957). The latter published it with a Punjabi translation in the Khālsā Samāchār of 16 July 1942 in an essay entitled Uchch dā Pīr. Sirdār Kapūr Siṅgh reproduced it two years later with an introduction and translation in Urdu in the Ajīt, a weekly then published from Lahore. He gave it the title Fatehnāmah. Dr Gaṇḍā Siṅgh included the Persian text, with an introduction in Urdu, in his M'ākhiz-i-Twārīkh-i-Sikkhāṅ, vol. 1, 1949, under the title "Nāmah-i-Gurū Gobind Siṅgh."
The incomplete letter Fatehnāmah has twenty-three and a half couplets, the twenty-first one having only one line. Its theme, language, style and metre are the same as those of the Zafarnāmah, though its tone is severer. Like the latter, it too chastises Auraṅgzīb for his tyranny, deceitful policy and perjury. The fourteenth couplet refers to the killing of two of the Gurū's four sons which shows that this letter was written sometime after the battle of Chamkaur in which his two elder sons fell fighting and before the news of the martyrdom of the two younger ones at Sirhind had reached him at Lammā Jaṭṭpurā. As history records, the Zafarnāmah was written and despatched to Auraṅgzīb through Bhāī Dayā Siṅgh and Bhāī Dharam Siṅgh only a few days later.
Jīt Siṅgh Sītal