'IBRATNĀMAH by Kāmrāj, one of several chronicles in Persian bearing this title, is a manuscript of 71 folios, preserved in British Library, London. A transcribed copy of it is available in some libraries in India such as Kāshī Prasād Jaiswāl Research Institute, Paṭna. The chronicle is a contemporary record of events covering the period from Auraṅgzīb's death in 1707 to the accession of Muhammad Shāh in 1719. Kāmrāj's father, Brindāban, was a peshadast or advance guard in the imperial artillery and his ancestors had served the Mughals for three generations. Kāmrāj himself had been in the service of Prince Ā'zam, the third son of Auraṅgzīb. In fact 'Ibratnāmah is a portion of a bigger book, Ā'zam-ul-Harb which he wrote as a mark of his debt of gratitude to the prince. He must have been an eye-witness to many of the events he has described, yet the account is disjointed, circumstantial and incidental, lacking in fulness of detail and the style is too laboured and ornate. Sikhs are described in this work as Nānak Prastāṅ, worshippers of (Gurū) Nānak. The author's language is highly vituperative. According to him, a Ḍogrā Sannyāsī or recluse originally named Lakshman Dās or Mādho Dās went to the South where he met the saint of Nāndeḍ (Gurū Gobind Siṅgh) from whom he claimed to have got a hukamnāmah (lit. written order) for punishing the oppressive Mughal officials, Hindus as well as Muslims. He described himself as a bandā or slave of the Gurū and called upon the Sikhs to join him in his crusade. The manuscript goes on to describe the campaigns of Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur, the siege of Lohgaṛh, Bandā Siṅgh's escape, his ultimate capture and execution along with hundreds of his devoted followers.
Syad Hasan Askarī