ASRĀR-I-SAMADĪ, a Persian chronicle by an anonymous writer who is now identified as Munshī Jot Prakāsh attached to the court of Nawāb 'Abd us-Samad Khān, the governor of Lahore from 1713 to 1726. Written around 1728, the work, which the author claims to be an eye-witness account of the events described, deals with the military expeditions of the Nawāb. The only two extant manuscripts of the work, written in nastā'līq hand, are lying at the Pañjāb University Library, Lahore. The author describes himself as a munshī at the court of Nawāb 'Abd us-Samad Khān, and states that he belonged to Kalānaur, now in Gurdāspur district of the Punjab, the beauty of the landscape of which he sketches in ecstatic terms. The work was edited by Muhammad Shujā' ud-Dīn and Dr Mohammad Bashīr Husain and published at Lahore in 1965.

        Besides the preface, wherein the author sings glory of the Lord Almighty in elegant and florid Persian, the work has seven short chapters describing the Nawāb's victories in a series of battles. In the first chapter occurs an account of the stubborn resistance offered by Bandā Siṅgh and his Sikhs from inside the fortress of Gurdās-Naṅgal. The author showers unreserved praise on the Sikhs for the exemplary courage they displayed in battle and during the fierce siege they faced. He records how they thwarted capture of the fortress either by assault or by rash entry. The Nawāb promised safe conduct to the besieged Sikhs on condition that they evacuate, but he broke his word and Bandā Siṅgh and his companions were seized and despatched to Delhi where they were put to death with the harshest torments. The remaining chapters deal with the rebellion of Īsā Khān Mañjh of Chaklā Sirhind, the revolt of the Afghāns of Kasūr, the Nawāb's Kashmīr campaign, his transfer to Multān and his expeditions to Jammū and Kāṅgṛā.

        The work throws light on the policy of Nawāb 'Abd us-Samad Khān and his son Zakarīyā Khān and is singularly free from any personal prejudice on the part of the author. It castigates the erring and tyrannical faujdārs who persecuted the people and rack-rented the peasantry. The author's appreciation of the Sikhs' spirit of heroic courage and fortitude is expressed equally strongly. A Punjabi translation of the book was brought out by Punjabi University, Paṭiālā, in 1972.


  1. Janak Siṅgh, trans. , Asrār-i-Samadī. Patiala, 1972
  2. M. Shujā' ud-Din, ed. , Asrār-i-Samadī. Lahore, 1965

Gurbax Siṅgh