FATŪHĀT NĀMAH-I-SAMADĪ, an unpublished Persian manuscript preserved in the British Library, London, under No. Or. 1870, is an account of the victories of 'Abd us-Samad Khān. Nawāb Saif ud-Daulah 'Abd us-Samad Khān Bahādur Diler Jaṅg was appointed governor of the Punjab by the Mughal Emperor Farrukh-Sīyar on 22 February 1713, with the specific object of suppressing the Sikhs who had risen under Bandā Siṅgh commissioned by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh himself, shortly before his death, to chastise the tyrannical rulers of Punjab and Sirhind. 'Abd us-Samad Khān immediately marched out and besieged Bandā Siṅgh in his stronghold of Lohgaṛh Fort, in the Śivālik foothills. The latter stood his ground for six months and then escaped into the hills in the beginning of October 1713. After destroying the Fort of Lohgaṛh, the Nawāb turned his attention to the supression of the recalcitrant Kharal, Gondal, Bhaṭṭī and Rāñjhā tribes of the bār area [modern Faisalābād and Sheikhūpurā districts] of Pakistan. He had hardly started his campaign, when Bandā Siṅgh reappeared in the plains and captured Paṭhānkoṭ and Gurdāspur. As he was operating around Baṭālā, north of Amritsar, 'Abd us-Samad Khān, with a 25,000 strong force sent from Delhi and Sirhind to reinforce him, set out against him. 'Abd us-Samad's son, Zakarīyā Khān, then faujdār of Jammū, advanced from the north. Their combined troops moved swiftly. Bandā Siṅgh, unable to retire to the Fort of Gurdāspur, which he had lately strengthened and provisioned, took up position in a havelī, or walled house, with a large compound at Gurdās-Naṅgal, a village six kilometre west of Gurdāspur. The imperial army invested the house, blocking all possible routes of escape and cutting off all supplies of food and fodder. The siege continued for eight months, from April to early December 1715. Reduced to desperate straits, Bandā Siṅgh was captured on 7 December 1715. The book also describes 'Abd us-Samad Khān's campaigns against 'Īsā Khān Mañjh, a minor chief to the south of the River Sutlej, and Husain Khān Keshgī of Kasūr, and his part in the court intrigues at Delhi leading to the downfall of the king-making Sayyid brothers.

         The author of Fatūhāt Nāmāh-i-Samadī, Ghulām Muhīy ud-Dīn, who had taken part in the siege of Gurdās-Naṅgal, gives an eyewitness account of several such happenings covering the period 1713-22. The work, according to the chronogram given in the preface, is dated AH 1135/AD) 1722-23. What makes the manuscript especially relevant to Sikh history is the space devoted in it to the last phase of Bandā Siṅgh's struggle against the Mughals. Excluding the 14-page preface, the first 117 pages of the 175-page document deal with the Sikhs. The author is no admirer, not even sympathizer, of the Sikhs. He is clearly hostile as is evident from his pejorative phraseology and invective. Yet the overall picture of Sikhs' character and of their political and social ideas and practices that emerges from his narrative is far from discreditable.

         Ghulām Mohīy ud-Dīn has not divided his narrative into chapters, but has given separate headings to the events narrated. The introduction, consisting of 29 pages, from 14 to 42, furnishes a background to the rise of the Sikhs under Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur, highlighting the circumstances leading to the estrangement between the Sikhs and the Mughals during the time of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. Further, some of the information provided by the author regarding the early victories of the Sikhs under Bandā Siṅgh over the Mughal officials is at once new and pertinent. "They expelled Wazīr Khān's garrisons from thānās everywhere," writes the author, "and brought the entire countryside right up to the cities and towns of Sirhind under their control." Elated with the victory attained, they erected khambā, or wooden tower, on the other side of the plain of Thānesar touching the north western boundary of the Delhi empire. "The implication of their claim [by setting up a khambā]," he explains, "was that if the Emperor of Hindustān with all his victorious armies and conquering hordes, chose to direct his attention to this part of the land, this tower should, like a cloud of dust, serve to remind him that he had to cry a halt to his march and that his jurisdiction ended there." The implication is clear that Bandā Siṅgh's was not merely a predatory campaign, as some historians have tried to depict it; he clearly aimed at establishing a sovereign Sikh State. Another point the author makes is that while upper class urban Hindu population was by and large loyal and faithful to the Mughal government, the low-caste Hindus, whom he terms as khas-o-khāshāk-i-hanūd-i-jahanamī wajūd, i.e. the dregs of the society of Hindus condemned to hell, volunteered to become Sikhs. Hindus even from distant Iran, Turan, Kābul, Qandahār and Multān embraced the faith in large numbers. These people, after joining the ranks of the "Nānak prastāṅ" or worshippers of Nānak, became so powerful that the author considers them a terrible calamity and exclaims : “Tāqat-i-insānī-ba āfat-i-āsmānī kujā hampñjā shawad? (How could human power contend with calamity from the heavens?) In a poem inserted in the prose narrative, he praises the Sikhs for their mastery over the arts of archery and swordsmanship. At another point., he applauds their skill in manufacturing guns from hollowed trunks of trees. Moral values the Sikhs uphold are scarcely slurred by the contumelious epithets used for them by the author. To quote an instance, "They [Sikhs] are dirty, wretched, unclean and verily devils incarnate, a calamity on earth descending from the heavens, but they never take a woman except for a mother."

Gurbax Siṅgh