RISĀLĀ-I-NĀNAK SHĀH, a Persian manuscript by Buddh Siṅgh Aroṛā of Lahore, who was employed in the court of the Mughal Emperor Shāh Ālam II (1759-1806) at Delhi, written in 1783 in collaboration with Lālā Ajāib Siṅgh Sūrī of Mālerkoṭlā . The work deals with the history of the Sikhs from the time of Gurū Nānak up to the establishment of Sikh rule in Punjab under the Sardārs, and was written, as the author himself tells us, at the request of James Browne, British agent in Delhi who translated it into English and published it under the title History of the Origin and Progress of the Sicks (sic). It was also published in his India Tracts (1788). James Browne writes that he met two Hindus of considerable knowledge who were natives of Lahore and had in their possession account of the rise and progress of the Sikhs written in Nāgarī characters, one of which they translated into Persian at his request; but Browne does not mention their names. Manuscript copies of Risālā-i-Nānak Shāh are available in the British Library, London; Muslim University Library, Alīgaṛh; Khālsā College Library, Amritsar; and the Punjab Historical Studies Department at Punjabi University, Paṭiālā.

         The earlier part of the manuscript dealing with the lives of the Gurūs, evidently based on verbal information collected from inadequately informed sources is not very useful, for it contains several inexcusable errors of fact. For example, according to the author, Gurū Nānak lived at Sodharā, a town near the River Chenāb; Gurū Arjan was suceeded by Gurū Har Rāi; Gurū Hargobind's name is omitted from the series, although towards the end of the manuscript he is mentioned as having armed himself and fought a few battles against the Mughals; Mardānā was the companion of Gurū Tegh Bahādur; Gurū Gobind Siṅgh was born after the execution of his father. All these are historically horrenous misstatements, and far wide of the mark. But the author appears better informed as he approaches near his own time. His account of the events at Chamkaur and Sirhind; Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's travels to the South; the exploits and end of Bandā (Siṅgh); Nādir Shāh's invasion; Zakarīyā Khān's rule in the Punjab; the invasions of Ahmad Shāh Durrānī Sikhs' alliance with Ādīnā Beg and the Marāṭhās and its later dissolution; and the eventual consolidation of the Sikh power in cis-Sutlej and trans-Sutlej Punjab is fairly reliable.

Bhagat Siṅgh