TWĀRĪKH-I-HIND, sub-titled Bayān i-Ahwāl i-Mulk-i-Hind wa Malūk-i-Āṅ az Zamān-i-Qādim tā 1233 A.H., by Ahmad Shāh of Baṭālā, a manuscript preserved in Dyāl Siṅgh Trust Library, Lahore, is a history of India from earliest times to AD 1818 according to the sub-title, although it also records the birth of Prince Nau Nihāl Siṅgh in 1820 and some other events in the Punjab even up to 1824. The manuscript comprising 468 folios, each with 17 lines, was prepared in 1866 by Rajab 'Alī, a native of Baṭālā. The section dealing with the history of the Sikhs was published under the title Zikr-i-Gurūāṅ wa Ibtidā-i-Siṅghāṅ wa Mazhab-i-Eshāṅ in 1885, as an appendix to volume I of Sohan Lāl Sūrī's 'Umdāt ut-Twārīkh. Sayyid Ahmad Shāh, the author, came of a well-known religious family of Baṭālā, in Gurdāspur district of the Punjab. He was known to Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, who gave audience to him at Baṭālā in 1814 and, after some time, again at Lahore. He had cordial relations with Captain (later Lieut-Col Sir) Claude Martin Wade (1794-1861) and Lieut Murray of the British Agency at Ludhiāṇā, and kept up regular correspondence with them providing them useful information about the court of Raṇjīt Siṅgh. Twārīkh–i-Hind was compiled by him at the request of Lieut Murray. He died around 1835; the exact year of his death is not mentioned in his family records.

        The Twārīkh begins with a geographical description of India. Among the provinces listed, Lahore takes precedence in the amount of detail provided. 144 folios are devoted to the author's home town Baṭālā and the history of the family. Especially valuable for the historian are the accounts of the invasions of Nādir Shāh and Ahmad Shāh Abdālī (Durrānī) and of the tussle for supremacy between the Sikhs and the Afghāns in northern India. Ahmad Shāh's chapter on the "Sikh Gurūs and the emergence of the Sikhs and their faith," however, has some glaring inaccuracies. He describes Sikhism as a sect of the Hindus. He regards only Gurū Nānak as the real Gurū and calls the remaining Gurūs as his Khalīfahs or deputies. His account of Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur also suffers from the bias common to Muslim historiographers. Although a contemporary of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, his account of his rule is brief and sketchy.


    Kirpal Singh, ed., A Catalogue of Persian and Sanskrit Manuscripts. Amritsar, 1962

Mohammad Aslam