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FATEHNAMAH, or Namah-i-Guru Gobind Singh, a letter (namah in Persian) that Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) is believed to have addressed to Emperor Aurangzib prior to his better known Zafarnamah included in the Dasam Granth. The first reference to the existence of Fatehndmah dates to 1922 when Babu Jagan Nath Das published in the Nagari Pracharini Patrika, Savan 1979 / July-August 1922, a letter supposed to have been sent by Chhatrapati Shivaji to Mirza Raja Jai Singh. In his introduction, Babu Jagan Nath Das had mentioned that he had copied around 1890 two letters from manuscripts in the possession of Baba Sumer Singh, mahant of Takht Sri Harimandar Sahib at Patna from 1882 to 1902 one, Shivaji`s which he was publishing in the Patrika and the other. Guru Gobind Singh`s which, he added, he had lost and of which he could not procure another copy owing to the death of the owner of the original document.

According to Babu Jagan Nath Das, the letter, which he declared was not the same as the Zafarnamah or any portion of it, contained more than 100 couplets. He reproduced some of the couplets from memory which he sent to Sardar Umrao Singh Majithia (1870-1954), who arranged them in order and sent a copy each to the Khalsa College, Amritsar, and to Bhai Vir Singh (1872-1957). The latter published it with a Punjabi translation in the Khalsa Samachar of 16 July 1942 in an essay entitled Uchch da Pir. Sirdar Kapur Singh reproduced it two years later with an introduction and translation in Urdu in the Ajlt, a weekly then published from Lahore.

He gave it the title Fatehnamah. Dr Ganda Singh included the Persian text, with an introduction in Urdu, in his M`akhiz-i-Twarikh-i-Sikkhan, vol. 1, 1949, under the title "Namah-i-Guru Gobind Singh." The incomplete letter Fatehnamah has twenty-three and a half couplets, the twenty-first one having only one line. Its theme, language, style and metre are the same as those of the Zafarnamah, though its tone is severer.

Like the latter, it too chastises Aurarigzib for his tyranny, deceitful policy and perjury. The fourteenth couplet refers to the killing of two of the Guru`s four sons which shows that this letter was written sometime after the battle of Chamkaur in which his two elder sons fell fighting and before the news of the martyrdom of the two younger ones at Sirhind had reached him at Lamma Jattpura. As history records, the Zafarnamah was written and despatched to Aurangzib through Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh only a few days later.

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