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IMAD US-SAADAT

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IMAD USSAADAT, a chronicle in Persian, composed at the instance of Col. John Baillie, British Resident at Lucknow, by Ghulam `All Naqyi, of Rac Barcli, in 1808 containing accounts of the Nawabs of Oudh from Saadat Khan to Saadat `All Khan. besides those of the Marathas, the Ruhilas, the Afghans, the Jals and the Sikhs. The book was lithographed at the Nawal Kishore Press of Kanpur in 1864. The manuscript in the Oriental Public Library, Patna, comprising 151 large sized folios with 21 lines to a page, and written in nastaliq, is broken up into sections with subject headings given in red.

As for the Sikhs, the author tells us about their growing power, territorial possessions, and some characteristic features of their faith. After referring to God knowing, ever worshipping, piously Baba Nanak, a Bedi Khatri, full of wise sayings, of otherworldly attitude, and a saint of the highest grade of mysticism, he writes about two different kinds of his followers, the Khalsa of unshorn locks and the Khulasa of shorn hair. There is a reference to the Suthra Shahi sect, dating from the time of Guru Hargobind, and their play with coloured wooden sticks which they called Dande Nanak Shah.

According lo the writer, the tendency among the Sikhs to create commotions for annexing territory and devastating cities, towns and villages had become more intensified in later times with the result that the whole of the Punjab up to Multan, and the land within 47 kos (about 112 km) of Delhi, had passed under the control of chiefs drawn mostly from low classes like carpenters, leather workers,Jatts, etc. Though bitterly opposed to tobacco smoking, they were fond of bhang (hemp). Their salutation consisted of vdh guru vdh fateh.

They male people to pay tributes from a rupee to a lakh for expenses for "Halva Karah" as oblation dedicated to Baba Nanak. Their army called Dal consisted of about 2 lakh sowars. Their blind fidelity to their Gurus made them place their properties and even lives at their disposal. They were not confined only to the Punjab but were spread over the whole of Hindustan from Delhi to Hyderabad, Calcutta and Kashmir. The book is not free from factual errors or from bias. It accepts uncritically much that went round as mere gossip.

References :

1. Kirpal Singh, A Catalogue of Persian and Sanskrit Manuscripts. Amritsar, 1962
2. Ganda Singh, A Bibliography of the Panjab. Paliala, 1966

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