ʿABD-AL-QĀDER KHAN JĀʾESĪ, late Mughal biographer, commonly called ḠOLĀM QĀDER KHAN. He was the son of Mawlavī Vāṣel ʿAlī Khan, chief justice (qāżī al-qożāt) of Bengal. In is youth he enjoyed the company of two renowned historians ʿAlī Ebrāhīm Khan Ḵalīl and Sayyed Ḡolām Ḥosayn Khan Ṭabāṭabāʾī. Jonathan Duncan, who was Resident at Benares from 1788 to 1795, sent him on political deputations to Nepal, and, according to ʿAbd-al-Qāder’s own testimony in Ḥešmat-e Kašmīr, his reports from Nepal were submitted to Col. W. Kirkpatrick, who later printed them in translation. Col. Kirkpatrick, in turn, mentions ʿAbd-al-Qāder as a member of the 1793 mission to Nepal (see Kirkpatrick, Nepaul, pp. xi, 367).
ʿAbd-al-Qāder is chiefly remembered for his two extant works: Ḥešmat-e Kašmīr and Tārīḵ-e ʿEmād-al-molk. Both reflect his close association with British officials of north India. In the early 19th century, through the influence of a British agent, Ḥešmat-al-dawla W. Augustus Brooke, ʿAbd-al-Qāder’s personal revenue assignment (ǰāgīr) was made hereditary and he therefore dedicated Ḥešmat-e Kašmīr to his benefactor after completing it at Benares in 1245/1830. It is an unoriginal narrative history of Kashmir based mainly on Abu’l-Qāsem Moṇʿemī’s Gawhar-e ʿālam, with short accounts of Tibet and other regions adjacent to Kashmir (for details, see Storey, I/1, pp. 684-85). Tārīḵ-e ʿEmād al-molk is a more ambitious undertaking; it is a history of ʿEmād-al-molk Ḡāzī-al-dīn Khan Fīrūz Jang, the vizier of Aḥmad Shah (1161-67/1748-54) and ʿĀlamgīr II (1167-73/1754-59), based partly on oral information from various persons, including the Navvāb himself, whom the author interviewed at Kalpi, and partly on written sources such as the Navvāb’s letters, Tārīḵ-e Šoǰāʿī of Haṛčarandās, and Ḥadīqat al-aqālīm of Shaikh Allāhyār Belgrāmī. ʿAbd-al-Qāder undertook to write the book in 1834 in response to a veiled request from Captain Thoresby, then the superintendent of the Sanskrit college at Benares (for details, see Storey I/1, pp. 622-23).
ʿAbd-al-Qāder Khan Jāʾesī, Ḥešmat-e Kašmīr, Calcutta, 1832, MSS of Tārīḵ-e ʿEmād-al-molk exist at Ind. Off. Lib. and Bankipore. Col. W. Kirkpatrick, An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul, Calcutta, 1794.
Originally Published: December 15, 1982
Last Updated: July 14, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, p. 134