ABŪ TORĀB WALĪ B. SHAH QOṬB-AL-DĪN ŠOKRALLĀH, MĪR, noble in the service of Akbar and author of Tārīḵ-e Goǰrāt, a short history of that province from the reign of Bahādor Shah (932-43/1526-36), with an account of his wars against Homāyūn, through Akbar’s conquest and up to 992/1584. Abū Torāb was born into the Salāmī family of Shiraz sayyeds. His grandfather, the scholar Sayyed Shah Mīr, migrated from Shiraz and settled in Champanir by 898/1492-93. Abū Torāb’s date of birth is not known; even his lineage is somewhat uncertain. Though he identifies Qoṭb-al-dīn as his father (Tārīḵ-e Goǰrāt, pp. 16-17), both Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmī (Akbar-nāma III, p. 217) and Šāhnavāz Khan (Maʾāṯer al-omarāʾ III, p. 281) regard Sayyed Shah Mīr’s other son, Kamāl-al-dīn, as his father. Abū Torāb is first mentioned in connection with the events of 974/1567-68, when he was sent by the Gujerati noble Čengez Khan to negotiate with Eʿtemād Khan. When Akbar entered Gujerat in 980/1572-73, Eʿtemād Khan sent Abū Torāb to the emperor with a letter of welcome (Tārīḵ, pp. 51ff.). He gained Akbar’s favor, which was enhanced when he displayed his loyalty by preventing Eʿtemād Khan from conspiring with other Gujerati nobles. Akbar rewarded Abū Torāb by sending him to Mecca as mīr-e ḥāǰǰ in 985/1577; Eʿtemād Khan accompanied him. The emperor placed a large sum of money at the Mīr’s disposal, which he was directed to distribute among the poor and deserving, in addition to presenting gifts to those in charge of the ḥarams.
On his return thirteen months later, Abū Torāb brought a footprint of the Prophet. He deposited it near the capital, at Akbar’s direction, and explained its history in detail (Tārīḵ, pp. 96-97). Akbar and some of his leading amirs then went to the spot and showed reverence by placing the footprint on their shoulders and parading with it (Akbar-nāma III, pp. 281-82). Abū Torāb was given a fine house and assigned custody of the relic. However, when he departed for Gujerat in 988/1580, he was allowed to take the footprint with him, on the grounds that there was already one in Delhi, which Sayyed Jalāl-al-dīn Boḵārī (d. 785/1384) had brought for Fīrūzšāh Toḡloq.
In 922/1584, when Eʿtemād Khan was made ṣūbadār of Gujerat, Abū Torāb was appointed amīn-e ṣūba. He died in 1003/1595 at Ahmadabad and was buried at Asawal.
Tārīḵ-e Goǰrāt, ed. E. D. Ross, A History of Gujerat, Calcutta, 1909. Akbar-nāma, tr., III, index.
Āʾīn-e Akbarī, tr., I, p. 570.
ʿAlī Moḥammad Khan, Merʾāt-e Aḥmadī, ḵātema, Baroda, 1930, p. 64.
ʿAbdallāh Moḥammad b. ʿOmar al-Makkī, Ẓafar al-wāleh be Moẓaffar wa āleh, ed. by E. D. Ross, London, 1910-28, pp. 499f., 548, 567, 603, 606.
Storey, I, pp. 727-28. Rieu, Pers. Man. III, pp. 967-68.
(S. Moinul Haq)
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 21, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, p. 392