ʿALĪ B. ṬAYFŪR BESṬĀMĪ, historian and litterateur at the courts of Sultan ʿAbdallāh Qoṭbšāh (1035-83/1626-72) and his successor Sultan Abu’l-Ḥasan (1083-98/1672-86). As a youth he migrated from Besṭām in Iran to the Deccan, where he was greatly influenced by the Shiʿite divine Shaikh Malek Moḥammad Anṣārī. He lived in Golconda until the fall of the Qoṭbšāhī dynasty in 1098/1686, after which he returned to Iran. He translated four Arabic works into Persian and compiled two independent Persian works. The former include Ebn Bābūya’s ʿOyūn aḵbār al-Reżā (Toḥfa-ye Malakī, completed 1058/1648, ms., Farsi 1412, Āṣafīya Library, Hyderabad), Ṭabresī’s Makārem al-aḵlāq (completed 1065/1655), extracts from the writings of Ḵᵛāǰa ʿAbdallāh Anṣārī (Anwār al-taḥqīq, ms., 289, Sālār Jang Library, Hyderabad), and Toḥfat al-ḡarāʾeb containing traditions of the Prophet and sayings of the saints and the learned. His independent Persian works are Toḥfa-ye Qoṭbšāhī, a collection of sayings in the “Mirror for Princes” style and Ḥadāʾeq al-salāṭīn fī kalām al-ḵawāqīn (completed in 1092/1681 at the command of Sultan Abu’l-Ḥasan Qoṭbšāh), a taḏkera of poets including historical information such as letters exchanged between the rulers of Iran and India (fol. 151). The latter is divided into three ḥadīqas and several ṭabaqas; the first two ḥadīqas dealing with the pre-Islamic dynasties of Iran and several Muslim Kings of Central Asia and India. The third ḥadīqa deals with the poetry of eminent ministers, amirs, and other officials (fols. 120-200).
See also ʿAlī Ṭayfūr, Ḥadāʾeq al-salāṭīn, ms., 213, Sālār Jang Library, Hyderabad, fols. 151, 201b.
Idem, Toḥfat al-ḡarāʾeb, ms., 608, Sālār Jang Library, Hyderabad, fol. 16.
Marshall, Mughals in India, pp. 58-59.
Storey, I, pp. 177, 209.
T. N. Devare, A Short History of Persian Literature, Poona, 1960, p. 346.
H. K. Sherwani, History of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, New Delhi, 1974, pp. 603, 687.
Rypka, Iran. Lit., p. 427.
(M. A. Nayeem)
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 1, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 855