historian of the ʿĀdelšāhī dynasty of Bījāpūr (b. 1540-41).


EBRĀHĪM ŠĪRĀZĪ, RAFĪʿ-AL-DĪN (b. about 947/1540-41), historian of the ʿĀdelšāhī dynasty of Bījāpūr. He traveled from Persia to India as a merchant, and from the age of twenty served Sultan ʿAlī ʿĀdelšāh as a steward (ḵᵛānsālār) and scribe. In 1005/1596-97, he received from Sultan Ebrāhīm ʿĀdelšāh an appointment as ambassador to Aḥmadnagar; he also held posts as governor of the Bījāpūr fort and treasurer. He was still living in 1028/1618-19 when Mīrzā Kāmrān of Lahore praised him in his Mīrzā-nāma as a man of great learning. Although he wrote abridgements of Mīrḵᵛānd’s Rawżat al-ṣafāʾ, Ḵᵛāndamīr’s Ḥabīb al-sīar, and a Farhang-nāma, he is best known for his Taḏkerat al-molūk, a history of the ʿĀdelšāhī dynasty and contemporary Indian and Persian regimes, begun in 1017/1608-09 and completed three years later (for MSS see Storey, I, p. 743, to which add Sālār Jang, I, p. 406, no. 362 [Hist. 142] and Āṣafīya, handlist 5280). Taḏkerat al-molūk, written in a clear and readable style, is divided into an introduction and ten chapters (faṣl); the first chapter concerns the Bahmanī dynasty, while the second through the eighth detail the history of the ʿĀdelšāhīs (with emphasis on the other Deccani kingdoms in the 6th/12th and 8th/14th centuries). The ninth and tenth chapters (expanded to twelve in some manuscripts) relate the history of the Mughal emperors from Bābor to Jahāngīr, along with the Safavids and Deccan dynasties. A supplement gives an account of Indian temples, jewel mines, rivers, and wonders of the region. Rafīʿ-al-Dīn Šīrāzī has been neglected as an historian, partly due to the canonization of Ferešta by the British, but the Taḏkerat al-molūk remains an important independent source of Indo-Persian history.


Bibliography: (For cited works not given in detail, see “Short References.”)

A small part of Taḏkerat al-molūk relating to ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Bahman Shah was published by H. S. S. Qāderī in Tārīkò 3/9 (Hyderabad), suppl., January-March 1931, pp. 2-41, and a complete edition by A. N. M. Ḵāledī based on the Āṣafīya, Sālār Jang, and Oxford MSS, ed. C. Ernst (forthcoming).

A partial translation is found in J. S. King, The History of the Bahmanî Dynasty, Founded on the Burhân-i Ma’âṣir [and the Taḏkerat al-molūk], London, 1900. S

ee also I. A. Khan, “The Tazkirat al-Muluk by Rafiuddin Ibrahim Shirazi as a Source on the History of Akbar’s Reign,” Studies in History 2, 1980, pp. 41-56.

V. R. Natu, “A History of Bijapur by Rafiuddin Shirazi,” Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 22, 1905-08, pp. 17-29.

N. B. Roy, “Some Interesting Anecdotes of Sher Shah from the Rare Persian Ms. of Tazkirat-ul-Muluk,” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay, Letters 20/2, 1954, pp. 219-26.

(Carl W. Ernst)

Originally Published: December 15, 1997

Last Updated: December 8, 2011

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