EḴTESĀN, TĀJ-AL-MOLK MOḤAMMAD b. Aḥmad b. Ḥasan ʿAbdūsī Dehlavī (700-52/1300-51), author in Persian and secretary (dabīr) at the courts of the Tughluqid sultans Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn Tōḡloq (720-25/1320-25) and his son Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn Mo-ḥammad (725-52/1325-51). He joined the royal chancery at an early age and eventually became Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn Moḥammad’s private secretary (dabīr-e ḵāṣṣ), who sent him in 1328 to the court of the Il-khanid Abū Saʿīd (q.v.) in Persia to negotiate military alliance against Tarmašīrīn, the Chaghatay prince of Transoxiana and Ḡazna. He visited Persia a second time as the royal envoy to the court of Abū Esḥāq Īnjū (q.v.). He died in 752/1351 during his return trip near Thatta in Sind.
Eḵtesān’s claim to fame rests on his Basātīn al-ons (comp. 726/1325-26; extant in manuscript), a collection of love stories in ornate Persian prose adapted from the original Sanskrit. Author’s introduction to the book contains useful information about Eḵtesān himself and the events during the reign of Moḥammad b. Tōḡloq. Eḵtesān also wrote poetry. Of his poetry a complete qaṣīda in praise of Moḥammad b. Tōḡloq is preserved in the introduction to the Basātīn al-ons and Behāmad Ḵānī’s Tārīḵ-e moḥammadī. The latter also contains a few other verses by him.
Z. Baranī, Tārīḵ-e fīrūzšāhī, Calcutta, 1862, p. 424.
Moḥammad Behāmad Ḵānī, Tārīḵ-e moḥammadī, British Library, London, Ms. Or. 137, fol. 395a, 405b.
Moḥammad Eḵtesān, Basātīn al-ons, British Library, London, Ms. Add. 7717, fol. 8b, 9b, 13b, 23a-b.
Faṣīḥ Aḥmad Ḵᵛāfī, Mojmal-e faṣīḥī, ed. M. Farroḵ, 3 vols., Mašhad, 1339-41 Š./1960-62, III, pp. 78-79.
Mīr Ḵord, Sīar al-awlīāʾ, Delhi, 1302/1884-85, pp. 272-73.
Monzawī, Nosḵahā V, pp. 3660-61. Rieu, Catalogue II, pp. 752-26.
I. H. Siddiqi, Perso-Arabic Sources on the Life and Conditions in the Sultanate of Delhi, New Delhi, 1992, pp. 90-101.
(Iqtidar Husain Siddiqi)
Originally Published: December 15, 1998
Last Updated: December 9, 2011
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Vol. VIII, Fasc. 3, p. 290