Treatises on Indic religions
The chief compiler and writer of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ (Compendium of Chronicles), Rašīd al-Dīn Fażl Allāh Hamadānī, was born in a Jewish family in Hamadan in 647/1249-50, and later on converted to Islam. After studying in various places in Iran, he served the Ilkhanid court, most likely as a physician. In 1298, the seventh ruler of the Ilkhanids, Ġāzān Ḫān (r. 1295-1304), appointed him as co-chief vizier with Sa‘d al-Dīn Sāwajī (d. 1312); in this position Rašīd al-Dīn assisted Ġāzān in formulating reform policy. Under the rule of Ġāzān’s younger brother and successor Öljaitü (r. 1304-16), Rašīd al-Dīn assumed considerable power at the court. However, at the beginning of Abū Sa‘īd’s reign in 1316, Rašīd al-Dīn fell from power as the result of a political dispute with his rival Tāj al-Dīn ‘Alī-Šāh (d. 724/1324), and was eventually executed in 718/1318 together with one of his sons, Ibrāhīm, (Browne 2003, pp. 68-71; Iwatake 2002, pp. 1036-37; Melville 2008, p. 462).
During his years as chief vizier, Rašīd al-Dīn wrote a series of works in addition to the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ, among them al-Majmū‘a al-Rašīdiyya (Compendium of Rašīd), a collection of four of his theological works, and the Tanksūq-nāma (Precious Book), a collection of Persian translations of Chinese scientific books, including a translation of a medical book, Maijue, attributed to Wang Shuhe (Haneda 1995; Berlekamp 2010; Lo and Wang 2013). Moreover, Rašīd al-Dīn built the Rab‘-i Rašīdiyya, a quarter in the suburb of Tabriz, which was named after him and included a mosque, a library, a hospital, an orphanage and other public buildings; here were also produced the copies of his works, which were sent to various places of the Mongol Empire (Iwatake 1997; Canby 2012, p. 143). In particular, Rašīd al-Dīn ordered that two copies of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ - one in Persian and one in Arabic - should be produced every year at the Rab‘-i Rašīdiyya. The Arabic copies were certainly intended to be distributed in the cities of the Arabic speaking world (Melville 2008, p. 465).
Rašīd al-Dīn’s magnum opus, the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ, is one of the most important Persian historical works composed during the Mongol period. The text is divided into three volumes (mujallad). Volume one, which had been commissioned by Ġāzān but was not completed before his death, comprises a history of the Turks and Mongols, and a history of Genghis Khan’s family up to Ġāzān’s death. Volume two consists of two parts, of which first dealt with the history of Öljaitü, though it is missing in surviving manuscripts. The second part is the so-called histories of the “people of the world” (aqwām-i ahl-i ‘ālam), in two halves: the first half includes chapters (bāb) on Adam and the ancient Prophets, Islamic history from the prophet Muḥammad to the ‘Abbasid caliphate, the Ghaznavids, the Seljuqs, the Khwarazmshahs, the Salghurids, and the Ismā’īlis; the second half consists of the histories of Oġuz Turks, China, Jews, Franks and India. Volume three is a geographical compendium of which no manuscript has survived to date, although we know some of its contents from the Tārīḫ-i Banākatī (Shiraiwa 1995, pp. 182-183; see Ogura 2019b). In addition, accounts in Rašīd al-Dīn’s theological work Laṭā’if al-ḥaqā’iq and the anthology of his works (Majmū‘a-yi taṣānīf-i Rašīdī) suggest that a volume on genealogical charts of the people of the world was later on inserted between volume two and three (Rašīd al-Dīn 2537/1978-9, pp. 13-14; Rašīd al-Dīn 1968, pp. clix-clx; Otsuka 2018, p. 120).
Previous scholars, such as Jahn and Boyle, have considered the second volume of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ as “the first world history” (Jahn 1965, pp. ix-x; Boyle 1971, p. 21). However, Otsuka has recently shown that the greater part of this volume is based on the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ of Abū al-Qāsim Qāšānī, who was an assistant of Rašīd al-Dīn in the composition of his Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ (Otsuka 2018, Otsuka 2019a). The part on the histories of the “people of the world” of Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ has two different dates, 703/1303-1304 and 705/1305-1306, which indicate that it was not completed before 705/1305-1306 (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, pp. 4, 73). On the other hand, the chapter on India of the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ was completed in 703/1303-1304 (Qāšānī, Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Ms. Tehran, Dānišgāh-i Tihrān, 9067, f. 334b; see Otsuka 2018, pp. 130-134 and Otsuka 2019a). The fact that volume two of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ contains a great number of textual parallels with the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ would also suggest that the Arabic version of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ was produced after the compilation of the Persian version. Moreover, the chapter on India of the Arabic version includes three Persian verses which are also in the Persian version and were most likely taken from it (Rašīd al-Dīn, Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ, Ms. London, Khalīlī 727, f. 26b-27a).
According to Rašīd al-Dīn, the main sources of his chapter on India are the Kitāb fī taḥqīq mā li-al-Hind (henceforth, Kitāb al-Hind) of Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī (d. after 442/1050), and the information given by a Kashmiri Buddhist monk named Kamālašrī (seemingly for Kamalaśrī, the “prosperous red lotus”) (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, pp. 1-2). Kamalaśrī did also assist Qāšānī in the writing of the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ. According to earlier studies, Kamalaśrī was the author of ten brief Sanskrit works on Buddhism that were translated into Tibetan during the same period; he is also said to have consecrated a Buddhist mandala dedicated to Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, whose name appears on a Śāradā inscription in Kashmir dated 1236, but we are yet to reach a definite conclusion (Naudou 1980, p. 255; Deambi 1982, pp. 110-112; Canby 2012, p. 143; Yoeli-Tlalim 2013, p. 202). Among the Sanskrit sources on Buddhism that Kamalaśrī brought to the attention of his Muslim patrons and which were used in the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ and the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ, Schopen has identified several: the Devatāsūtra that includes questions and answers between a celestial being and Buddha, the Āryavāsiṣṭhasūtra or its Tibetan translation the 'Phags pa gnas 'jog gi mdo that includes a dialogue between Buddha and the hermit Vasiṣṭha, and the Maitreyavyākaraṇa, Buddha’s comment on the future coming of the Bodhisattva Maitreya (Schopen 1982). In addition, Sakaki supposes that Rašīd al-Dīn’s account of hells in Buddhist thought derives from those of the Pāli Aggañña-sutta included in the Dīgha-nikāya, a collection of Pāli Buddhist texts transmitted by the Dharmaguptaka school (Sakaki 2000, p. 14). The information on the history of Delhi after the Ghaznavid ruler Maḥmūd ibn Sebüktegin (r. 998-1030) is based on Jūzjānī’s Ṭabaqāt-i Nāṣirī (Jahn 1965, p. xiii).
The chapter on India is divided in two subchapters (qism): the first subchapter contains ten sections (fasl) which provide information on measures of time and eras, geography (sections ii, iii and iv), brief histories of Delhi and Kashmir (v and vi), and the kings who ruled in each of the four epochs (yuga) in Indic thought (sections vii to x; the Arabic version contains eleven sections, because section eight of the Persian version is divided into two parts). The second subchapter contains twenty sections that deal with the beliefs and teachings of Indian religions, the life and teachings of Śakyamuni (Šākamūnī in Persian script), a name for Buddha (sections ii to ix, xvii, xviii), explanations about hells (dūzaḫ), heavens (bihišt), and metempsychosis (tanāsuḫ) in Buddhist thought (sections x to xiv), and a description of the diffusion of Buddhist schools and other Indic religions in India and Mongolia at the beginning of the fourteenth century (section xix). This chapter ends with a note on Rašīd al-Dīn’s refutation of the belief of metempsychosis from an Islamic viewpoint. On the other hand, the Arabic version of the chapter on India contains twenty-one sections, although the surviving manuscripts are incomplete. It is possible that a section was divided into two sections when translated into Arabic or that a section was added to the Arabic version. The Arabic version of the chapter on India includes an appendix, describing briefly eleven books on Buddhism, which is not present in the Persian version.
The first qism of the Persian version is titled “on the calculation of years, centuries, and knowledge of the land of India, the nature, quantity, and number of mountains, rivers, cities, villages, hamlets, citadels, and islands, and a history of the kings of Delhi and Kashmir (dar ḥisāb-i a‘wām wa qurūn wa ma‘rifat-i diyār-i Hind wa kayfiyyat wa kamiyyat wa a‘dād-i kūhhā wa ābhā wa qurà wa żiyā‘ wa qaṣabāt wa jazā’ir, wa tārīḫ-i pādšāhān-i Dihlī wa Kašmīr).” The accounts about Indian measures of time and eras (section one) by and large follow those of al-Bīrūnī’s Kitāb al-Hind, and the topographical information (section two to four) is quite detailed. However, the accounts on the history of Delhi (section five) conflate different passages of al-Bīrūnī at the cost of intelligibility. Section five, on the history of Delhi, begins with the story of Kṛṣṇa Vāsudeva, the eighth incarnation of Viṣṇu and a hero in the Mahābhārata war, the account of which is based on chapter forty-seven of the Kitāb al-Hind (al-Bīrūnī 1377/1958, pp. 336-340; Sachau 2003, vol. 1, pp. 400-406). Rašīd al-Dīn afterwards turns to his successors, starting with Arjuna and after eight generations ending with Bhīmapāla, son of Trilocanapāla of the Hindūšāhids, who was killed by Maḥmūd ibn Sebüktegin in 412/1021-1022 (Rahman 1988; Mashita 2011, pp. 82-83). These eight kings are mentioned in chapter forty-nine of the Kitāb al-Hind (al-Bīrūnī 1377/1958, pp. 349-351; Sachau 2003, vol. 2, pp. 11-14). As Mashita has pointed out, this rough combination of two independent passages from the Kitāb al-Hind resulted in such an unconvincing narration in this section that there are only eight generations between the mythic time of the Mahābhārata War and 412/1021-1022 (Mashita 2011, pp. 82-83).
Section five describes also the history of Delhi during the early Delhi sultanate period, up to 703/1303-1304, in the middle of the reign of ‘Alā’ al-Dīn Ḫaljī (r. 1296-1316), briefly referring to the Chagataid emir Qutluġ Ḫwāja’s expedition to Delhi in 1299-1300 (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 66). In section six dealing with the history of Kashmir, which is not included in the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Rašīd al-Dīn gives information about the first legendary king of Kashmir, Pravarasena, and his successors. This genealogy does not entirely correspond with the genealogical information given by Kalhaṇa in his Rājataraṅgiṇī (see Ogura 2019a), a history of Kashmir. Moreover, Kamalaśrī states the kaliyuga began at the time when Yudhiṣṭhira was enthroned after the Mahābhārata war, while Kalhaṇa claims the Mahābhārata war occurred in the year 653 of kaliyuga (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 92; Kalhaṇa 1961, verses 1.48-56). This would suggest that Kamalaśrī, in spite of his Kashmiri origin, did not have access to Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī, possibly because, as a Buddhist, he did not belong to the community of Kashmiri pandits who kept up the tradition of the Rājataraṅgiṇī. On the other hand, Kamalaśrī’s claim that Kashmiri people identified Lalitāditya (r. 724-760), the fifth king of the Kārkoṭa dynasty, who conquered most parts of North India, with Alexander the Great (Ḏū al-qarnayn), seems to reflect Kashmiri narratives which were not recorded in the Rājataraṅgiṇīs (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 70; Jahn 1980, p. 11). Section six then describes lives and deeds of the Hindu rajas of Kashmir. The text correctly records the names of the last four rajas of the second Lohara dynasty (1101-1320), Rāmadeva (r. 1252-73), Lakṣmadeva (r. 1273-86), Siṃhadeva (r. 1286-1301), and Sūhadeva (r. 1301-20). However, Rašīd al-Dīn adds the unlikely statement that rajas of Kashmir ascended the throne in accordance with the formal diploma (yarliġ) issued by the great Khans of the Mongol empire, beginning from the reign of Möngke (r. 1251-59) (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 74).
Sections from seven to ten provide accounts of the kings who ruled in each of the four epochs (yuga), parts of which are based on Sanskrit epics and purāṇas. Section seven on the histories of the kings and Brahmins of the kṛtayuga, begins with the story of Kaśyapa Prajāpati, his wife Aditi, and the birth of Sūrya, one of the Āditya sun-gods; it closes with an account of the foundation of the dynasty of Ikṣvāku, a descendant of the Āditya sun-gods who ruled over four climates, and whose dynasty continued until the reign of Sagara in the kṛtayuga. The story of Hariścandra included in this chapter is presumably a brief quotation from the Mārkandeya Purāṇa. Among the stories contained in section eight on the kings of the tretāyuga, the stories of Dilīpa, son of Sagara, and Raghu seem to be based on Kālidāsa’s epic poem Raghuvaṁśa. In addition, section eight includes episodes from the Rāmāyana (the story of Rāma who went to Laṅkā Island to retrieve his wife Sītā from the demonic being Rāvaṇa). Section nine features two stories: the first is the story of king Kārtavīrya (who ruled at the beginning of dvāparayuga), sage Jamadāgni, and his son Paraśurāma, the sixth incarnation of Viṣṇu. The second story is about the Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas at the end of dvāparayuga and is based on the Mahābhārata. Rašīd al-Dīn here clearly recognizes Vyāsa as the author of the Mahābhārata and he further states that Gaṇeśa wrote it down and that the book recorded what happened at the end of the dvāparayuga and at the beginning of the kaliyuga (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 89). Following Qāšānī, Rašīd al-Dīn identifies Vyāsa as a prophet (Qāšānī, Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Ms. Tehran, Dānišgāh-i Tihrān, 9067, f. 339b; Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 92).
The last faṣl of qism one deals with the kings who ruled during the kaliyuga: it begins with the enthronement of king Yudhiṣṭhira told by Vyāsa, followed by a brief story of Buddha’s birth 3,500 years after the commencement of this epoch. The latter half of this section comprises a rough (and inaccurate) sketch of histories of the Nanda Dynasty (4th century BC), the first three kings of the Maurya empire, Śrī Harṣadeva (of Vardhana c. 590-647?), Śrī Vikramāditya of Ujjain, and Lalitāditya of Kashmir. As Jahn and Melville have pointed out, this section contains a remarkable claim, namely that the Mongol rulers including Genghis Khan were of Indian origin (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, pp. 98-99), which clearly contradicts the genealogy of the Mongols as the descendants of the legendary ancestress Alanqū’ā which is narrated in the first volume of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ (Jahn 1965, pp. lxiii-lxxxvi; Melville 2008, p. 465). This incongruous narrative is certainly due to the fact that Rašīd al-Dīn reproduces faithfully the same statement on the Indian origin of the Mongols made by Qāšānī in the chapter on India of the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ (Qāšānī, Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Ms. Tehran, Dānišgāh-i Tihrān, 9067, f. 340b).
Rašīd al-Dīn does not attempt to merge or compare the different historical perspectives provided by his two main sources, al-Bīrūnī’s Kitāb al-Hind and Kamalaśrī’s information. He juxtaposes three timelines of events which go from the mythic period up to the author’s epoch - in section five on the history of Delhi, in section six on the history of Kashmir, and in sections from seven to ten on the rulers flourished in the four yugas - and does not explain the incongruous accounts between the different sections. In this regard, the chapter on India is different from the other chapters of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ. Rašīd al-Dīn gathers together various narratives on India’s history as they were related by his written and oral sources and does not try to combine them into a single succession of historical events. On the other hand, the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ contains only two timelines, that of the rulers of the four yugas, based on Kamalaśrī’s information, and that of the history of Delhi, based on the Kitāb al-Hind (Qāšānī, Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Ms. Tehran, Dānišgāh-i Tihrān, 9067, ff. 336a-341a, ff. 341a-346a).
The second qism is titled “on the history of India and the nature of the birth of Śakyamuni, his biography and teachings, and the [various] mode(s) of metempsychosis such as transformation(s) into another human being, an animal, a plant, and a mineral (az tārīḫ-i Hind wa kayfiyat-i wilādat-i Šākamūnī wa ḥālāt wa maqālāt wa waż‘-i tanāsuḫ az nasḫ wa masḫ wa rasḫ wa fasḫ).” It begins with Kamalaśrī’s account (riwāyāt) about Indic religions and the prophets of the Hindus (payġambarān-i hunūd) who have law and principles (šarī‘at wa uṣūl) (section one). Six prophets who embody six different creeds are presented: Maheśvara (Śiva), Viṣṇu, Brahmā, arhanta[s] (plural nominative form of the Sanskrit word arhat, i.e. sages of Jains), Nāstika (atheist), and Buddha. The number six is probably derived from the commonly known notion of six schools of Indian philosophy in Sanskrit doxographies (see Gerschheimer 2000). Regarding the personification of deities and religions as human prophets, Jahn suggests that Kamalaśrī attempted to accommodate the narrative with the Islamic belief that a religion is founded by a prophet (Jahn 1965, p. xxxv).
Furthermore, Rašīd al-Dīn summarizes the views of each Indic prophet. According to him, the believers are sincere but they are opposed to each other and they try to find faults in the other’s religion. The account that all Brahmins are considered worshippers of Brahmā and they categorize the adherents of Śaivism, Vaiṣṇavism, and Brahmanism into four castes, which were born from Brahmā’s forehead, chest, navel and genitals, seems to be taken and adapted from the puruṣasūkta hymn of the Ṛgveda about the primordial man (puruṣa). Rašīd al-Dīn’s description of Śaivism, Vaiṣṇavism and Brahmanism includes, among others, information about fire-worshipping, sun-worshipping, the belief that Brahmā has four heads and each head created a Veda, and that Viṣṇu is incarnated ten times in each epoch. The description of Jains and Nāstikas is less developed; the account on Nāstikas describes the philosophy of the Lokāyatas, the materialist thinkers. The view of Buddhists is placed at the end of this section, in which Rašīd al-Dīn says that there are three groups among them according to the degree of perfection: śrāvaka (hearer), pratyekabuddha (lone Buddha), and samyaksambuddha (complete enlightenment). In addition, he introduces the contents of a famous book of Buddhism titled Abhidharma (a series of scholarly exegeses and commentaries on Buddhist sutras), and the names of the past seven Buddhas who flourished after the commencement of bhadrakalpa (the beautiful eon): Vipaśyin, Śikhin, Viśvabhū, Krakucchandra, Kanakamuni, Kaśyapa, and Śakyamuni. Rašīd al-Dīn here glosses the word kalpa (eon) – according to faṣl one of qism one, the duration of a kalpa is 4,320,000,000 years – with the Persian term for “typhoon” (ṭūfān), possibly because Kamalaśrī described kalpa as is a cycle at the beginning of which a great typhoon washes everything away, like Noah’s flood. The information given in the section concerns mostly North India; there is no account of any school of thought of South India, such as the thoughts of Śaṅkara’s Advaita Vedānta and Rāmānuja’s Viśiṣṭādvaita.
From section two onward, the Persian text deals chiefly with Buddha’s biography: his birth (section two), the story of the four sights (section four), his penance and attaining of enlightenment (section five), his return to society, followed by some stories including a dialogue with a devil (iblīs), an outline of ten evil deeds in Buddhism (section six), the well-known story of Anāthapiṇḍada at a house of worship (‘ibādat-ḫāna) in Śrāvastī, Buddha’s dialogue with a Brahmin named Vāsiṣṭha in which he mentions the names of the six heavens of desire in Buddhist cosmology (section seven), the stories of Buddha’s past lives (section eight), a dialogue between Buddha and an angel in Jetavana (sections fifteen and sixteen), and his death (section twenty). The account of Buddha’s teachings and Buddhism also includes a list of the thirty-two physical characteristics of the mahāpuruṣa (mahāpuruṣalakṣaṇa), glossed as the perfect man (mard-i kāmil) (section three), a Persian translation of a hymn (stotra) addressed to a Kuanyin (a Bodhisattva Lokeśvara in Chinese mahāyāna Buddhism) (section nine), Buddha’s teachings about the six paths of metempsychosis and eight hells (through a dialogue with an anonymous man, section ten), the deeds by which humans reincarnate as demons (section eleven), animals (section twelve), humans (section thirteen), in the states between humans and heavenly beings (i.e. the six heavens of desire, section fourteen), his teachings about a future prophet, Maitreya, through a dialogue with his disciple Ānanda (section seventeen), and his teachings about the stages of mankind, reward and punishment in heaven and hell, and commands and prohibitions (amr wa nahy) (section eighteen).
Like other Persian texts, the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ uses the Islamic categories of prophets and angels to define different Indic deities and personages. The text refers to Buddha as a prophet (payġambar, nabī) and variously refers to Indic deities like Śiva, Viṣṇu, and Indra as prophets or angels (firišta, malak). Brahmā is also called “the king of nature” (malik-i ṭabī‘ī) (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 10). On the other hand, the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ defines all Indic deities as prophets. As in the cases of Indic deities, different Persian words (iblīs, dīw and šayṭān) are used to refer to Indic devils and demons. However, the term iblīs is used only for the Māra-pāpīyas who lives in Paranirmitavāsavartin, the highest of the six heavens of desire (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, pp. 118-119, 124); in the same passage Qāšānī uses the term šayṭān (Satan) (Qāšānī, Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Ms. Tehran, Dānišgāh-i Tihrān, 9067, f. 350b). With regard to rebirth, the six paths of metempsychosis in Buddhism are presented according to the way they are explained in earlier Arabic treatises on religions, i.e. nasḫ (transformation into another human), masḫ (transformation into animal), rasḫ (transformation into vegetation), and fasḫ (transformation into mineral) (Gimaret, pp. 181-182; Sakaki 2000, p. 18), while the accounts of the deeds resulting in the transmigration into each particular form correspond to those described in Buddhist sources. The description of Buddhist hells and heavens mentions only the names of the eight hot hells (Sañjīva, Kālasūtra, Tāpana, Pratāpana, Saṅghāta, Raurava, Mahāraurava, and Avīci) while the eight cold hells are not mentioned (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, pp. 131-137; Sakaki 2000, p. 14). The text spells properly the names of the six heavens of desire (Caturmahārājika, Trāyastriṁśa, Yāma, Tuṣita, Nirmāṇarati, and Paranirmitavāsavartin) although only the realms above them are referred to without giving their names; the “seventeen formed realms” (rūpadhātu) are called “the physical world (‘ālam-i jismānī),” while the “four formless realms” (ārūpyadhātu) are glossed as “the spiritual world (‘ālam-i rūḥānī)” (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, pp. 124-125).
The translation of certain Indic terms seems to have been a difficult task. For example, the term Veda, that means “knowledge” in Sanskrit, is translated in the Persian text as “pierced pearls” (murwārīdhā-yi sufta) (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 103). The translation of the titles of Sanskrit texts was also problematic. For instance, the title Abhidharma is explained in Persian as “the first and the last of all books” while its correct meaning would be “higher teachings” or “with regard to teachings” (Rašīd al-Dīn 1374š/2005, p. 104; see also Cox 1995, pp. 3-4; Yoeli-Tlalim 2013, p. 204). The same interpretations of the titles of Sanskrit texts are found in the chapter on India of the Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, suggesting that Rašīd al-Dīn reproduced Qāšānī’s description of these books (Qāšānī, Zubdat al-tawārīḫ, Ms. Tehran, Dānišgāh-i Tihrān, 9067, ff. 346b-347a). As both Qāšānī and Rašīd al-Dīn did not know Indic languages, is likely to presume that for the translation and glosses of Indic terms they had to rely chiefly on the oral explanations provided by Kamalaśrī and other informants.
The Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ circulated among later Muslim scholars in both the Persian and the Arabic versions. Certain copies were also illustrated, including the chapter on India (see Blair 1995; Gray 1978). For example, one of the Persian manuscripts kept at the Topkapı Palace Library in Istanbul contains twenty-three miniatures illustrating the mountains of India, flora and fauna, architectures, scenes from the history of Delhi and the rulers of the four yugas (Ms. Istanbul, Topkapı Palace Library Hazine 1654, ff. 330b, 331a, 331b, 332a, 333a, 333b, 334a, 335a, 336a, 337b, 338a, 338b, 339a, 339b, 340a, 341a, 342b, 343b). The Arabic manuscript of the Khalīlī collection contains nine miniatures illustrating the mountains of India, the battle between Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas, the execution of Jalāl al-Dīn Ḫaljī (r. 1290-96), the enthronement of the Kashmiri king Yaśaskara (r. 939-48), the death of Rāvaṇa, Śakyamuni’s offering fruits to Māra-pāpīyas, a depiction of Jetavana, and Śakyamuni’s grave (Rašīd al-Dīn, Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ, Ms. London, Khalīlī Collection, 727, ff. 21a, 22a, 25a, 27a, 28b, 30b, 34a, 36b, 37b; Blair 1995, pp. 73-79).
However, it doesn’t seem that South Asian Muslim historians used the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ very often as a source on Indian history. This was probably due to the juxtaposition of multiple timelines in the historical sections and the absence of an explanation of the relationship between Indian history and pre-Islamic history – such as the notion that mythic kings of India seemed to live before the time of Adam. Among the Persian chronicles composed in South Asia during the Sultanate and Mughal periods, only the anonymous Bahāristān-i šāhī (completed between 1023/1614 and 1027/1618), the Tārīḫ-i Ḥaydarī of Ḥaydar Rāzī (completed in 1027/1618), and the Muntaḫab al-tawārīḫ of Muḥammad Yūsuf Aṭakī Kan‘ānī (completed in 1056/1646-1647) seem to have used materials on Indian history drawn from the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ (Mashita 2011, p. 66; Ogura 2011, pp. 47-52).
British orientalists re-discovered Rašīd al-Dīn’s chapter on India in the nineteenth century. After Hugh Falconer (1808-65) found a complete manuscript of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ in the library of the East India Company (Ms. London, British Library, India Office Islamic 3524), Henry Miers Elliot (1808-77), editor of the famous series The History of India As Told by Its Own Historians (published in London between 1867 and 1877), requested a scribe to make a copy of the chapter on India (Ms. London, British Library, Or. 2007, completed on the 19th of jumāda al-ṯānī 1267/April 21st, 1851). Moreover, William Hook Morley (1815-60), a trustee of the Royal Asiatic Society, himself produced a Persian copy of this chapter (Ms. London, British Library, India Office Islamic 3628; see Morley 1842, p. 267; Otsuka 2016b, pp. 91-94). In the mid-twentieth century, the orientalist Karl Jahn (1906-85) published the facsimiles of the sections on history of India of three manuscripts of the Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ with a collection of his essays on this material (Jahn 1965, facsimiles of Ms. London, Royal Asiatic Society A. 27; Ms. Istanbul, Topkapı Palace Library Hazine 1654; Ms. London, British Library Add. 7628). Jahn made also a German translation of the chapter on India (Rašīd al-Dīn 1980).
v) Information on colophon; vi) Description of miniatures/illustrations; vii) Other remarks; viii) Information on catalogue(s)
St. Petersburg, National Library, PNS46, ff. 459, ii)
mid muḥarram 810/June 1407, iii) al-‘Abd Ḥājjī Musāfir al-‘Aṭṭār, viii)
Kostygova 1973, pp. 61-62.
London, British Library, Add. 7628, ff. 728, ii)
before 1433, viii)
Rieu 1879-83, vol. 1, pp. 74a-78a.
Istanbul, Topkapı Palace Library, Ahmet III 2935, ff. 406, ii)
Early 15 century, iii) Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Muḥmmad al-Buḫārī, iv) Uluġ Beg, viii)
Karatay 1961, p. 43.
Tehran, University Library, 8791, ff. 444, ii)
15 century, viii)
Dāniš-pažūh 1364š/1985, p. 222.
München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Pers. 208/2, ff. 176, ii)
16th-17th century?, viii)
Aumer 1866, pp. 71-72.
Tehran, Gulistān Palace, 2256, ff. 613, ii)
last day of šawwāl 1074/25 May 1664, iii) ibn Šayḫ Mīr ‘Alam, iv) Qilīj Ḫān ibn Sārū Ḫān, viii)
Ātābāy 2536/1977, pp. 84-87.
London, British Library, India Office Islamic 3524, ff. 599, ii)
6 ša‘bān 1082/8 December 1671, iii) Ṭāhir ibn ‘Abd al-Bāqī ‘Alā’ī, viii)
Ethé 1980, vol. 1, pp. 1524-1529.
Manchester, John Rylands Library, 364b, ff. 29b-63a, ii)
around 1800, viii)
Kerney 1898, p. 269.
London, British Library, Add. 18878, ff. 164, ii)
5 rabī‘ al-awwal 1244/16 September 1828, viii)
Rieu 1879-83, vol. 1, pp. 79a-79b.
Tehran, Majlis Library, 8734, ff. 607, ii)
muḥarram 1245/July-August 1829, viii)
Ḥusaynī-Iškiwarī 1388š/2009 p. 234a-234b.
St. Petersburg, National Library, Khan 62, ff. 477, ii)
6 ša‘bān 1256/3 October 1840, viii)
Storey - Bregel’ 1972, p. 309.
London, British Library, Or. 2007, ff. 122, ii)
19 jumāda al-ṯānī 1267/21 April 1851, iv) Henry Elliot, viii)
Rieu 1879-83, vol. 3, pp. 882b-883a.
Tehran, National Library, F. 1606, ff. 361, ll. 26, ii)
19th century, viii)
Anwār 1371 š./1992, pp. 92-93.
London, British Library, Or. 2062/4, ff. 24a-59a, ii)
19th century, viii)
Rieu 1879-83, vol. 3, p. 1057a.
London, British Library, India Office Islamic 3628, ff. 323, ii)
19th century, viii)
Ethé 1980, vol. 2, p. 1.
London, British Library, Or. 1786, ff. 167, ii)
late 19th century, viii)
Rieu 1879-83, vol. 3, p. 883b.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Suppl. pers. 1364-1365, ff. 336+239, ii)
late 19 century, viii)
Blochet 1905-34, vol. 1, pp. 203-204.
Istanbul, Topkapı Palace Library, Hazine 1654, ff. 352, ii)
3 jumāda al-awwal 717/14 July 1317, vi)
118 illustrations, viii)
Karatay 1961, p. 393.
St. Petersburg, National Library, PNS 47, ff. 607, ii)
1268/1851-2, iii) Kniaz Dolgorukii, vi)
11 illustrations, viii)
Kostygova1973, pp. 62-63.
Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ (tārīḫ-i Hind wa Sind wa Kašmīr), Muḥammad Rawšan, ed., Tehran, Mīrāṯ-i Maktūb, 1384/2005, pp. 57, 465.
Ogura, Satoshi, 2019, "Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ", Perso-Indica. An Analytical Survey of Persian Works on Indian Learned Traditions, F. Speziale - C. W. Ernst, eds.,available at http://www.perso-indica.net/work/jami_al-tawarih.
|Main Persian Title:||Jāmi‘ al-tawārīḫ|
|English Translation of Main Persian Title:||Compendium of Chronicles|
|Year / Period of Composition:||705/1305-1306|
|Place:||Tabriz - Iran|
|Quoted sources on India:||
Āryavāsiṣṭhasūtra or its Tibetan translation the 'Phags pa gnas 'jog gi mdo
|Later texts quoting this Work:||
Tārīḫ-i Ḥaydarī of Ḥaydar Rāzī