Maẓāhir al-adyān | Monography or Translations of known period | Treatises on Indic religions | Survey | Perso-Indica

Treatises on Indic religions

Monography or Translations of known period
Muḥammad Riżā Tabātabāyī, Maẓāhir al-adyān

[Preliminary Entry] Maẓāhir al-adyān is an exhaustive work recounting the history of different religious creeds and sects in India and in the world. It is divided into 20 chapters (bāb), with the first five chapters containing preliminary discussions on the soul, the senses, and theology. The sixth chapter (ff. 21a-32b) is the only one that concerns India; it describes “the names of the Vedas, the Šastra, and the names of certain books (pūthī) and writings (muṣannafīn) of the Hindus.” The following chapters discuss Magians and idolaters, philosophers, prophets, Islam, and later divisions among Muslims with an emphasis on Shi`ism. The last two chapters concern Sufis and hypocrites.

Belonging to the Tabātabāyī Sayyids of Isfahan, whose ancestors came to India during the reign of Bahādur Šāh, the author adopted the pen name of Najm and must have been born in 1193/1779. He commenced writing the book in 1243/1827 as the first part of a five-volume work. The other four volumes include Manẓar al-‘ālam or Ḫuršid-i lāmi‘ on geography and astronomy; Majma‘ al-mulūk, a general history of more than a hundred dynasties; Aḫbārāt-i hind, a general history of India from the earliest times to 1264/1847; and a work about  poets and their poetry. This last volume must probably be the Naġma-i ‘andalīb on Persian poets, poetry and music. Another work is also mentioned as having been written by the author, namely Mafātiḥ al-riyāsat on the history of India from 1151/1738 to 1251/1835.

C. E. - S. Kh.

i) Place of copying; ii) Period of copying; iii) Copyist; iv) Commissioner;
v) Information on colophon; vi) Description of miniatures/illustrations; vii) Other remarks; viii) Information on catalogue(s)

London, British Library, British Museum, Or. 1743, 42-54 ff.

, ii)


, viii)

Rieu 1883, p. 1014


Patna, Oriental Public Library at Bankipore (Patna), 1459, 504 ff.

, viii)

Maulvi ʻAbd al-Muqtadir 1908, p. 140



Maulvi ʻAbd al-Muqtadir, 1908, Catalogue of the Arabic and Persian MSS. in the Oriental Public Library at Bankipore (Patna), Calcutta, vol. 16., p. 140, available at: <>[Accessed 28 April 2016]

Marshall, D. N., 1967, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey, Bombay, Asia Publishing House, vol. 1, p. 365.

Rieu, Charles, 1883, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, vol. 3., pp. 914, 978, 1014 and 1018.

Main Persian Title: Maẓāhir al-adyān
English Translation of Main Persian Title: Religions' manifestations
Year / Period of Composition: 1243/1827