Written by Mir Amman in in the spoken language of the day, the book, a dastan, or tale, was in essence way ahead of the tastes of its time that favoured a classical and ornate style of prose. It has been published in abridged editions and translated into many languages, including English, Hindi, Gujarati, French and Punjabi. It has also been published in other scripts such as Devanagari, Gujarati and Roman English. It was generally believed that when Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia fell ill, his disciple Ameer Khusrau used to narrate the story of four dervishes to help soothe his pains. Mir Amman changed it into a vivid and colloquial language.

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He who, out of a handful of dust, hath created such a variety of faces and figures of earth. Notwithstanding the two colours [of men], one white and one black, yet the same nose and ears, the same hands and feet, He has given to all. But such variety of features has He formed, that the form and shape of one [individual] does not agree with the personal appearance of another.

Among millions of created beings, you may recognise whomsoever you wish. The sky is a bubble in the ocean of his [eternal] unity; and the earth is as a drop of water in it; but this is wonderful, that the sea beats its thousands of billows against it, and yet cannot do it any injury.

The tongue of man is impotent to sound the praise and eulogy of Him who has such power and might! If it utter any thing, what can it say? It is best to be silent on a subject concerning which nothing can be said.

Day and night the sun and moon wander through their course, and behold his works-- Yea, the form of every individual being is a sight of surprise: He, whose second or equal is not, and never will be; No such a unique Being, Godhead is every way fit. In every way his favour and beneficence are upon me. O God! In short, it was the good fortune of this country that such a chief came here, from whose happy presence multitudes enjoy ease and happiness.

Now, the excellent and liberal gentleman, the judge of respectable men, Mr. John Gilchrist, may his good fortune ever increase as long as the Jamuna and Ganges flow!

Having sustained such various misfortunes, I abandoned that city, which was my native land, and the place of my birth. Such a vessel, whose pilot was such a king, was wrecked; and I began to sink in the sea of destitution! I remained unemployed for some time, when it happened that Nawwab Dilawar Jang sent for me, and appointed me tutor to his younger brother, Mir Muhammad Kazim Khan. I stayed with him nearly two years; but saw not my advantage [in remaining there any longer.

John Gilchrist may his dignity be lasting. At last, by the aid of good fortune, I have acquired the protection of so liberal a person, that I hope [[for]] better days; if not, even this is so much gain, that I have bread to eat, and having stretched my feet, I repose in quiet; and that ten persons in my family, old and young, are fed; and bless that patron. May God accept [their prayers! From his coming and stay, the bazar of his camp was settled in the city; for which reason the bazar of the city was called Urdu.

When King Akbar ascended the throne, then all tribes of people, from all the surrounding countries, hearing of the goodness and liberality of this unequalled family, flocked to his court, but the speech and dialect of each was different. Yet, by being assembled together, they used to traffic and do business, and converse with each other, whence resulted the common Urdu language. In the end, the Urdu language, receiving repeated polish, was so refined, that the language of no city is to be compared to it; but an impartial judge is necessary to examine it.

John Gilchrist, who from his own judgment, genius, labour and research, has composed books of rules [for the acquisition of it]. From this cause, the language of Hindustan has become general throughout the provinces, and has been polished anew; otherwise no one conceives his own turban, language and behaviour, to be improper.

True it is, that the city only flourished from the prosperity of the throne. All at once it was overwhelmed with calamity: its principal inhabitants were scattered, and fled wherever they could.

To whatever country they went, their own tongue was adulterated by mixing with the people there; and there were many who, after an absence of ten to five years, from some cause or other, returned to Dilli, and stayed there. How can they speak the pure language of Dilli?

This humble being [viz. Mir Amman], wandering through many cities, and viewing their sights, has at last arrived at this place. In fact, the Bengalis who speak a wretched jargon of what they are pleased to call Hindustani, in addition to their native tongue, would scarcely be understood at Agra or Dilli; and those two cities are the best sites to acquire the real Urdu in perfection; there the inhabitants speak it not only correctly but elegantly. With regard to this last and twelfth Imam, some say, very erroneously, that he is yet to appear.

Now the fact is, the twelfth Imam has appeared. He lived and died like the rest of the sainthood; otherwise what would be the use of praying for him? The Muhammadans offer up prayers for the dead, but I never heard of their praying for the unborn. It is a high object of ambition in India, among the wealthier classes of natives, to construct these ghats, and this species of useful ostentation has produced some magnificent structures of the kind on the rivers Ganges, and Jumna, which are of great public utility.

His shrine is at Dilli, and resorted to by thousands of devotees, and many tales are told of his inspired wisdom, his superior beneficence, his contempt of the good things of this world, and his uncommon philanthropy.

He uses the singular pronoun "wuh" instead of "we. Ferdinand Smith adds the following note: "How proud the slave seems of his chains! He is happier, and has more comforts of life, than his family have had for the last century. Ranjit Sing, Raja of Bhartpur at the commencement of the present century, who so gallantly defended that place against our arms, was a son of Suraj Mal, who was killed while reconnoitring the Mughal army.

The Jats are the best agriculturists in India, and good soldiers in self defence; for since the spirit which Suraj Mal infused, evaporated, they have always preferred peace to war. They built some of the strongest places in India.

He was the father of Taimur Shah, who kept Upper Hindustan in alarm for many years with threats of invasion. Gilchrist has given some examples of it in his grammar of the Hindustani language, and numerous specimens of it are to be found in the Prem Sagar, and other works published more recently.

Ha invaded Hindustan in A. The dynasty was called Ghaznawi, from its capital Ghazna, or as now commonly written Ghazni. Such was the case at the birth of Taimur, who was the first we read of as Sahib-Kiran. It never was applied, as Ferdinand Smith states, to all the emperors of Dilli. It may be mentioned, that a very extraordinary conjunction of the planets in the sign Libra took place in A.

Tavernier, the French jeweller and traveller, saw it and describes it in his work. It was carried away by Nadir Shah when he plundered Dilli in The advantages of irrigation to the country, through which it passed, were nothing compared to the expense of its construction. Oordoo, Bazar; Moulla, Great. Upper Hindustan was then in a sad plight, ravaged alternately by the Abdalis, the Marhattas, and the Jats-- the king a pageant, the nobles rebellious, the subjects plundered and oppressed, and the country open to every invader-- though this was near years ago, and although they had some government, justice, and security from to , yet the country had not even then recovered from the severe shock.



Mushirul Hasan From the Reviews: "Though the symbols bear an Islamic colouring, the reader is not pushed into an unfamiliar, unfriendly or hostile world. The structure of the tales, as indeed the narrative, is woven around themes of humanity, tolerance, kindness, benevolence and charity. Their appeal is truly universal. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. It is actually a translation of sorts, based on a much earlier work and later variations thereof , the 14th century Qissa-e-Chahar Darvesh by Amir Khusrau.



This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally worded summary with appropriate citations. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote. John Borthwick Gilchrist , a famous English scholar of literature of those days.


No one dare tease or wrong another; the tiger amman the goat drink at the same fountain. It is a story-or rather, five stories set within a single-frame story-very much in the style of the Arabian Nights. It is delightful reading. Though the symbols bear an Islamic colouring, the reader is not pushed into an unfamiliar, unfriendly or hostile world. The ones in the Bibliography are the main scholarly ones only; there are literally dozens of others floating around in bookstores and libraries; there are definitely Devanagari ones too. Like so many other things about Bagh-o-baharit has proved to be lastingly influential.

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