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Mir Syed Azizullah Haqni: The Unknown Historian

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By: Prof. Bashir Ahmad Dar

Among the luminaries of the modern Kashmir, Azizullah Haqani occupies an important position. He is a well known figure in the religious, spiritual and literary circles. But he has also distinguished himself as a historian. As a historian he has written Latiful Haqani, Naar Nama, Sailab Naama, Dervish Naama, Fathui sham. But his chief contribution in the domain of history writing is Tawarikh Aalam, also called as Taufatul Kubra, which the author undertook in the beginning of the twentieth century and it took him twenty long years to compile it. The Twarikh has remained in the personal possession of the Haqqanis. Due to the vicissitudes of the times nobody has paid attention to the editing, printing and publishing of the chronicle. Thus on the one side the enormous labour of the author has gone to the winds and on the other the students and scholars in the field of history could not avail it.

Aziz ullah Haqani was born in 1861 AD (Abdul Ahad Azad mentions it as 1854) and breathed his last in 1927. He belonged to the widely known Haqani dynasty whose ancestors migrated to Kashmir along with Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA).He has a number of works to his credit. These include Rouzutus Shuda, Mumtazi Be Nazir, Burhanul Muslimeen, Jauhari Ishq, Samratul Arifeen and a large number of Hamud, Naat and Ghazals. Though as a poet and particularly as one having penned down Naats, Haqani is renowned in the literary circles, but as a historian he is yet to be discovered. Some of his poetic compilations like Mumtazi Be Nazir, Rouzutush Shuda have been published during the Dogra regime and Latiful Haqani and Armagani Haqani in the recent past but his voluminous work is stil unpublished.

Tawarikh Alam is divided into five volumes. The author calls these volumes as Burhan and these are further divided into chapters.

The author begins his first volume with the description of the creation of the universe. He narrates the anecdote of Prophet Adam’s (AS) coming into being and his journey on the earth. Rest of the first volume has been devoted to the prophets that followed Hazrat Adam (AS).

The second volume is exclusively devoted to Prophet Muhammad (SAW).The author introduces the location and geography of the Arabia and the conditions prevailing in Arab before Prophet Muhammad(SAW). The auspicious birth of Hazrat Muhammad(SAW), Hijrat (migration to Medina) and the expeditions which prophet led occupy the place in this volume.

In the third volume the life and achievements of the Khulfai Rashideen – the caliphs of Islam- Hazrat Abu Bakr(RA), Hazrat Umar (RA), Hazrat Usman (RA) and Hazrat Ali (RA) have been deliberated upon. Abbasid and Ommayid caliphates come next and the Tarikh furnishes us with the account of the reign of the rulers that followed in succession. The volume closes with the account of the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid. It may be of interest to add here that in comparison to the traditional chroniclers who restrict their account just to the political developments or events connected with the rulers , Aziz Ullah Haqani mentions the socio economic conditions of the times and administrative measures of the rulers having a bearing on the life and conditions of the people. In this context he provides us with the account of the medical institutions and the libraries constructed and developed by the Abbasid and the Ommayid rulers.

The account of the rulers of India forms the theme of the fourth volume of the Tawarikh. Besides the narration of the rulers at Delhi, the author adds the details of the independent provinces emerging after the disintegration of the Mughal Empire.

Aziz ullah Haqani has elaborated the history of Jammu and Kashmir in the fifth volume of the Tarikh Alam. Here he begins with the account regarding the origin of Kashmir which is followed by the description of the ancient period (Hindu Rajas). The spread of Islam, establishment of the Sultanate by Shams ud Din Shamir and the flourishing of the Sultanate come next. The fall of the Sultanate, coming of Chaks and the establishment of the Chak rule follows then. The Mughal invasion of a Kashmir and the extension of the Mughal rule to the subah are described in the next chapter. The author has dealt with every aspect of the period – the rule of the Mughal Kings, their sojourns in Kashmir, the reign of the Subedhars. The chapter closes with the description of the Afghan and Sikh rule in Kashmir. The description of flora and fauna, the soil and its attributes, the crops, herbs, plants produced in Kashmir, their medicinal significance, animals and birds found here, professionals and their instruments and equipment, architectural monuments, gardens has been added to the chapter on history of the state.

Haqani does not restrict himself to the doors of Sultans and Rajas; he traverses every nook and corner, searches for men of letters, being himself in the pursuit of spiritual uplift introduces the Sufi luminaries. As such the history of every region is accompanied with the account of the men of letters and the sufis and saints of that area.

Haqani has presented history not merely “as a graphic chart of the events but as a detailed map in which the events are located with reference to the contemporary values. We do not simply get a narration of events but their interpretations according to the culture of the time”.

Author can be contacted at [email protected]

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