It is evident that no completetranslation of any of the court chronicles of Shah Jahan was published in thelanguage of English or other European languages. Later in the late 18thcentury with the developments occurring in the world especially in literaryfield inspired scholars to work on these chronicles. In the start of 19thcentury, a British scholar and government official came to India and wereappointed as secretary to the board of revenue and later as foreign secretaryto the Government of India. In 1846, Elliot gave a proposal to the Governor ofNorth-Western provinces its purpose was to collect all manuscript histories ofIndia which were dealing with the period of Muslim domination to the 18thcentury the main aim of his proposal was political in nature. Elliot wassuccessful with his proposal. Among the junior officer who was with Elliot wasa young Lieutenant named Abraham Richard Fuller, who is the author of thetranslation of Inayat khan’s Shah Jahan Nama.
Fuller was born in India andunderstood the languages of Urdu and Persian. In between the era of 1849 and1851 that fuller was involved in Elliot’s paper. Despite hi9s youth, hecompleted the translation in a short amount of time. The original work ofFuller is preserved in British library, along with all the paper’s Elliot gotthrough his proposal. His work is impressive, it mostly accurate as theoriginal was not in complete or when he received it plus in was in Persian language,when a source is being translated from one language to the other it is mostlyseen that there are loopholes and errors but Fullers work is mostly Persianwhich gives it great importance. The translation of Fuller is intended forthose readers who are especially interested in Mughal history and wants tostudy and analyze the ruling era of Shah Jahan and cannot read in Persianlanguage. Fullers translation made Inayat khan’s work more popular of that eraand even in the present modern era. While working on thetranslation of Inayat khans work, Fuller faced three major tasks: the firsttask was to complete the missing pieces of the source and for this he consultedPadshahnama and version of Muhammad Waris as it was a summary of the mentioned twosources.
The second task was translating the source in correct revision ofpunctuation and correct spelling of the names, titles and etc, as some of thetitles and names are from Turkish rather than of Persian language. Third taskwas to portray the picture as the author did in his original version.Historians observed that thetranslation also include some addition for example dates are according to theChristian calendar and the Persian version includes Persian solar reckoning andhijri calendar. As the source was incomplete historians see part fromPadshahnama. The numbers of headings are doubled from the original version, inInayat khans work the use of heading is inconsistent, and the change was madefor the readers to understand the source event by event.It should be eminent that theEpilogue is overall the work of the present editor’s and added for the reasonto conclude the account the translation is way similar to the one of Inayatkhan. The Epilogue is based on the events occurred in the final years of thelife of the Emperor Shah jahan and the material used in it is based on thesources of Muhammad Salih Kambo, the work of Muhammad Kazim and other historiesof the same era of mentioned two historians. The text is said to be a summaryrather than a translation as the source of incomplete.
To ease the reference to theamount of data contain in the translation and also in the original source,three indexes are added. Also the chart of regional years is added. Also Shah Historical narrativepaintings which are reproduced in this book from Inayat khans “Shah Jahan Nama”and Hamid Lahori’s “Padshahnama”. Although Mughal painting continued toflourish under Shah Jahan’s reign his achievements belong to the sphere ofarchitecture. Mostly monuments were found in the three cities of Lahore,Akbarabad and Shahjahanabad1.The selection includes some of the monuments which are mentioned in Inayatkhan’s work which are also in detail in the work of Qazwini and Lahori. Thearchitectural monuments of Shah Jahan occupy a central place in his grandimperial design.
As states in Padshahnama:”The royal mind, which is illustrious like the sun, paysmeticulous attention to the planning and construction of these lofty andimposing buildings, which in accordance with the saying “verily our relics tellof us”, speak with mute eloquence of his majesty’s God-given high aspirationand sublime fortune—for ages to come will serve as memorials to his abidinglove of constructiveness, ornamentation and beauty”2 MSS. of this work seem to be common. – Sir H.M. Elliot has three borrowed copies. There are three in the British Museum, andone in the Library of the Asiatic Society. A copy belonging to the Raja of Benaresis a handsome quarto of 12 inches and contains 360 leaves of 19 lines to thepage.
The whole of this work, from the beginning of the third year of the reignto the accession of Aurangzeb, with which it closes, was translated by the lateMajor Fuller. It’s pages of close writing, and is in Sir H. M. Elliot’sLibrary. Conclusion:The Shah jahan nama of Inayatkhan represents A. R.
Fuller’s nineteenth century translation of Inayat khan’sPersian text. The editors have been scrupulously careful to explain the purposeand limitations of the volume, as well as offering a useful survey of thehistories of shah Jahan’s reign and discussing the characteristics of courthistory writing. Editors and translator have revised and translated Inayat khan’stext as well as translating part of the original manuscript to supplementInayat khan’s incomplete versions. Fuller also have attempted to annotate thetranslation itself or provide explanatory footnotes.
While the lack of notes isto be regretted. It is not possible to offer acompletely satisfactory analysis of this edition without comparing it to thePersian original text, but that is impractical without a well-edited textreadily at hand. As it stands the translation is remarkably easy to read.
Ithad also been printed by Oxford University Press, Delhi, enhancing that press’sgrowing reputation for the production of precisely printed books. The inclusionof indexes for the names and places make the volume a truly useful one forthose who will be reading it for their researches, and the inclusion of platesof Mughal miniatures and architecture from Shah Jahan’s reign handsomelysupplement of work.By the study of shah jahannama, it is clear that the era of shah jahan was indeed a glorious period. Itwas era of development mainly of art and architecture.
Architecture wasflourishing; the examples are visible in the modern era. Some of the buildingsof that era were Jami Masjid at Delhi, the Moti Masjid, and the Taj Mahal.