`Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni
Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Historian, Islamic scholar, Linguist, Courtier|
Mullah ʿAbd-ul-Qadir Bada'uni (c. 1540 - 1615) was an Indo-Persian historian and translator living in the Mughal Empire. He was son of Muluk Shah. He lived in Basavar as a boy studying in Sambhal and Agra. He moved to Badaun, the town of his name, in 1562 before moving on to enter the service of prince Husayn Khan for the next nine years in Patiala. His later years of study were governed by Muslim mystics. Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar appointed him to the religious office in the royal courts in 1574 where he spent much of his career.
He translated the Hindu works, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (Razmnama). However, as an Orthodox Muslim, he strongly resented the reforms of Akbar, and the elevation of Hindus to high offices. He was also renowned for his rivalry with Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak.
The most notable work of Bada'uni is Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh (Selection of Chronicles) or Tarikh-i-Bada'uni (Bada'uni's History) composed in 1004 AH (1595). This work in three volumes is a general History of the Muslims of India. The first volume contains an account of Babur and Humayun. The second volume exclusively deals with Akbar's reign up to 1595. This volume is an unusually frank and critical account of Akbar's administrative measures, particularly religious and his conduct. This volume was kept concealed till Akbar's death and was published after Jahangir's accession. This book is written from the point of view of an orthodox Sunni Muslim and gives a biased view regarding the development of Akbar's views on religion and his religious policy. The third volume describes the lives and works of Muslim religious figures,scholars, physicians and poets The first printed edition of the text of this work was published by the College Press, Calcutta in 1865 and later this work was translated into English by G.S.A. Ranking (Vol.I), W.H. Lowe (Vol.II) and T.W. Haig (Vol.III) (published by the Asiatic Society, Calcutta between 1884-1925 as a part of their Bibliotheca Indiaca series). Other works by Bada'uni include the Bahr-ul-Asmar, a work on Kitab al-Hadith "book of sayings [of Muhammad]", (lost), a chapter in the Tarikh-i-Alfi (History of the Millennium), commissioned by Akbar to celebrate the millenary of the Hijrah, and the Najat-ur-Rashid (1581), a summary of the Jami al-Tawarikh, the "Universal History" of Rashid-al-Din Hamadani.
- "Bada'uni, 'Abd al-Qadir." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 16 Nov. 2005 .
- Muntakhab al-Tavarikh (in Persian) Volume 2 .
- All three volumes of his Muntakhab al-Tavarikh (in English) are available and searchable here: http://persian.packhum.org/persian/
- Muntakhabu-t-tawārīkh, Volume 1 (1898)