Rawżat aṣ-ṣafāʾ fī sīrat al-anbiyāʾ w-al-mulūk w-al-khulafāʾ (روضة الصفا في سیرة الانبياء والملوك والخلفاء, ‘The Gardens of purity in the biography of the prophets and kings and caliphs’) is a Persian history of the origins of Islam, early Islamic civilisation, and Persian history by Mīr-Khvānd, a Fifteenth-Century historian. The text was originally completed in seven volumes in 1497 (836 AH). The work is very scholarly, Mīr-Khvānd used nineteen major Arabic histories and twenty-two major Persian ones as well as others which he occasionally quotes. His work was the basis for many subsequent histories including the works of Hajjī Khalfah.
- The Rawżat aṣ-ṣafā̄ʾ ought not to be confused with the Rawżat al-b̄̄āb fī taʾrīkh al-akābir w-al-ansāb (‘The Garden of the learned in the history of great men and genealogies’) by Abū Sulaymān Daʾūd ibn Abū al-Fatal Muḥammad al-Banākatī, which was written earlier, in 1317 (717 AH).
He made little attempt at a critical examination of historical traditions, and wrote in a flowery and often bombastic style, but in spite of this drawback, Mīr-Khvvānd's Rawżat aṣ-ṣafāʾ remains one of the most marvelous achievements in literature. It comprises seven large volumes and a geographical appendix; but the seventh volume, the history of the sultan Ḥosayn, together with a short account of some later events down to 1523, cannot have been written by Mīr-Khvvānd himself, who died in 1498. He may have compiled the preface, but it was his grandson, the historian Khvānd-Amīr (1475–1534), who continued the main portion of this volume and to whom also a part of the appendix must be ascribed.
Manuscripts, editions and translations
There are various different Persian manuscripts in Iran, Vienna, Paris, London. A Persian edition was published in Paris in 1843 as Histoire des Samanides par Mirkhond. It was published fully in Persian in 1843 (Paris) and lithographed in Mumbai (1848 or 1852). The standard edition used in scholarship is the Persian edition Tarikh i Rawzat al-Safa (7 vols) by Abbad Parviz (Tehran, 1959).
Owing to its popularity, the Rawżat aṣ-ṣafāʾ has undergone several editions and translations. Around 1596, Pedro Teixeira prepared a Spanish translation of the Rawżat aṣ-ṣafā̄ʾ. The book was partially translated into English in 1715, the Tahirid and Saffarid portions (of chapter 2.3-4) into Latin in 1782, and the Sassanid portion (of chapter 1.2) into French in 1793. A section was translated as Mirchondi Historia Seldschukidarum (1838) by Johann August Vullers.
From 1892 to 1893, a translation of the first book (up to the Rashidun caliphs) into English was prepared by the Orientalist Edward Rehatsek and edited by Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot for the Royal Asiatic Society, in two parts. The Vie de Mahomet d'après la tradition by E. Lamairesse and Gaston Dujarric was translated from the English (1897).
Mentions of Jesus
Mir Khvand makes mention of Jesus from the Quran. Mir Khvand records a number of miracles related to Jesus, including those mentioned in the Koran, such as Jesus speaking from the cradle, healing lepers, raising the dead
The text in Edward Rehatsek's translation of the Garden of Purity  contains a version of the Abgar legend, regarding the conversion of king Abgar of Edessa (called Nassibin or Nasibain in the Persian text) before the crucifixion:
Historians have reported that in the time of I’sa — u. w. b., etc. — there was a king in the country of Nassibin who was very arrogant and tyrannical. I’sa having been sent on a mission to him, started towards Nassibin. When he arrived in the vicinity, he halted and said to his apostles: ‘Which of you will enter the city and say: I’sa, who is a servant of Allah, His messenger and His word, is coming to you.’"
Ghulam Ahmad (Urdu 1899, English 1978) and later publications of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community such as Review of Religions give a paraphrase of the Abgar story from Mir Kvand's Rawżat aṣ-ṣafā̄ʾ, also apparently placing the story of Jesus’s travels to Syria during his ministry and before the crucifixion. Though later Ahmadi writers infer the events are after the crucifixion. Ahmad considered that "If the report in the Rauzat-us-Safaa is correct, it appears that, by travelling to Nasibain, Jesus intended to go to Afghanistan through Persia, and to invite to the Truth the lost tribes of Jews who had come to be known as Afghans." Ahmad then concludes that.
- Elliot, H. M. (Henry Miers), Sir; John Dowson (1871). "23. Rawżat aṣ-ṣafāʾ,of Mirkhond". The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period (Vol 4.). London : Trübner & Co.
- Sometimes the date is stated as 1417 owing to a transcription error; however, Mīr-Khvānd wasn't born until 1433; see Henry Miers Elliot, The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians: The Muhammadan Period, ed. John Dowson (London: Trübner and Co., 1872), 127-129; OCLC 3425271, available in full text from Google Books.
- Elliot, History, 129
- Andrew J. Newman, University of Edinburgh Society and Culture in the Early Modern Middle East: Studies on Iran in the Safavid Period. Leiden, Brill, 2003, xxi + 429 p. Page 24 "E. Rehatsek as Rauzat-us-sqfa or, Garden of Purity. 3 vols, ed. F.F. Arbuthnot, Oriental Translation Fund, New Series 1 (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1891). Hereafter citations will be for the Persian edition. In those cases where I have used "
- M. Th Houtsma E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936 reprint 1987 Page 515 MIR KHAWAND. historian, author of the Rawdat al-Safa' ("Garden of Purity"). He was ... It was lithographed in Bombay 1848, in Tehran 1852; a Turkish translation appeared at Constantinople in 1842; partial translations were made by Jenisch, Mitscharlik, Wilken, Vullers, Shea (O. T. F. series), Rehatsek (T. F. series), Jourdain and Silvestre de Sacy (Journal de Savans 1837)"
- Mīr-Khvānd, History of Persia ...: to which is added an abridgment of the lives of kings of Harmuz, or Ormuz, transl. from Spanish text of Pedro Teixeira by John Stevens (London: J. Brown, 1715); OCLC 82155967.
- Mīr-Khvānd, Historia priorum regum Persarum: Post firmatum un regno Islamismum, transl. Freiherr von Bernhard Jenisch (Vienna: Typis Josephi Nobilis de Kurzbeck, 1782); OCLC 46759841.
- Mīr-Khvānd, Mémoires sur diverses antiquités de la Perse, et sur les médailles des rois de la dynastie des Sassanides; suivis de l'Histoire de cette dynastie, traduite du Persan de Mirkhond, transl. Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy (Paris, 1793); OCLC 150200240, available in full text via Google Books. The text of this section starts at p. 271.
- Mīr-Khvānd, The Rauzat-us-safa, or, Garden of purity: containing the histories of prophets, kings, and khalifs by Muhammad bin Khâvendshâh bin Mahmûd, commonly called Mirkhond, transl. Edward Rehatsek, ed. Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot (London: Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1892 and 1893); OCLC 1549524.
- Charles Piepenbring Jésus historique 1909 - Page 216 "RAUZAT-US-SAFA (Jardin de Pureté) Bible de l'Islam - Théologie musulmane ou l'Histoire Sainte suivant la foi Musulmane par l'historien persan Mirkhond, traduite de l'anglais par E. Lamairesse.
- Pedro Moura Carvalho Mir??t Al-quds (Mirror of Holiness): A Life of Christ for Emperor 2011... - Page 63 "On another occasion, Mir Khvand states that the Gospel was sent down to Jesus, creating an interesting parallel with the Koran.132 He also records a number of miracles related to Jesus, including those mentioned in the Koran, such as ..."
- Pedro Moura Carvalho Mirʾāt al-quds (Mirror of Holiness): A Life of Christ for Emperor Akbar. 2011 - Page 63 "... creating an interesting parallel with the Koran.132 He also records a number of miracles related to Jesus, including those mentioned in the Koran, such as Jesus speaking from the cradle, healing lepers, raising the dead, and providing from "
- Edward Rehatsek translation online
- Ghulam Ahmad Masih Hindustan-mein Urdu 1899 Jesus in India: being an account of Jesus' escape from death on the cross English translation 1978 - Page 63 "“Journeying from his country, he arrived at Nasibain. With him were a few of his disciples whom he sent into the city to preach. In the city, however, there were current wrong and unfounded rumors about Jesus (on whom be peace) and his mother. The governor of the city, therefore, arrested the disciples and then summoned Jesus. Jesus miraculously healed some persons and exhibited other miracles. The king of the territory of Nasibain, therefore, with all his armies and his people, became a follower of his.."
- Abubakr Ben Ishmael Salahuddin, ‘Evidence of Jesus in India’, Review of Religions 97.4 (April 2002), 48–68; ; Khwaja Nazir Ahmad, Jesus in Heaven on Earth (Lahore: Working Muslim Mission & Literary Trust, 1952); OCLC 18112423
- Ghulam Ahmad Masih Hindustan-mein 1899 English edition 1978 "If the report in the Rauzat-us-Safaa is correct, it appears that, by travelling to Nasibain, Jesus intended to go to Afghanistan through Persia, and to invite to the Truth the lost tribes of Jews who had come to be known as Afghans."
- Almadiyya Muslim Community, Review of Religions