Muhammad Salih Tahtawi

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An Islamic celestial globe
A detailed portrait of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir holding a globe probably made by Muhammad Salih Tahtawi, (painting by: Abul Hasan, Nadir al-Zaman (dated 1617 AD)[1][2]

Muhammad Salih Tahtawi also spelled Muhammad Salih Thattvi (1074 AH/1663-64 AD), Mughal metallurgist, astronomer, geometer and craftsman, was born and raised in Thatta, Sindh province in Pakistan, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the governorship of the Mughal Nawab Mirza Ghazi Beg of Sindh. During those years young metallurgists were recruited, patronized and delivered to the Mughal court at Agra.[3]

Celestial globe[edit]

In 1559, Muhammad Salih Thattvi headed the task of creating a massive, seamless celestial globe using a secret cire perdue method in the Mughal Empire, the famous celestial globe of Muhammad Salih Tahtawi is inscribed with Arabic and Persian inscriptions. Twenty other such globes were produced in Lahore and Kashmir during the Mughal Empire. It is considered a major feat in metallurgy.[3]


According to historians[who?] the first person to create a seamless celestial globe in the Mughal Empire was Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in (998 AH/1589-90 AD)[clarification needed] he created many masterpieces in Kashmir in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and during his rule the craft found its way into the city of Lahore and its workshops were most prolific, because there Metallurgists made making precision seamlessly cast globes. But the most prolific and largest was made during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan by Muhammad Salih Tahtawi in (1074 AH/1665 AD) and is of interest for being inscribed in both Arabic and Persian. Seamlessly cast globes continued to be made in Lahore up to the mid-nineteenth century.[3]


  1. ^ "National Portrait Gallery claims "Lost" Emperor Portrait is Largest Mughal Painting Ever Seen". 
  2. ^ "Jahangir portrait sold for Rs. 10 crore at London auction". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 7 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Savage-Smith, Emilie (1985), Islamicate Celestial Globes: Their History, Construction, and Use, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.