Tarikh Yamini

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Tarikh Yamini
AuthorAbu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad al Jabbaru-l 'Utbi
Subjecthistory of the reigns of Sebuktigin and Mahmud

The Tarikh i Yamini, or Kitab i Yamini, written in Arabic[1] in an embellished, flowery rhetorical rhymed prose,[2] is a history of the reigns of Sebuktigin and Mahmud up to 1020. Written by the historian Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad al Jabbaru-l 'Utbi (or al-Utbi), the Tarikh Yamini also contains information chronicling Sultan Mahmud's expeditions as well as the end of the Samanid Amirs of Sistan.[3] Al-Utbi, being Mahmud's secretary, did not accompany the sultan, therefore his topography is deficient and his writing style consists of an explicit orthodox nature.[4] He also states that he intentionally suppressed many events, unnatural or strange that he found skeptical, that did not fit the objectives he had set down in the preface.[5]


The Tarikh Yamini starts in 965 CE, but the Samanids are not mentioned until Nuh ibn Mansur's reign in 976,[5] while it goes into detail about the Buyids prior to 983.[5] During the Qarakhanid invasion of the Samanid kingdom in 991, the Tarikh Yamini states that the Samanid governor Fa'iq, son of Simjurid Abu'l-Hasan Simjuri,[6] invited Hasan b. Sulayman{Bughra Khan} to invade Bukhara.[6]

Al-Utbi states when Sebuktigin defeated Jayapala in 988, the Afghans and Khaljis of the territory he conquered between Lamghan and Peshawar surrendered and agreed to serve him.[7] Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui citing the 13th century Persian translation, claims that Al-Utbi mentions the "Afghans" were pagans given to rapine and rapacity, they were defeated and converted to Islam.[8]

The Tarikh Yamini, asserts that at the time of Mahmud's invasion of Ghur, that the rulers and people of Ghor were heathens.[9]

Though, plagued by incorrect dates and incorrect topography, the Tarikh Yamini does contain valuable information concerning Sultan Mahmud's invasions of India.[10]

On Mahmud's 12th expedition to India in 1018-1019, the Tarikh i Yamini states, he brought back so many slaves that, "merchants came from distant cities to purchase them, so that the countries Ma wara' an nahr (central Asia), Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them, and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor, mingled in one common slavery.".[11]

Early translations[edit]

The 13th century Persian translation of the Tarikh i Yamini, by Jurbadqani, takes many liberties and introduces images not found in the original and can be considered an independent work of art, but is a reliable copy of the narrative.[12]

Modern era[edit]

The Tarikh i Yamini was translated from Persian into English in 1858 by James Reynolds under the title, Kitab-i-Yamini.[11]


  1. ^ André Wink, Al-Hind, the Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries, (Brill, 1997), 127.
  2. ^ al-Bīrūnī and the Political History of India, M.S.Khan, Oriens, Vol. 25/26, (1976), 114.
  3. ^ Sistan and Its Local Histories, C. Edmund Bosworth, Iranian Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1/2 (Winter - Spring, 2000), 37.
  4. ^ Tej Ram Sharma, Historiography: A History of Historical Writing, (Concept Publishing Company, 2005), 69.
  5. ^ a b c Miskawaih and Arabic Historiography, M. S. Khan, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 89, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1969), 728.
  6. ^ a b The Samanids, Richard Nelson Frye, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, ed. R. N. Frye, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 156-157.
  7. ^ Syed Jabir Raza. "The Afghans and their relations with the Ghaznavids and the Ghurids". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. Indian History Congress: 786.
  8. ^ The Process of Acculturation in Regional Historiography:The Case of the Delhi Sultanate, Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui, Art and Culture: Endeavours in Interpretation, Vol.1, Ed. Ahsan Jan Qaisar, Som Prakash Verma, Mohammad Habib, (Abhinav Publications, 1996), 7.
  9. ^ Neamet Ullah, History of the Afghans, Part I, Transl. Berhard Dorn, (1829), 77.
  10. ^ Salma Ahmed Farooqui, A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century, (Dorling Kindersley, 2011), 7.
  11. ^ a b Hindus beyond the Hindu Kush: Indians in the Central Asian Slave Trade, Scott C. Levi, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Nov., 2002), 282.
  12. ^ André Wink, Al-Hind, the Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries, 127.