It a source is being translated from one

It is evident that no complete
translation of any of the court chronicles of Shah Jahan was published in the
language of English or other European languages. Later in the late 18th
century with the developments occurring in the world especially in literary
field inspired scholars to work on these chronicles.

In the start of 19th
century, a British scholar and government official came to India and were
appointed as secretary to the board of revenue and later as foreign secretary
to the Government of India. In 1846, Elliot gave a proposal to the Governor of
North-Western provinces its purpose was to collect all manuscript histories of
India which were dealing with the period of Muslim domination to the 18th
century the main aim of his proposal was political in nature. Elliot was
successful with his proposal. Among the junior officer who was with Elliot was
a young Lieutenant named Abraham Richard Fuller, who is the author of the
translation of Inayat khan’s Shah Jahan Nama. Fuller was born in India and
understood the languages of Urdu and Persian. In between the era of 1849 and
1851 that fuller was involved in Elliot’s paper. Despite hi9s youth, he
completed the translation in a short amount of time. The original work of
Fuller is preserved in British library, along with all the paper’s Elliot got
through his proposal. His work is impressive, it mostly accurate as the
original 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 mostly
seen that there are loopholes and errors but Fullers work is mostly Persian
which gives it great importance. The translation of Fuller is intended for
those readers who are especially interested in Mughal history and wants to
study and analyze the ruling era of Shah Jahan and cannot read in Persian
language. Fullers translation made Inayat khan’s work more popular of that era
and even in the present modern era.

While working on the
translation of Inayat khans work, Fuller faced three major tasks: the first
task was to complete the missing pieces of the source and for this he consulted
Padshahnama and version of Muhammad Waris as it was a summary of the mentioned two
sources. The second task was translating the source in correct revision of
punctuation and correct spelling of the names, titles and etc, as some of the
titles and names are from Turkish rather than of Persian language. Third task
was to portray the picture as the author did in his original version.

Historians observed that the
translation also include some addition for example dates are according to the
Christian calendar and the Persian version includes Persian solar reckoning and
hijri calendar. As the source was incomplete historians see part from
Padshahnama. The numbers of headings are doubled from the original version, in
Inayat khans work the use of heading is inconsistent, and the change was made
for the readers to understand the source event by event.

It should be eminent that the
Epilogue is overall the work of the present editor’s and added for the reason
to conclude the account the translation is way similar to the one of Inayat
khan. The Epilogue is based on the events occurred in the final years of the
life of the Emperor Shah jahan and the material used in it is based on the
sources of Muhammad Salih Kambo, the work of Muhammad Kazim and other histories
of the same era of mentioned two historians. The text is said to be a summary
rather than a translation as the source of incomplete.

To ease the reference to the
amount 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 narrative
paintings which are reproduced in this book from Inayat khans “Shah Jahan Nama”
and Hamid Lahori’s “Padshahnama”. Although Mughal painting continued to
flourish under Shah Jahan’s reign his achievements belong to the sphere of
architecture. Mostly monuments were found in the three cities of Lahore,
Akbarabad and Shahjahanabad1.
The selection includes some of the monuments which are mentioned in Inayat
khan’s work which are also in detail in the work of Qazwini and Lahori. The
architectural monuments of Shah Jahan occupy a central place in his grand
imperial design. As states in Padshahnama:

“The royal mind, which is illustrious like the sun, pays
meticulous attention to the planning and construction of these lofty and
imposing buildings, which in accordance with the saying “verily our relics tell
of us”, speak with mute eloquence of his majesty’s God-given high aspiration
and sublime fortune—for ages to come will serve as memorials to his abiding
love 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, and
one in the Library of the Asiatic Society. A copy belonging to the Raja of Benares
is a handsome quarto of 12 inches and contains 360 leaves of 19 lines to the
page. The whole of this work, from the beginning of the third year of the reign
to the accession of Aurangzeb, with which it closes, was translated by the late
Major Fuller. It’s pages of close writing, and is in Sir H. M. Elliot’s
Library.

 

Conclusion:

The Shah jahan nama of Inayat
khan represents A. R. Fuller’s nineteenth century translation of Inayat khan’s
Persian text. The editors have been scrupulously careful to explain the purpose
and limitations of the volume, as well as offering a useful survey of the
histories of shah Jahan’s reign and discussing the characteristics of court
history writing. Editors and translator have revised and translated Inayat khan’s
text as well as translating part of the original manuscript to supplement
Inayat khan’s incomplete versions. Fuller also have attempted to annotate the
translation itself or provide explanatory footnotes. While the lack of notes is
to be regretted.

It is not possible to offer a
completely satisfactory analysis of this edition without comparing it to the
Persian original text, but that is impractical without a well-edited text
readily at hand. As it stands the translation is remarkably easy to read. It
had also been printed by Oxford University Press, Delhi, enhancing that press’s
growing reputation for the production of precisely printed books. The inclusion
of indexes for the names and places make the volume a truly useful one for
those who will be reading it for their researches, and the inclusion of plates
of Mughal miniatures and architecture from Shah Jahan’s reign handsomely
supplement of work.

By the study of shah jahan
nama, it is clear that the era of shah jahan was indeed a glorious period. It
was era of development mainly of art and architecture. Architecture was
flourishing; the examples are visible in the modern era. Some of the buildings
of that era were Jami Masjid at Delhi, the Moti Masjid, and the Taj Mahal.