Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 16081 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Akbarnamah, book II


1 copy of Akbar'nāmah by Abū al-Faz̤l ibn Mubārak

A detailed official history of the Mughal emperor Akbar down to the 46th year of his reign, including an account of his predecessors. By Abū al-Faz̤l ʿAllāmī (d. 1011/1602), a military commander, freethinker author, who was secretary and confidant of the emperor.

On Abū al-Faz̤l ʿAllāmī, his Akbarnāmah, manuscript and printed copies of the text, and translations, see Storey, PL I/1 pp. 541-551. See also Nurul Ḥasan, ‘Abū ’l-Faḍl (Faẓl) ‘Allāmī’, EI2, I, pp. 116-8.

The present manuscript contains the second Book (kitāb) of the work, incorrectly referred to in the colophon as the third (jild-i sīvum). The colophon also includes the phrase of finality tamām shud, but the text appears to lack a small section at the end.

Begins: ‘Basmalah... Sukhan tāzah sāzam ba-nām-i Khudāʾī / kih nāmash ba-maʿnī buvad rahnamāʾī... ’

Ends: ‘Lashkar-i manṣūr zūr āvardand va ātash zad va khvurd bulandī girift Bahādurān-i taḥavvur shiʿār khaṣm-rā bar z̤arb-i bundūq dāshtah sar tījān sākhtand ’

Other contents: bound into the volume is a three-page description (2 folios) of Akbarnāmah and of the present manuscript, handwritten by Ekbal Hussain on 4 December 1932 at Neara.

India: 13th/19th century. The date given in the colophon, ghurrah (1st) of Ṣafar of the year Aḥad, i.e. [100]1/7 November 1592, is that of the completion of Book 2 by Abū al-Faz̤l. Datable as 13th/19th century.

Nasta‘līq. 17 lines. Headings and text dividers in red. Text frames: black, yellow, red. Rather thin and brittle off-white paper, probably Indian; there is substantial worm damage throughout the manuscript. 557 folios. 206 x 152 mm.; text area 210 x 110 mm. Modern binding: boards covered with brown and black cloth, worn.

Presented to Justice Macpherson by Ekbal Hussain in 1932. Donated to the BL in 2006.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 557 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 206 × 152 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 19th century CE ; India

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


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Funding of Cataloguing



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