History-the summarised experience of mankind, has been called a corpus of ascertained facts. Documents are a major source of facts. Unlike books of history which may conceal certain design, documents are spontaneous record of an official decision. They reflect the policies, the attitudes and thinking of those whose seals they bear.
The utter negligence that the successors to the Mughal rules-the British-displayed towards the Mughal archives led to the disintegration and ultimate withering away of most of the documents of the Mughal period. Years of sustained and concerted efforts by individuals and groups may now lead to only a partial retrieval of such vital source material of the medieval India.
The documents brought together here are fruits of such an effort by a senior scholar. They have been sought out and collected through painstaking search in court records, private collection, khanquahs, muths and ancient temples. As seminal facts they would serve as reliable primary date for a better and more accurate understanding of the medieval period of Indian history.
The author was born at Yusufpur, District Ghazipur Uttar Pradesh on 17th May 1917. His father, Nawab Ashgar Yar Jong has established himself as a leading lawyer at Hyderabad, A.P. The author received his traditional education under the guidance of Molvi Azizudding. He earned his Senior Cambridge School Certificate from St. George's Grammar School, Hyderabad (1934). He passed his intermediate Examination from the Government Intermediate Collage Allahabad (1936).
He graduated from the University of Allahabad in 1938 and took his Master of Arts Degree from the same University (1941). He was the recipient of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (D Phil) form the University of Allahabad (1948).
He served his Alma Mater as lecturer in History form 1949- 1968,shifted to the Jamia Millia as a reader (1968), joined Jawaharlal Nehru University as Associate Professor (1972) became Professor in History, Jamia Millia, 1974-79, remained a visiting Professor in the Institute of General Asian Studies, Kashmir University, Srinagar, 1980 and acted as Guest Professor in Delhi University (1981). He enjoyed the rare distinction of teaching Post Graduate classes in all the three universities of Delhi. He is the author of two books, the social life of Mughal Emperors and European Travellers Under the Mughals.
These documents were lying with me for two decades. I was afraid lest they be lost. Actually, one document from the Daragani Collection was lost, not to traced ever since.
"Wherever possible a photo-copy of the original has been prucuied, but this could be done only in the case of the Jangambari documents. As for the rest, they were copied by me from originals, which were in the possession of their owners.
I must also acknowledge the assistance given to me by Dr. S.N. Sinha, an old student of mine, in the preparation of the English translations of these documents for the press. After retirement from the university service, even such assistance is quite welcomed, when a person had to drudge all alone without assistance from any quarter.
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