Firishta (Persian: فرشته) or Ferishta (b. 1560-d.1620), full name Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah (Persian: محمد قاسم ہندو شاه), was a Persian historian. The name Firishta means angel or one who is sent in Persian.
Firishta was born at Astrabad to Gholam Ali Hindu Shah, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. While he was still a child his father was summoned away from his native country into Ahmadnagar, Hindustan, to teach Persian to the young prince Miran Husain Nizam Shah with whom Firishta studied.
In 1587 Firishta was serving as the captain of guards of King Murtuza Nizam Shah when Prince Miran overthrew his father and claimed the throne of Ahmadnagar. Having been a former friend, Prince Miran spared Firishta's life who then left for Bijapur to enter the service of King Ibrahim Adil II in 1589. In 1593 Ibrahim Shah II ultimately implored Firishta to write a history of India with equal emphasis on the history of Deccan dynasties as no work thus far had given equal treatment to all regions of the subcontinent.
The work was variously known as the Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim. In the introduction, a resume of the history of Hindustan prior to the times of the Muslim conquest is given, and also the victorious progress of Arabs through the East. The first ten books are each occupied with a history of the kings of one of the provinces; the eleventh book gives an account of the Muslims of Malabar; the twelfth a history of the Muslim saints of India; and the conclusion treats of the geography and climate of India. It also includes graphic descriptions of the persecution of Hindus during the reign of Sikandar Butshikan in Kashmir.
Firishta on Jat History
Migration of Godara's - Traditionally Jats consider their origin from the far northwest and claimed ancient Garh Gajni (modernday area between Ghajni, Afghanistan to Rawalpindi, Pakistan) as their original abode. Persian chronicler Firishta strengthened this view and informs us that Jats were originally living near the river of the Koh-i-Jud (Salt Range) in northwest Punjab. The Jats then occupied the Indus valley and settled themselves on both the banks of the Indus River.
Professor B.S Dhillon writes referring to Firishta: Ferishta , a Persian writer who lived until the year A.D. 1612 wrote, "In the end of the year Mahmud Ghazni marched against the Jats, residing in the Jood mountains, who had molested his army on its return from Somnath (a famous Hindu temple in Gujrat containing a very large quantity of gold and other valuables).
Having arrived at Multan, and finding that the country of the Jats was intersected by rivers, Mahmud built 1400 boats each with six iron spikes,projecting from the prows and sides, to prevent their being boarded by the enemy, who were expert in that kind of warfare. Each boat contained twenty archers and five naphtha-men, to attack and set fire to the enemy's flotilla. The Jats after receiving the news of this build up sent their wives and children to the neighbouring islands as well as to fight against the Muhammedans built 4,000 to 8,000 boats of their own. The Jats were beaten in the battle by Mahmud".
Professor B.S Dhillon writes refering to Firishta: As per Ferishta, a Persian writer of the early seventeenth century; "Dehloo (Dhillon in Punjabi is pronounced as "Dhilon" or "Dhilo") the uncle of the young king, aided by the nobles, having deposed him, ascended the musnud. This prince, as famous for his justice as for his valour devoted his time to the good of his subjects, and built the city of Dehly"
- Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 55
- Elliot, op. cit., Vol.I, p.133
- Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah Firista, Gulsan-i-Ibrahimi, commonly known as Tarikh-i-Firishta, Nawal Kishore edition, (Kanpur, 1865), Vol.I, p.35
- History and study of the Jats/Chapter 3, p.59
- Ferishta, M.K., (Seventeenth Century A.D.), translated by Briggs, J. (Lt. Col.), History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, Published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, London, 1829, pp. 81-82 (Vol. I).
- History and study of the Jats/Chapter 7, p.103-104
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