Sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin of Kashmir
Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, for some unknown reasons, has so far not received the attention he deserves at the hands of scholars. Modern authors like G.M.D. Sufi, R.K. Parmu, P.N.K. Bamzai and Mohibbul Hasan were hardly expected to do full justice to this monarch, for his reign forms only a part of the general account of one or more periods of Kashmir history in their works. A monograph, which this work, endeavours to present, was, therefore, a long-left need. A serious drawback that one faces in presenting an account of the Sultanate period of Kashmir history, as of Delhi, is the paucity of historical material. The present author has tried his utmost to collect and utilize whatever material was available in Sanskrit, Persian, and Kashmiri languages, and he has also extracted information from archaeological remains, buildings, inscriptions, and coins. In Zain-ul-Abidin's time, a number of works of both historical and literary importance were composed in the three languages. While the Sanskrit chronicles of Jonaraja and Srivara are extant, the historical works of Maulana Nadiri, Maulana Ahmad, Pandit Nottha-soma, Avatara Bhatta, and Yodha Bhatta appear to have perished. For the account of Zain-ul-Abidin's reign, one has to depend chiefly on the chronicles of Jonaraja and of Srivara. If Sultan Muhammad Tughluq of Delhi had Barani and Ibn Batuta, he had no Abul Faz1 to help modern scholars in the projection of the monarch's complete personality. While Zain-ul-Abidin had this Abul Faz1s, he had no Barani or Badauni to give us eye-witness accounts for a total view of the Sultan in full light and shade. The deficiency is, however, made good to a reasonable extent by the accounts of later Persian writers, the more distinguished of whom were Firishta, Nizamuddin, Abul Fazl, Mirza Haidar Dughlat, Emperor Jahangir, Badauni, Haidar Malik, Sayyid Ali, Hasan b. Ali Kashmiri, and the unknown author of the Baharistan-i-Shahi. Since their accounts were based on contemporary evidence, they have great original as well as corroborative importance. The Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Jonaraja and Srivara was the embodiment of the highest ideals of kingship. So is also the picture that emerges from the later works. Hence we stand on a somewhat judicious ground in giving a balanced view of Zain-ul-Abidin's achievements as a man and a ruler. However, for the historical sketch of society and culture of Zain-ul-Abidin's age, some new contemporary sources have been utilized for the first time by the present author. They are Sangit Sangrah of Srivaka in Sanskrit, Sukhdukh Mohamayajal Charitam of Ganak Prashast, and Banasurakatha of Avatara Bhatta, both in Kashmiri.
Publisher - Gulshan Books
|Book Name||Sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin of Kashmir|