Notes on History


1 - E. Sachau's translation of the "India", vol. l, p. 116 I am indebted to Professor Mhd. Shafi for his drawing my attention to this passage.

2 - The destruction of this profitable asset of the rulers of Multan may be due not to senseless fanaticism but the necessities of the propaganda which could hardly recognize such compromises. It is not impossible that this act was dictated from headquarters in Cairo. Sayyid-n Idris, in his 'Uynu'l-akhbdr, quotes various epistles (sijillat) of the early caliphs which in his time were probably still being preserved in the community, but which, except for a few, were lost later on.

3 - " His Hwiya (cf. "Guide", no. 132) was sent in 399/1009 to Kiruft, to the local resident dai. Another work of his, al-Kafiya fir-radd, ala-Haruni al Hasani, was addressed to Kirman, to Abdul-Malik b. Muhammad al Mazini, perhaps the same person, because Jiruft was at the time capital of the Kirman province.

4 - Even in a small collection of religious treatises such as that forming the sacred literature of the Druzes, described by de Sacy in his "Expos", two items are connected with India more particularly with Sind, testifying to the fact that they had their followers there. The Treatise no 61 (Vl. 1 p. CCCCXCI, Risallalul-hind, (also called aat-tadhkar wa'dhkar wal kamal) is addressed to the community of Hamza's followers in Multan, more particularly to a certain Ibn Sumar Raja-bal. The other, no. 103 (p.dix) Mahshur ramz abilkhayr salama, contains a discussion of various matters admidst which al-Muqtana, the author refers to a certain obnoxious enemy whom he calls ash-Shaytan al Hindi. It is quite probable that the latter was also connected with Sind.

5 - As is known, no accurate and reliable information concerning the religion of the real Qarmatians, i.e. the Qaramita of Bahrayn, is so far available. From all that we know about their actives, organizations, etc., it is difficult to believe that they could afford to carry on propaganda on a large scale. Having made themselves hateful to everyone by their depredations and ruthless brutality, they made their name a term of abuse which was generously poured upon all Shiite sects which showed even a minimum of common features in their tenets. Thus we find " Qaramatians" spoken of practically all over the Muslim world. Although, with trade relations between Sind and the Persian Gulf ascending to times immemorial, there is nothing improbable in the possibility of the presence in Sind of isolated real Qarmatians, or even their colonies, at the period, it is perfectly certain that the Ismailis, the followers of the Fatimid Caliphs, who had nothing to do with the genuine Qarmatians, were deliberately classed with the latter.

6 - C:f. -V. Minorsky, Materials for the study of the Persian sect of the People of the 'Truth or Ali-Ilahis" (in Russian, Moscow, 1911) p.p, 19 sqq.

7- Walking on the surface of water, or even playing polo on it, is frequently mentioned in the stories of the miracles worked by the Ali-Ilahi avatars, Cf. Minorsky, op. cil., p. 41 Shh Khshin plays polo on the surf of the sea) p.57 (Qirmizi plays polo on the surface of the Sirwan, or Diala river) and so forth.

8 - Ibid. p.5 (Sultan Suhak promises to reverse the course of the sun) p.12 Qirmizi sitting on the hill Diza (Sang-i Diza) makes a sign to the sun to come down and plays with it as a ball) pg. 23. (The baby Shah Khusin) pg.48 Sultan Suhak as a child reverses the course of the sun) and so forth. The sun, as is known, plays an prominent part in the beliefs of the Nusayris of Syria, a branch of them is even called Shamsi because they believe that Ali resides on the sun.

9 - See Translations, story "c", sloka 4. Keshavpuri may be used as a personal name; in Sanskrit it means a worshipper of Krishna, the Krishnaite. There would be nothing impossible in the suggestion that perhaps the miracle of bringing down the sun was originally credited to the Hindu saint, Keshapuri (in connection with sun-worship in Multan), but later on the myth was transferred to the Muslim saint Shams who was identified with Keshavpuri. Otherwise it would be difficult to explain such a strange fact of duplication.

10 - See Translations, II, story "d", sloka (50) 25, Such suspicious precision and remarkable "historicity' in the context is obviously nothing but a poetical device which surely inspires no confidence.

11 - See my paper on the sect of Imam shah, p, 28.

12 - See translations, II, story "c". which is extremely interesting, if we can trust its information. Quite in the style of the early Ismaili missionaries, the Pir appoints as the head of the district a certain Vasta, a mukhi, i.e. the local head of the community, with the strange name Musafer, and makes Bhandara the capital of the district. The word Bhandara in reality simply means "treasury", Vasta is not a Hindu name, but obviously Arabic wasita, - "connecting link", liaison officer, using the modem term, Musafer is certainly mussafir traveller, and it is tempting to think that he was simply a "travelling tithe collector". Perhaps in the earlier version of the story these names were meant as the appellations of ranks, but later on were mistaken for personal names.

13 - Unfortunately, nothing can be ascertained about the date and biography of this worthy, and, as I was told, the gnans hearing his name are very few. It seems quite probable that as the last few Pirs were really descendants of each other, such family relations were attributed to the earlier ones when memory of their biographies had evaporated.

14 - Cf, my paper on the sect of Imam Shah, pp. 33-34. A description of the present state of the tombs of the Pirs is also given there together with photographs.

15 - There is a gnan which has been translated for me, in which there is a vague mention of Hasan Kabir-ru-din's visit to Badakhshan. Unfortunately for the student, no details are mentioned. From what we may gather by way of information about events of that period, relations between the Ismaili centres there and the headquarters in Persia had been revived and it is not impossible that some one, commissioned by the Imams, could have been sent to Sind and Badakshan for dealing with various important matters.