Manuscript/Mixed Material Malfūẓāt. ملفوظات. / Title in pencil on page 2 of cover: Malfoozate Teemoor
About this Item
- Title in pencil on page 2 of cover: Malfoozate Teemoor
- Memoirs of Timur originally written in Chagatay, now lost, translated into Persian by the Mughal scholar Abū Ṭālib al-Ḥusaynī.
- The 14th-century Turkic-Mongol ruler Timur (Tamerlane) wrote a memoir in Chagatai Turkish, the original of which is now lost. The work was intended as a book of advice for princes and rulers and has been given various titles over the years, including, as in this manuscript, Malfūẓāt (Utterances). The memoir was translated into Persian by Abu Talib al-Husayni, who appears to have been a Shia scholar-official from Khorasan in the service of the Mughal rulers in India in the 1630s. Al-Husayni discovered a Turkish version of the manuscript in the library of an Ottoman governor in Yemen, which he used as the basis for his translation. Al-Husayni dedicated his translation to Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-58), who apparently disliked it and demanded revisions, which were done by Muhammad Afzal Bakhtiyari. This copy of al-Husayni's translation was probably produced somewhere in India in the mid-19th century. The manuscript contains only one of the many versions of Timur's memoir to have been written and revised over the centuries. It begins with a preface (folios 1-4) in which Bakhtiyari offers a note of praise to God, Muhammad, the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and the Timurid sultans. The preface also contains the title of the manuscript; a brief mention of the story of its discovery, translation into Persian, and revision; and remarks on its usefulness for future princes and statesmen, along with a commentary on the childhood and kingly life of Timur. This is followed by a brief section entitled "Divinely-Inspired Twelve Principles of Timur" (folios 4-5). Among the 12 principles by which Timur was said to have been inspired are "Just Rule," "Differentiation between Truth and Falsehood," and "Following God's Laws." The bulk of the manuscript (folios 5-653) covers events in the life of Timur. The narrative is in the first person, and begins with the appointment of the four viziers. Some of the events are titled with red subheadings, while others are not. A final section (folios 653-55) describes Timur being on the road to conquer China, the illness he contracts on the way, his wasiyat (will), and death. The manuscript is written in thick nastaʻliq script, although not in one hand, indicating that it was copied by one or more persons at different times. Turkish Chagatai quotations with Persian translations appear in various places in the text. Pagination is in Arabic numerals. There are numerous repetitions, tautologies, and obscurities throughout the text, reflecting the influence of the many official and unofficial biographies and memoirs of Timur that have been copied and recopied into various languages over the centuries by different individuals and for different purposes. These "Books of Timur," of different genres and titles, were patronized and popularized mainly by Mughal rulers of India in the 17th and 18th centuries. World Digital Library.
- Timur, 1336-1405.
- Abū Ṭālib al-Ḥusaynī, active 1637, translator.
Created / Published
- 1268 [1851 or 1852]
- - Timur,--1336-1405
- - Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
- - Asia, Central--History
- - Asia, Central--Kings and rulers--Biography
- - India
- - Contemporary marbled leather.
- - Folios 1-b-655b.
- - Library of Congress. Persian manuscript, 260/66.
- - Manuscript.
- - Nastaʻlīq; 17 lines in written area 19.5 x 9.5 cm.
- - No statement of responsibility.
- - Paper; cream color laid paper without visible chain-lines or water-marks; elaborate ʻunwān, otherwise undecorated; text in black ink enclosed in border of three thin lines blue-red-red ink; some rubrication; catchwords on rectos.
- - Possibly copied in India.
- - Title from folio 2a
- - Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress website.
- - Persian.
- 655, 1 leaves (17 lines) bound : paper ; 29.5 x 17.4 cm
Call Number/Physical Location
- DS23 .T56 1851
Library of Congress Control Number
Additional Metadata Formats
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Rights & Access
The contents of the Library of Congress Persian Language Manuscript Project are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions and are free to use and reuse.
Credit Line: Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division, Near East Section Persian Manuscript Collection
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Timur. Malfūẓāt. translateds by Abū Ṭālib Al-Ḥusaynī, Active 1637Lator [1851 or 1852, 1851] Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/2013415533/.
APA citation style:
Timur. (1851) Malfūẓāt. Abū Ṭālib Al-Ḥusaynī, A. 1., trans [1851 or 1852] [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2013415533/.
MLA citation style:
Timur. Malfūẓāt. trans by Abū Ṭālib Al-Ḥusaynī, Active 1637Lator [1851 or 1852, 1851] Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2013415533/>.