Secret history of Akbar's reign
The Muntakhab al-tawárikh of Abd al-Qádir bin-i-Malúk Sháh al Badáoni.
Edited by Maulavi Ahmad Ali. Calcutta published as part of the Bibliotheca Indica series of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and printed at the College Press 1865-69
First edition. Three volumes, 8vo (23 x 15 cm), pp.[ii], 492, [ii]; [ii], [1, blank], 457, [ii]; [ii], [1, blank], 411, [ii]. Printed Persian text, with Persian and English titles. Bibliotheca Indica: nos. 131, 135, 136, 139, and 140. Bound in contemporary red morocco backed marbled boards. Spines lightly worn, joints rubbed. Some foxing to title pages, but otherwise a very good set. Bookplate of Charles-Henri-August Schefer, distinguished 19th-century French diplomat, orientalist, and renowned collector of Islamic manuscripts.
A history of India from the Muslim conquest down to the 40th year of the Mughal emperor Akbar's reign, 1595 CE. The first volume deals mainly with the reigns of Babur and Humayun; the third volume describes the life and works of Muslim religious figures, poets, scholars, and physicians. The second volume, arguably the most interesting, contains a rather critical account of Akbar's reign and particularly his religious 'free-thinking' – Bada'uni wrote from an orthodox Sunni perspective. 'Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni (1540 - circa 1615) spent his early life in study with various scholars and saints. In 1574 he was presented to Akbar, who appointed him an imam and granted him land. Bada'uni was outshone by Abu'l-Fazl, author of the Akbarnama, who joined Akbar's court in the same period. Openly embittered by his rival's success, Bada'uni came close to losing his post and land, but the intervention of Nizam al-Din Ahmad, author of the Tabaqat-i Akbari, prevented this. Bada'uni's history draws on Ahmad's Tabaqat-i Akbari, but with the substantial addition of his own critical commentary. The history's existence was concealed by Bada'uni and his children until at least the 10th year of Jahangir's reign, and perhaps longer.