Reza Rampur

Raza  Rampur
            The vast and ancient land of India had been from long ago a cradle for nourishment and promotion of omnifarious religions, faiths and sects. Islam is one of the religions which together with the migration of the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) from Mecca to Medina made its way to India through newly convert Muslim traders and businessman. After passing away of the Reverned Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) a group of followers, hadith experts (traditionists), religious jurisprudents and interpreters stepped on the Indian soil in order to familiarize the lovers of the school of monotheism with discourse of revelation. In 91 A.H. the first group of Muslim conquerors led by Mohammed bin Qasim Saghafi conquered a part of northern India. But the growth and expansion of Islam in India came to a standstill due to Mohammed bin Qasim being called back and weakness of Ommayed rule and since the Abbasid rulers did not pay any particular attention to the Islamic conquests made in the Indian sub-continent large groups of newly convert Muslims returned to their past religion. In 390 A.H. Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznavi attacked India with a huge number of soldiers and under the banner of Muslim warriors his army drew out sword in order to obtain the valuable wealth and treasures of India. But Mahmoud had not ever thought of staying in India and ruling over it. The repeated invasions, massacre and plundering by his soldiers had left an unpleasant impact of Islam and Muslims over the Indian society and led to the integration of followers of differents religions and faiths against Islam. Sultan Mohammed Ghori invaded India about after two hundred years from the death of Mahmoud and after conquering Delhi he installed Qutbuddin Aibak to govern his conquests in India. After the death of Sultan Ghori, all the regions of Punjab and the Ganges and Jamuna were added to the occupation of Qutbuddin Aibak. In 603 A.H. Qutbuddin Aibak declared autonomy in Delhi and thus the ever first foundation of Muslim rule was laid in India. He built the first mosque named Qowat-ol- Islam (Power of Islam Mosque) or Qabat-ol- Islam in northern India. After that Muslims ruled over a vast part of Indian sub-continent for a period of eight hundred years. Different Muslim dynasties brought a new transformation into existence in political, cultural and social system of India. And thus great India became one of the powerful Muslim base of culture, art Persian language was identified as the official court language of Muslim rulers. The Iranian art creativity and culture influenced by Islamic spiritual values made its appearance.
The Taimorid era in India is considered to be a period of blooming, creativity and golden era of Islam. The royal support to education and literature led to the expansion and growth of Islamic education, culture and art. The religious jurisprudents, traditionists (Mohaddisim) Ulema and intellectuals, men of literature and poets, artisans and artists flourished and got trained in an open atmosphere. Thousands of books were written about different subjects of Islamic sciences and the artists exhibited their art. Educational remanents and treasures and cultural heritage left behind from the ruling time of Muslim rulers in this region indicate the last glory and greatness of the Muslim rulers in the sub-continent.
The British dominance during the early eighteen century A.D. over the Indian sub-continent and the British enmity with Islam and its bases led to undermining and breaking away the power of Muslims in India. The Islamic educational and cultural centers lost their greatness and glory under the influence of English culture. The lamp of education and knowledge in Delhi capital of Taimorid Muslim rulers started to be blown off. Scholars and intellectuals, men of letters and great poets made their way to the local rulers. Among those regions, which during those days drew the attention of scholars and intellectuals and whose rulers were giving peculiar attention to the Islamic education and literature and tried to preserve the rich treasures of education and knowledge, was the region of Rampur.
Imperial library
Mostafabad known as Rampur was a small town in the past, which during the end of twelfth century became a part of Awadh province with the formation of the government of Nawwab. During the year 1187 A.H. after an agreement signed between the Nawabs Faizollah Khan and Nawab Shujaodollah governor general of Awadh, Nawab Faizollah Khan made the city of Rampur as his ruling center and built a fort and madrasa (school) named Madrasa Auliyeh in the city, and invited Allameh Abdul Ali Bahrol Olloom Fazanigi Mahalli son of Maulana Nizamuddin Sahalvi to manage the madrasa likewise, he envisaged to build a building for keeping and preserving his personal books consisting of fine manuscripts in different languages. He called on a group of Ulema to make research in various fields of Islamic sciences who wrote and authored a big number of books including “Fosool Faizollah Khani” by Hakeem Bayazid, “Fatawi Faizollah Khani” by Maulavi Yousof. A collection of books which was written and authored during the reign of Nawab Faizollah Khan, is available still now in the Rampur Reza Library.
The Muslim Nawabs of Rampur were the lovers of education and men of virtues and good breeding. They had a particular attention and favour towards the Ulema and scholars of different fields of Islamic studies. The formation of the government of Nawabs of Rampur coincided with the downfall of Taimorid rule in Delhi and the British domination all over India. Therefore, many more groups of Ulema, religious jurisprudents, men of letters and artists of Delhi Court made their way to the Rampur Court. They were welcomed and encouraged by the Nawabs of this region. The city of Rampur became one of the important Islamic education and literary centers of India during the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Tens of madrasas and libraries were set up by the Ulema and rich people in and around this city. A great library named the Imperial library was built for the usage of Ulema and scholars. A number of lovers of education and knowledge indulged in research work and teaching different subjects of Islamic sciences. Manuscript experts were deputed all over India in order to collect and preserve the valuable Islamic cultural heritage and treasures which were attacked and assaulted unmanly by the British mercenaries.
Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan took over the government of Rampur in 1208 A.H. He had a special interest in the library. Many more manuscripts were added to the library during his reign. Syed Yousof Ali Mahvi Afghani a great scholar and man of letter was chosen as its director. Syed Yousof held the directorship of the librarian as long as he was alive. His collection of poetry is still now available in this library.
At the behest of Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan, a group supervised by Ahmed Khan pen name “Ghaflat” started translating the Hindu holy books during those days.
After the death of Nawab Ali Khan in 1256 A.H., his nephew Nawab Mohammed Saeed Khan took over the charge of Rampur. During his time an independent place named “Tosheh Khaneh” was reserved for the keeping and preserving the books, and a seal was put on the books reading:-
هست اين مهر بر کتب خانه – والی رامپور فرزانه "1268"
The library got international fame in those days and drew the attention of the British government. Rally San the speaker of British Parliament in Agra visited the Rampur library in 1264.
Nawab Mohammed Saeed Khan had invited a group of learned men Ulema calligraphers and artists from all over India for cooperating with the library. Ghulam Rasool and Mirza Mohammed Hassan Kashmiri, who were well known calligraphers and artists cooperated with the library for some time.
During the year 1271 A.H., Nawab Mohammed Saeed Khan passed away and Nawab Yousof Ali ascended to the government of Rampur. The anti colonialist campaign against Britain had over shadowed whole of India during his time. Therefore, a group of Ulema and skilled men turned to Rampur which was a safe heaven and were welcomed by the Nawab keeping in view the importance of the library and presence of the Ulema and their usage of books related to the Islamic knowledge and culture. The city of Rampur became one of the centers of Islamic science in the most critical era of Indian history which had coincided with the downfall of Taimorid great empire and absolute hold of the British government on India. Although the ruling period of Nawab Yousof Ali Khan was not more than nine years, a great development in the moving process of library had taken place during his time.
In 1281A.H. Nawab Kalb Ali Khan succeeded to the Rampur government. He had an interest in collecting books from his childhood and a due consideration was given to the library. A large number of manuscripts and printed books was purchased. Nawab Kalb Ali Khan sent a group all over India for buying rare manuscripts and during his numerous journeys too he bought many more books.
Likewise, Maulavi Mehdi Ali Khan, a great scholar and a well known manuscript expert was invited to arrange and prepare a catalogue of manuscripts and printed books. A group of Ulema and learned men was assigned on his request to study fine copies and edit and publish them. Nawab Kalb Ali Khan had ordered a catalogue of all the books to be prepared according to their price and the mode of their purchase. The libraries of the Ulema and aristocrats and the fine manuscripts were purchased and transferred from all over India to the library. He employed nine calligraphers of Naskh and Nastaliq to copy the fine and rare manuscripts and employed eight book binders for protecting and guarding the library. The appointment of Maulavi Mehdi Ali Khan as the director of library and his activities caused more fame and progress to this library.
After the death of Nawab Kalb Ali Khan in 1304 A.H., Nawab Mushtaq Ali Khan was selected as the new governor general of Rampur. But he handed over the charge of government to one of his commanders named Azamuddin Khan due to his severe illness and weakness. Azamuddin was a learned and a man of good taste and talented and had given a special consideration to the library. He formed an executive board for the library consisting of learned men and aristocrats and envisaged an independent fund for the functioning of library. In the year 1308 A.H. at the behest of General Azamuddin Khan action was taken for the construction of a new building for the library under the supervision of a French engineer Rite. Similarly, a new catalogue was prepared for the library and the entry to library was made open for the general public. The library was shifted to the new building in the year 1309 at a cost of Rupees 40000. Nawab Hamid Ali Khan took over the city of Rampur in the year 1314 A.H. and indulged in publishing the Shia books and works and bought a large number of books from Iran. He selected Hakeem Ajmal Khan as the director of the library. Hakeem Masihol Mulk Ajmal Khan was a free, dedicated and prudent man. He was a learned man of his time. His family had a close contact with the rulers from the very beginning of the formation of Rampur government. Hakeem Ajmal Khan studied the Islamic teachings in the same city and from the great Ulema like Maulana Mohammed Tayyab Makki Rampuri and Hakeem Abdul Rasheed Khan. He collected hundreds of manuscripts and printed copies about different fields of Tib (herbal medicines) from all over India and added to the treasure of the library in such a way that the Rampur library has become one of the rich sources of Islamic Tib. He also arranged editing, compiling and writing literary and Islamic books. And the work of compiling a dictionary “Amir-ol- Loghat” which was stopped for a long time was again started. Allameh Abdul Majeed Khan was given the responsibility for its arrangement and preparation. The Ustads (senior most scholars) like Ahmed Ali Shoq Qidwaie and Shadan Bilgrami indulged writing and compiling this dictionary. Thus, the work of this dictionary which was begun in the year 1225 A.H. completed in the year 1314 in thirty volumes titled “Loghat Nameh Hamidiyeh”. Likewise, the cataloguing commenced with a new style in the year 1314 under the supervision of Hakeem Ajmal Khan. Hafiz Ahmed Ali Khan was entrusted with the work of arranging and preparing the library catalogue and the catalogue of Arabic books was published in 719 pages in the year 1320 A.H.
Hakeem Ajmal Khan has mentioned this library as one of the richest libraries all over India in the preface of this catalogue. He has mentioned that there is a great collection of Islamic art and knowledge available in this library whose contents have not been fully exposed and many of these collections have been described under a single title. The total number of manuscripts and printed books which were existing in the library in his times was about 12451 volumes given as under:-
1-         Arabic                         5994                Volumes
2-         Persian             3304                Volumes
3-         Urdu                2392                Volumes
4-         English            1453                Volumes
5-         Turkish            46                    Volumes
6-         Pashto             37                    Volumes
7-         Hindi               16                    Volumes
8-         Nagri               16                    Volumes
9-         Sanskrit           3                      Volumes
10-       Punjabi            1                      Volume
Out of the said books collection 347 manuscripts in Arabic and 523 manuscripts in Persian have been specified from the point of view of their type of script, golden writing and antiquity.
The second and third catalogue of Arabic manuscripts of this library was published and printed as a result of the efforts made by Hafiz Ahmed Ali Khan Qidwaie Shoq in the year 1346 A.H. Hakeem Ajmal Khan passed away at the age of sixty four during the same year and Hafiz Ahmed Ali Khan assumed the directorship of the library. Nawab Reza Ali Khan took over the ruling of Rampur in 1348 A.H. after the death of Hamid Ali Khan. He selected Allameh Najm-ol- Ghani Khan Rampuri, author of “Tarikh Awadh” and “Akhbar-ol- Sandid” as the director of library. Najm-ol- Ghani Khan died after serving the library for six years and G.F. Cheepman, the former director of the Imperial Calcutta Library and officer incharge of cataloguing board of Khuda Bakhsh Library of Patna was appointed as the director of this library. Likewise, Allameh Imtiaz Ali Khan Arshi, a great scholar and author of educational books started working in the library.
Imtiaz Ali Khan Arshi
Imtiaz Ali Khan was born on Thursday 29th of the holy month of Ramazan 1322 in Rampur. Mukhtar Ali Khan son of Akbar Ali Khan father of Arshi was from among the children of Rahm Baz Khan the head of Haji Khail tribe of southern Afghanistan. Musharraf Khan was the first person of this tribe who migrated to India during the second half of eighteen century A.D. and came in control of some parts of Rampur with the help of some of his companions. His children resided in this region as the local aristocrats.
Grand father of Arshi quit the profession of being soldier and chose the way of education and literature. He learnt Arabic and Persian and got familiarized with religious studies. Ghulam Qadir Khan the maternal grand father of Arshi too was well versed in Persian language and belonged to the family of Ahmed Shah Barailvi. Arshi was born in an educated and brave family. He started going to school when he was five years old and studied Persian and Arabic grammar. He studied the books Gulestan, Bostan, Yousof and Zulekhan and Sikandar Nameh. He learnt Arabic language from Maulana Abdul Rashid Khan and learnt Tib (medical science) from the famous Hakeem Abdul Hamid Khan. He had been a student of Rampur Matlaye Uloom School for some time. He qualified for obtaining the degree of Maulavi and Aulim from the Punjab University in 1341 A.H. He joined oriental college in Lahore for continuing his further education. After receiving the degree of Maulavi and Fazil in the year 1342 from Punjab University he qualified for the degree of munshi Fazil. After being benefited by great Ulema teaching and educational degrees, Arshi returned to his home town Rampur. Together with learning the Islamic sciences, he had learnt English language and had an interest in poetry. His pen name was Taj. After his return to Rampur, he was selected as the representative of school of religious studies called Nadvatol Ulema all over India but he resigned from this post just after four months and started business with some of his friends. While being involved in business, he translated some books from Arabic text books of the Punjab University into Urdu and had been busy in authoring and editing the educational texts.
Maulana Imtiaz Ali Khan started working in the imperial library from the year 1353 A.H. Arrival of Imtiaz Ali Khan Arshi infused a new spirit into the library. As a result of his efforts and initiative and courtesy of Nawab of Rampur the number of manuscripts got increased in the library. Tens of fine and rare manuscripts were introduced in different articles and famous magazine of that time resulting in drawing more attention of the research scholars to the library. The total number of books of the library reached to ten thousand manuscripts in 1307 A.H. and nineteen thousand and twenty five in 1341 A.H. and after that no addition took place particularly in the manuscripts till the year 1353. The number of books in different fields of Islamic studies got increased as a result of efforts and management of Imtiaz Ali in the year 1353 A.H. The total number of manuscripts reached to 10619 in 1366 A.H. and also four thousand printed copies were added to the books. During the same days, Amiruddin Khan Governor of Loharo donated his personal library to Nawab Reza Ali Khan. Thus the Loharo library was transferred to Rampur library. Similarly, another library situated in the “Bagh Palace” was shifted to the Imperial library and late Badruddin Alavi trusted his personal library to Rampur library. Following the increased number of books, the book shelves were changed and the manuscripts and printed books which were kept at one place were separated. A different place was envisaged for manuscripts. A large number of English language printed books was transferred to the public libraries “Soulat”, Reza “Inter College” and “Madrase Auliyeh Rampur”. Similarly, a large number of English language printed books were given in gift to the libraries in Lucknow.
Among other important and basic jobs done during the governorship time of Nawab Reza Ali Khan was the creation of a big publishing center in Rampur city. The objective of the establishment of this center was to publish the works of research scholars and valuable manuscripts and one hundred and twenty five rare manuscripts of the library were published after editing and suspension. Among these manuscripts was the exclusive copy of interpretation by Inam Sufian Thori which was arranged and edited by Ustad Imtiaz Ali Khan and was published with his useful marginal notes.
After the independence of India during the year 1366 A.H., most of the local governments were either administered independently or were under the supervision of British rule. Such governments had lost their ruling power and joined the India republic and the Rampur State too got annexed to the Indian republic government in the year 1368 A.H.
Nawab Reza Ali Khan endowed the library during the year 1371 A.H. and handed over its management to the Indian government. As a token to his services, the Indian government named this library after his name “Reza Rampur Library”. In order to protect and maintain this library, name of one issues of Nawab of Rampur was envisaged in the endowment deed of the executive board consisting of thirteen other persons selected under the supervision of Indian government. The government of India borne all the expenditure of the library during the early years. A few years later the supervision of charge of the library was handed over to the governor of Uttra Pradesh. Three volumes of Arabic manuscripts and one volume of catalogue of Urdu manuscripts were prepared and published in English language during this period by the library. All the books were shifted to the new premises called “Hamid Manzil” which was the reception palace for the guests during the headship of Navaiyan in the year 1376 and the Indian Government too allocated the “Rang Mahal” for the administrative office of the library.
Nawab Reza Ali Khan passed away in the year 1386 and Nawab Morteza Ali Khan was appointed as the director of the library by the government. Morteza Ali had a special interest in the library. He was himself a learned man. He had served as Rampur’s minister of education and training. According to an endorsement by the Indian Parliament, the administration of the library was passed on completely to the central government in the year 1395 A.H. Nawab Morteza Ali Khan died in the year 1402 and the Indian Government appointed Syed Zulfiqar Ali Khan as a member of the “executive board” of the library.
Due to the differences and misunderstanding, between some of the library members, the library was closed and sealed by the Indian Government in 1403 A.H. and the manuscript section was closed for a period of nine years. The Indian Government deputed a special delegation to Rampur in 1404 in order to study the condition of library headed by “Hemraj Sood”. During the year 1405 A.H. a delegation comprising fourteen persons headed by the U.P. Governor took the charge of library. During the recent years an executive board consisting of Dr. Nisar Ahmed Farooqi, Dr. Azhar Dehlavi and Dr. Mrs. Hameedah Habibollah was formed. Dr. Wiqar Al-Hassan Siddique assumed the charge of library. In view of the importance of this library and existence of precious and fine manuscripts of this treasure left behind from the glorious period of Muslim governments in India and its introduction to the world of knowledge and science and the usage of scholars, learned men and intellectuals of this valuable treasure and the emphasis put by the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei leader of Muslims on the preservation and publicising the Islamic cultural heritage all over the world made us to prepare the catalogues of manuscripts available in the Indian libraries. So far, the catalogue of a number of libraries like catalogue of the Arabic and Persian manuscripts of Nadvatol Ulema in Lucknow (2 volumes) catalogue of the manuscripts of Raja Mahmud Abad library and the catalogue of manuscripts of Bhopal library have been prepared and published. But the problems created as a result of differences between some of the personnel of Rampur Library led to the closure and sealing of the shelves of manuscripts for several years. Ultimately our respected friend Mr. Akbar Ali Arshi son of distinguished research scholar Imtiza Ali Khan Arshi handed over the catalogue of Persian manuscripts of this library to us. This catalogue contains three bound volumes. The first and second volume contain list of Persian manuscripts and the third volume enlists the Persian manuscripts “Special Branch” (Shobe Khas). The special Branch is a collection of the books authored, compiled or interpreted by the Shia Ulema. Even though, this catalogue has been prepared in brief it would be a suitable guide for the teachers and research scholars in view of utmost care and experience of late Imtiaz Ali Khan Arshi. In addition to the title of book, name of author or commentator and translator and the number of pages, name of scriber, year and place of scription have been mentioned. Since access to this collection of manuscript copies was difficult again of this library we sufficed to what the late Imtiaz Ali Khan has mentioned for the information of scholars and learned men. We hope to offer a detailed catalogue of this valuable treasure in the future to the learned and able persons.
Rarities of the Library
The number of rare and precious manuscripts available in the Reza Rampur library is so much that perhaps no other library in the Indian sub-continent may have it. Allameh Shibli Noumani had visited this library for the first time in 1332 A.H. He writes in his diary: I have visited big Islamic libraries during my travel to Rome, Egypt and other Muslims countries but the fine manuscripts and collections which I saw in Rampur Library, I did not see them in any other library. Naumani had visited the library at a time when only half of the present books were available in it. Today the library is gradually richer than what it was in the past.
In addition to the rare, precious and exclusive manuscripts, there are hundreds of portraits and pictures, drawings and beautiful boards of kings, nobles and elderly men, and the samples of name writings of Ulema intellectuals, scholars and Imams in Naskh and Nastaliq. The sample of writing of Babar, the head of Taimorid dynasty in India and the inventor of Babari writing and the hand writings of Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar Shah, Alamgir Aurangzeb, Sultan Muzaffar Gujrati, Adel Shah Bijapuri, Abdul Raheem Khan Khanan, a Taimorid court minister, Faizi interpreter of dotless “Savateh-ol- Ilham, Asafdollah, Amjad Ali Shah, Wajid Ali Shah kings of Awadh and hundreds of other samples of writings of elderly and famous persons are fine pieces of art of this library.
There are more than one thousand rare and beautiful portraits, drawings and tableaus available in the library. The portrait of Jahangir Shah, Prince Mohammed Dara Shikoh, album of court views of Taimorid Kings of India, pictorial album of Akbar Shah belonging to the library of Awadh kings and a pictorial copy of Diwan Hafiz together with hundreds of portraits drawn by the well known artists and painters with their names are considered to be among the pieces of fine art of this library.
Apart from the hand writings and portraits, the library has a collection of various coins belonging to the Muslim governments all over the world.
Arabic Manuscripts and Printed Copies in the Library
There is no exact statistic of manuscripts and other rarities written by the authors, writers and commentators available in the library. But they may be approximately 9914 volumes. Out of this number, there are about 5053 Arabic manuscripts and among this figure 465 of them are written in gold ink by the experts of calligraphy.
The oldest copy available in this library is the Holy Quran writer on camel skin in Kofi script belonging to the year 41 A.H. ascribed to Hazrat Ali (As). Muhammed Shah Taimori had presented this copy to Mohammed Ali Khan the founder of Rohi Khand Government. Likewise, there are two more copies of the Holy Quran in the library ascribed to Imam Jafar Sadigh (As) and Imam Reza (As) and there is a copy written by Yaqoot-al- Mostasmi (d. 629) and a copy by Abi Ali Mohammed bin Ali bin Maqla Baizavi Baghdadi and a copy of the Holy Quran written in gold with marginal notes by Faizi interpreter of “Savateh -al- Ilham” and more than hundred nice and precious copies of the Holy Quran written by elderly men and calligraphers. Regarding the art of interpretation is Al-taiseer fi Ilm-il- Tafseer by Zainal Islam Shaikh Abul Qasim Abdul Kareem bin Howazan Al-Qashiri Al-Nishabouri Al-Shafie d. 465 A.H. This copy was scribed in 679 A.H. by Jaafar bin Al-Omar Al-Haddadi. It starts from the verse Ahzab upto the end of Holy Quran. Al-Nokt val Ayoon written by Abul Hassan Ali bin Mohammed Habib known as Alamavardi Shafie died in 450 A.H. This copy was scribed in 577 A.H. and begins from the beginning of the Holy Quran and ends at the verse “Maidah”. Similarly, there are other important interpretations like Tafseer Abul Lais Nasr bin Mohammed Samarqandi and two copies scribed by Kashaf in the year 733 and 970 A.H. and more copies like Kitab-ol- Gharibain with a permission letter at its end belonging to year 505 A.H., Ahkam –al- Ahkam scribed in 790 A.H., Tajrid-al- Saha belonging to 782 A.H. interpretation by Imam Sofian bin Saheed Masrooq Kofi died in 161 which starts from the beginning of the Holy Quran and ends at some part of verse Tur. This copy has been published by the Indian Ministry of Education with useful marginal notes by late Imtiaz Ali Khan Arshi. Tavaley-al- Anwar scribed in the year 771 A.H. Sharh Tavaley written in 837 A.H. Tazkareh Alsamey val Motakkalim 757 A.H. and Sharh 742 A.H Asas-ol- Balaghat scribed in 744 A.H. Moffasal Zomokhshari written in 757 A.H., Sharh Moteh-ol- Oloom written in 838 A.H. Al-mostaqsi fi Amsal written by Zomokhshari scribed in 966 A.H. Diwan Hadrat scribed by Yaqoot –al- Most`asmi in 629 A.H. two copies of Sahih Bukhari scribed in the years 834, 863 A.H., two copies of Sahih Muslim scribed in the years 787, 817 A.H. a copy of Maqamat Hariri authored by Sa`adoddin Masoud bin Omar Taftazani with marginal notes and Al-ashbah-van- Nazaeer by Zainuddin bin Ibraheem known as Ibn Najeem Misri Hanafi died in 970 A.H. written by the author himself (Ibne Najeem completed this book in the year 969 A.H.). Similarly, Kitab-al- Ajnas by Abi Obaid-ol- Qasim bin Salam-al- Haravi al-Baghdadi died in 224 A.H. is one of the fine and precious works in Arabic available in the Rampur Library.
Persian Manuscripts and Printed Books of the Library
The Persian manuscripts and printed books of this library are in all 7619 out of which 6060 copies are manuscripts. Among these manuscripts so far 464 rare nice and exclusive, written in gold by the famous authors and calligraphers have been identified. Oldest of these Persian copies of this library is the book “Gharamiya” about behaviour authored by Ahmed Ghazali brother of Imam Mohammed Ghazali died in 517 A.H. Zakhire Khawrazm Shahi scribed in the year 599 A.H. (about 34 years after the death of its author). Sud Pand Loqman, Monajat Khawjah Abdul Ansari, Bustan Saadi scribed by famous scriber Mir Ali Sultani belonging to the library of kings of Awadh, translation of Tafseer Tabari vol.1. Resaleh Khawjeh Abdullah Ansari with notes written by Abdul Raheem Khan Khanan, Jahangir Shah, seal of Alamgir Aurangzeb and the writings of Jahan Ara Begum sister of Aurangzeb, Nafhat-ol- Uns of Abdul Rehman Jami scribed by Prince Dara Shikoh, Majalis-ol- Ushshaq by Kamaluddin Sultani died in 911 A.H. consisting of 484 pages with notes by Jahangir and Shah Jahan and Amir Ahmed Mossavir with a very nice writing, pictorial copy of Diwan Hafiz scribed in the time of Akbar Shah contains more than on hundred pictures and among them the picture of Akbar Shah, Abol Fazl and Faizi and other ministers of Akbar’s court drawn by eleven reputed painters of their time. Tarikh Babari by Zainaluddin Khawafi pen name “Wafa” written during the time of Babar, Diwan Kaleem with his marginal notes, Diwan Mokhlis by himself, Burhan Qatey with marginal notes by Mirza Asadollah Ghalib. Similarly tens of rare and nice copies have remained unidentified in this great educational and Islamic treasure so far.
Manuscripts and Printed Books in other Languages
Rampur Reza library has 19560 books in Urdu language. Out of these, there are 1780 manuscripts. Most of the Urdu manuscripts are written and authored by the Rampur Ulema and research scholars and most of them are exclusive and written by their authors and commentators themselves. Poetic collection of poets and the literary books collection of treatise and books of Amir Ahmed Minaee and Maulavi Abdul Majeed and interpretations and Shia religious books, translated from Persian to Urdu, the only copy of Diwan Momin edited by himself, collection of Urdu and Persian poetry of the famous poet Mir Taghi Mir, letter of Ghalib, correspondence of Mirza Assadollah Ghalib with Nawab Yousof Ali Khan pen name Nazim and his successors Nawab Kalb Ali Khan, Silk Gohar by Mir Inshallah Khan pen name Inshah (it is nice story written without any dot) were written and compiled at the behest of Nawabs. The above mentioned manuscripts are the valuable Urdu manuscripts available in the Rampur library. Ustad Imtiaz Ali Khan Arshi had arranged the Urdu manuscripts according to forty subjects in detail which unfortunately have not been published.
The total number of Hindi and Sanskrit language books of the library is 1200 copies. Out of which 1000 are manuscripts. These manuscripts are mostly about astronomy and astrology and miscellaneous sciences. The total number of Turkish and Pashto books is 3000 books. Out of them there are fifty Pashto manuscripts and 55 manuscripts are in Turkish language. Among the Turkish manuscripts, there is a Diwan of Babar or Biyaz Babari which is an exclusive copy at the end of which there are couplets in Babar’s hand writing. Shah Jahan had seen this copy and verified that it belonged to his grand father Babar and that two couplets at the end of the Diwan (poetic collection) were written by him. Similarly, about 350 copies are in Telegu and Tamil languages. Out of these there are 150 manuscripts.
From the view point of Pashto, Tamil and Telegu manuscripts, Rampur library has no match all over India.
Even though the exact number of all the manuscripts and printed books and rarities and nice books of Rampur Raza library is not available, a summary look at the history of this library and articles written about the rare and nice manuscripts by the research scholars and learned men indicates the greatness and glory of this huge Islamic culture all over India.
It is hoped that this great educational centre like ever before would remain a source of reference for the lovers of valley of education and knowledge with the assistance of Indian Government and research scholars and learned men.
Manuscripts and Printed Books Statistic of Rampur Library.
S. No.
No. of Manuscripts
No. of Printed Books
Hindi and Sanskrit
Tamil & Telegu
Turkish and Pashto
With best regards
Dr. Mehdi Khajeh Piri