Persian Manuscripts : Majma‘ al-Fuqarā'

Chandra Bhan Barahman, d. 1662-63Čandra Bhān, d. 1662-63Chandrabhan Barahman, d. 1662-63

Persian Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> A very rare and richly illustrated copy of the <i>Tuḥfat al-Fuqarā'</i> (Gift of the Impoverished), also called the <i>Majma‘ al-Fuqarā'</i> (Assembly of the Impoverished), by the author Chandra Bhan Barahman (d. ca. 1662), a Hindu <i>munshī</i> (secretary) who served the Mughal emperors Jahāngīr (b. 1569, r. 1605–1626) and Shāh Jahān (b. 1592 r. 1628–58). The volume features over seventy-two Pahari-style depictions of famous holy men (often referred to be the Arabic term <i>faqīr</i>, pl. <i>fuqarā</i> in the subcontinent), ascetics, Muslim Ṣūfī mystics, and Hindu swamis of the Mughal era, with ten blank spaces left unfinished at the end of the manuscript. Albeit unsigned and undated, this volume likely dates to the 18th century. While the author mentions the variant title <i>Majma‘ al-Fuqarā'</i> in a list of his own writings, other than this volume, no other copies appear to survive. </p>

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