‘Kashmiris have always been at their intellectual Zenith’, writes the famous historian, G.M.D. Sufi, ‘and among those great Kashmiris who achieved international recognition, Khwaja Abdul Karim was the one who spent most of his time outside Kashmir. Born in Iddgah locality of Srinagar city, Abdul Karim very soon became a great intellectual and scholar of his time. During the reign of Nadir Shah Durani he decided to go for Hajj and had to stay in Delhi in order to get visa from the royal court which in those days was mandatory for every Hajj pilgrim. Following the procedure, this Kashmiri intellectual presented himself in the royal court and made a request for visa.
During his brief encounter with Nadir Shah he impressed the King with his extraordinary” intelligence to such an extent that Nadir Shah decided to take him to Iran and appoint him on an important position in the royal court itself. Khwaja Abdul Karim accepted the offer on the condition that he would be allowed to perform Hajj which Nadir Shah gladly accepted. Once appointed, this great son of Kashmir left an indelible impression of his capability and intelligence upon the Iranian King and his courtiers. He attained the position of Foreign Minister of Iran and was deputed to Turkey as an envoy of the King for resolving certain disputes between Iran and Turkey. After his diplomatic triumph in Turkey, Nadir Shah deputed him to Baghdad and Damascus in order to resolve some important issues between these countries. After completing these important diplomatic assignments successfully Nadir Shah sent him to perform Hajj in the company of a learned religious scholar, Muhammad Hashim.
After performing Hajj Khwaja abdul Karim came to India from Jedah and spent sometime in Delhi with some European tourists. Subsequently, he returned to Kashmir and recorded his experiences of Iran and Arabia in a lucid and vibrant prose which is considered one of the most precious treatises in Persian literature. He has recorded his experiences in such a manner that the reader feels completely involved in the happenings at Nadir Shah’s court and at the same time visualizes some important places and monuments of Damascus. He presents in just four pages a vivid picture of Nadir Shah’s court and administration which seems to be a precise of a long epic. Khwaja Abdul Karim has recorded that Takht-i-Tawoos (the peacock throne) which Nadir Shah along with the thrones of other captured kingdoms, had carried with him had decorated the royal court of Iran. Keeping in view the importance of these historical reminiscences of Khwaja Abdul Karim, an English writer Gladson translated them into English in 1793. In these reminiscences the documents pertaining to the period between 1739 to 1749 are considered very important because here Khwaja Karim has recorded some important development that took place in Iran and India during these ten years.
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