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Mir'at al-ahwal jahan nama (book)

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Mir'at al-ahwal jahan nama (book)
Author Aqa Ahmad Kermanshahi
Original title مِرْآتُ الْاحوال جهان‌نما
Language Persian
Series 2 vol.
Subject Travelogue
Published 1990
Publisher Amirkabir Publication

Mir'āt al-aḥwāl jahan namā (Persian: مِرْآتُ الْاحوال جهان‌نما) is a book in Persian in two volumes written by Aqa Ahmad Kermanshahi (d. 1235/1820). It is a comprehensive travel log of the author's journey to different cities of Iran, Iraq and India, which was written in 1225/1810. In writing it, the author was influenced by the writing style of his friend Abd al-Latif Shushtari in Tuhfat al-'alam and Mirza Abu Talib Khan in Masir Talibi. In his travel log, Kermanshahi spoke about different issues including the states of cities and biography of scholars in those cities.

Author

Main article: Aqa Ahmad Kermanshahi

Sayyid Ahmad Bihbahani (b. 1191/1777 - d. 1235/1820), known as Aqa Ahmad Kirmanshahi, was a Shi'a scholar of thirteenth/nineteenth century and a member of Wahid Bihbahani family (Al Aqa). In addition to his scholarly status and his works, he had a special prestige because his journeys and travels to Iran, Iraq and India have left very good memories from him.

Content

  • The second part is the biography of the author and his travel log, in which he has mentioned the memories of his education and travel to different cities of Iran and Iraq and continues up to his entrance to Mumbai.
  • The third part is the travel log for his journey to India in which he has spoken about different cities and his different thoughts in this journey. The ending of this part is about the author's works and permission for the transmission of Hadiths he acquired from different scholars.
  • The last part of the book titled as "third destination" contains the biographies of kings in the West and gives information to the reader about European, American and African countries. The third section of this part is about Britain and East India Company and explains how British ruled in India.
  • Ending of the book contains pieces of advice from Royals and others than them and also mentions the events of Safavid and Nadiri periods.

Title of the Book and Its Features

The title of the book is Mir'at al-ahwal jahan nama which suggests the goal of the author in travelling to the whole world, but different problems and the life limit did not give him opportunity for it. He wrote Mir'at al-ahwal influenced by the writing style of his friend Abd al-Latif Shushtari in his Tuhfat al-'alam and Mirza Abu Talib Khan in Masir Talibi.

Aqa Ahmad Kermanshahi described his observations accurately and even spoke about the nature of every region and its wonders, sociology, anthropology, social psychology, ethics and traditions of different people. In the memories of his stay in India, he discussed the dominance of the colonialism of Britain, their history and manner of their government.

Copies and Prints

In the preface of the book, four copies are mentioned:

  • Two copies in the National Library, Tehran, Iran
  • One copy in the Central Library, University of Tehran, Iran
  • One copy in the Library of Sa'id Nafisi

References