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The Sikh Zafar-Namah Of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade In The Heart Of The Mughal Empire

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Has anyone read this book on Sri Zafarnama Sahib Ji?

If so what did you make of it? Is it worth buying?

The following is a book description on Amazon:

Louis E. Fenech offers a compelling new examination of one of the only Persian compositions attributed to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708): the Zafar-namah or 'Epistle of Victory.' Written as a masnavi, a Persian poem, this letter was originally sent to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (d. 1707) rebuking his most unbecoming conduct. Incredibly, Guru Gobind Singh's letter is included today within the Sikh canon, one of only a very small handful of Persian-language texts granted the status of Sikh scripture. As such, its contents are sung on special Sikh occasions. Perhaps equally surprising is the fact that the letter appears in the tenth Guru's book or the Dasam Granth in the standard Gurmukhi script (in which Punjabi is written) but retains its original Persian language, a vernacular few Sikhs know.

Drawing out the letter's direct and subtle references to the Iranian national epic, the Shah-namah, and to Shaikh Sa'di's thirteenth-century Bustan, Fenech demonstrates how this letter served as a form of Indo-Islamic verbal warfare, ensuring the tenth Guru's moral and symbolic victory over the legendary and powerful Mughal empire. Through analysis of the Zafar-namah, Fenech resurrects an essential and intriguing component of the Sikh tradition: its Islamicate aspect.



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It's worth buying because it's this "zafarnama" after reading which laid Aurangzed on the bed for ever.

Guru Gobind Singh ji actually asked Sikhs "Aurange nu kiwein maariye, talwar naal ke kalam naal".....sikhs replied" sache paatshaha...talwar naal ta har koi maar lenda, kalam naal maariye"

that's when Guru sahib wrote zafarnama and sent Bhai daya singh and Bhai Dharam Singh...http://www.sridasamgranth.com/#/significance-of-zafar-nama/4532200012

“Fortunate are you Aurangzeb. You are designated the emperor, known for dexterous swordsmanship, a keen rider, intelligent scholar of Qur’an, and a skilled ruler, skilled in wielding weaponry. You are the great carver of kingdoms and collector of wealth. You are firm in the battlefield as a mountain. Your generosity is profuse, your position exalted. Your supposed loftiness is as that of the Pleiades. Yet how macabre is your justice, your attributes and your regard for religions other than your own. Indeed you are far from attributes of your own religion. Alas, a hundred times Alas, for the exercise of your sovereignty; strange is your decree. I simply wanted to teach a lesson to the Hindu Hill chiefs who were divided by civil strife. They worshipped idols, while I was the idol breaker. Yet you chose to protect them, and joined them to expel me out of my sanctuary at Anandpur.

I have no faith in your solemn oaths wherein you even chose to make Almighty God as witness! I have not an iota of confidence in you. All your officials proved to be deceitful. One who puts faith in your oath on the Qur’an is inviting disaster. Had I not taken you on your word upon the Qur’an I would not have chosen the path I did. I knew not that your hunch men are crafty and deceitful like a fox, else I would not have driven myself to this state of affairs. If you want to see your promise on the Qur’an, I could send the (relevant) document for sure to you.
What could my Forty men do when your countless hordes of men pounced upon them unawares at Chamkaur. These oath-breakers attacked them suddenly with swords, arrows and muskets. I was constrained to engage in the combat, and I fought to the limits of my physical ability. When affairs and circumstances pass beyond the region of diplomacy and reason it is lawful in faith to unsheath the sword.

Your hordes came charging like blue-bottles and all of a sudden spread in a loud bang. The soldiers of your army who advanced beyond legitimate defences to attack my position fell deluged in blood. When I saw that Nahar Khan entered the fight I quickly gave him the taste of my arrow. Many soldiers who came with him, and boasted of their prowess, ignominiously deserted the field of the battle. Another warrior, of Afghan blood, advanced like a flood. He made many assaults, received many wounds and was at last killed, after he had killed two of my Lions - Singhs. Cowardly Khawaja Mardud remained behind the wall and did not come out like a man. Had I but seen his face I would certainly have bestowed an arrow on him too. But how could Forty men – the bravest of all – succeed when opposed by countless host. Eventually when the light of the Sun spread and the darkness of the night receded God guided me the way to escape.

I am but a slave and a servant of Akal-Purakh, Timeless Being, who is the King of Kings. I am ready to obey His order even at the cost of my life. God is without fear. He is the True Emperor of earth and heaven. He is the Master of both worlds. He showed me the way to save myself. What can the deceitful enemy do when God is on one’s side? He gives me deliverance and points out the way to His creature.

While you –in arrogance, look upon your army and wealth, I look upon His effulgent Power. You are proud of your empire; I am proud of the refuge of God. It matters not that my Four Sons were martyred, my Khalsa remains behind, ever ready like a coiled snake. What bravery is it to quench a few sparks; you are stirring up the fire to rage all the more. My Khalsa would light fires right under the hoofs of your horses. So be wise, Aurangzeb, smite not mercilessly with the sword, else the sword of the All-mighty shall smite you.”

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