Rare 17th century manuscript gifted to Pashto Academy

Published October 11, 2023
the manuscript being presented to director of Pashto Academy Nasrullah Wazir. — Dawn
the manuscript being presented to director of Pashto Academy Nasrullah Wazir. — Dawn

PESHAWAR: The number of old manuscripts at Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, will reach 1,552 as a family from Charsadda has handed it over a rare manuscript authored in 17th century.

The family of Humayun Khan Khattak, a resident of Shabqadar in Charasadda, handed over a rare old Pashto manuscript in two volumes titled ‘Tajul Qisas’ to the director of Pashto Academy the other day.

Officials said that with the new addition the number of old manuscripts would touch about 1,552 on the shelves of Pashto Academy.

Prof Nasrullah Jan Wazir, the director of Pashto Academy, told this scribe that the old manuscript in two volumes spread over 800 pages. He said that it was in fact the Pashto translation of ‘Mirajul Qisas’ penned down by Abdul Haleem in 1120 Hijri on the directives of Afzal Khan, the son of Ashraf Khan Hijri, who was the eldest son of Khushal Khan Khattak.

He said that efforts would be expedited to retrieve the original copy of the Arabic text from which the Pashto version had been rendered. “The manuscript carries stories of different prophets from Hazrat Adam to Prophet Muhammad, written in a very impressive manner in Nastaleeq and partially in Nasakh scripts,” he added.

Charsadda family lauded for preserving manuscripts of ancestors

Prof Wazir said that the family of Humayun Khan Khattak had a track record of gifting out old manuscripts of their ancestors tracking back to great Pashto poet and Pashtun leader Khushal Khan Khattak.

He said that those manuscripts included Diwan-i-Ashraf Khan Hijri, Diwan-i- Kazim Khan Shaida, collection by Sadar Khan Khattak titled ‘Pashto folk tales namely Adam Khan Durkhanai, Turdalai and Shahai’ along with Tibnaama of Khan Baba. Pashto Academy owed much to the aforementioned family for the precious gifts, he added.

It is pertinent to mention that the Diwan of Khushal Khan Khattak was said to be handed over to WH Walter for printing purpose during the British Raj. “It means that the family of Humayun Khan has preserved the old manuscripts of their ancestors. Also the family has indicated that another pack of old Pashto manuscripts will be gifted out to Pashto Academy,” said Prof Wazir.

Talking about literary value and significance of the old manuscript, he said that it would help researchers to determine high standards of scholarship set by Khushal Khan Khattak.

Prof Saleem Howaid, the vice-chancellor of University of Peshawar, literati and researchers also attended the handing-over event of the old manuscript and appreciated the family members and elders for their generosity and vision.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Unchanged rating
Updated 29 Feb, 2024

Unchanged rating

Unchanged Moody's rating underscores that fears of default will continue unless a new, larger loan agreement is reached with the IMF.
Silenced voices
29 Feb, 2024

Silenced voices

THE state suddenly seems to be acting more loyal than the king as far as respect for the judiciary is concerned. The...
Gwadar deluge
29 Feb, 2024

Gwadar deluge

GWADAR has been battered with severe rains — the worst since 2010 — with both the town and Ormara to its east ...
Democracy damaged
Updated 28 Feb, 2024

Democracy damaged

The reserved seats controversy could have been avoided had the ECP by now decided whether SIC deserves them or not.
Misplaced priorities
28 Feb, 2024

Misplaced priorities

THE federal government’s filing of a petition with the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking to overturn an Islamabad...
Killing jirgas
28 Feb, 2024

Killing jirgas

ANOTHER day and another chilling story unfolds in Kohistan. The jirga institution, declared illegal by the top ...