Moghul Tribal Tradition According to Mirza Haydar Dughlat’s Tarikh-i Rashidi

Moghul Tribal Tradition According to Mirza Haydar Dughlat’s Tarikh-i Rashidi

(62nd Meeting 2019, Friedensau)

In a number of respects the Tarikh-i Rashidi by Mirza Muhammad Haydar Dughlat (1499/1500-1551) ressembles the Baburnama by Zahir ad-Din Babur (1483-1530), e.g. they share the biographical background and the topics treated, while they differ in structure and intention. Babur reflected his personal fate over most of his lifetime, while Haydar Dughlat, not focussing on his own person, composed his work in 1544-1546. After he had pacified Kashmir, conquered in 1540-1542, and leaving a life of warring and carousing behind, multi-talented Haydar settled down to write the history of the Chaghatay dynasty from the mid-14th century down to his own days with the aim of saving Chaghatay history from falling into obivion. Similar to the Baburnama, the Tarikh-i Rashidi describes historical events, victories and defeats, family feuds and marriages, feasts and escapes, painful trecks in the deep of winter and pleasant hunts in the mountains of Moghulistan. There are also long passages on the biographies of sheykhs and scholars, artists and writers, relatives and acquaintances as well as elaborate descriptions of Kashmir and Tibet. A pious sense of purpose fills these pages, yet, ever so often, Haydar Mirza, a devout Muslim, slips in asides on Moghul/Mongol traditions and tribal customs. This paper attempts to present these reminiscences of steppe culture in the context of the work and to interprete Haydar‘s intentions in mentioning them.