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The Sikh Ẓafar-nāmah of Guru Gobind Singh – A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Sikh Ẓafar-nāmah of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire

Louis E. Fenech


This book deals with one of the only Persian compositions attributed to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), the Ẓafar-nāmah or “Epistle of Victory.” Written as a masnavi or Persian poem this letter was originally sent to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (d. 1707) rebuking his most unbecoming conduct. Yet the missive does far more than censure. By teasing out the letter’s direct and subtle references to the Iranian national epic, the Shāh-nāmah, the epistle’s mythic template, and to Shaikh Sadi’s thirteenth-century Būstān, from which the letter’s most popular couplet derives, the bo ... More

Keywords: Zafar-Namah, Zafarnama, Guru Gobind Singh, Sikh, Shah-Namah, Mughal, India, Bustan

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199931439
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931439.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Louis E. Fenech, author
University of Northern Iowa