Tipu Sultan’s dream book
One of the most intriguing items in the British Library Persian manuscripts collection is a small unexceptional looking volume which contains a personal record, written in his own hand, of 37 dreams of Tipu Sultan, Sultan of Mysore.
The manuscript was presented to the Court of Directors of the East India Company in 1800 by Alexander Beatson on behalf of the Governor-General, Marquess Wellesley, after the fall of Seringapatam in 1799. The story of its discovery is recorded in Beatson’s signed and dated note at the end of the volume:
"This register of the Sultaun’s dreams was discovered by Colonel William Kirkpatrick, amongst other papers of a secret nature in an escritoire found in the Palace of Seringapatam. Hubbeeb Oollah, one of the most confidential of the Sultaun’s servants, was present at the time it was discovered. He knew that there was such a book of the Sultaun’s composition; but had never seen it, as the Sultaun always manifested peculiar anxiety to conceal it from the view of any who happened to approach while he was either reading or writing in it."
“Tippoo Sultaun’s Dreams in his own handwriting".
Dream 12: The message
This dream dates from 1786 during the Maratha-Mysore war (1785-1787) when the Marathas, who had established a military alliance with the Nizam of Hyderabad, sought to recover territories they had lost in previous conflicts.
Translation (Husain, pp. 61-2)
On the 21st of the month Haidari [month 6], of the year Busd in accordance with the Zar evaluation [ie. the new abtath system], the fortieth year of the cycle [ie. September. 1786], at the place where I had halted, on the farther side of the Tungabhadra, I had this dream: It appeared to me as if it was the Day of Judgement when no one would be interested in anyone else. At that time a stranger of great strength and commanding stature with a bright face and red beard and moustaches came to me and taking my hand in his, said to me : “Do you know who I am?” I told him I did not. He then said to me, “I am Murtaza Ali and the Messenger of God has said and is still repeating it that he would not set his foot in paradise without you and would wait for you and enter the paradise with you.” I felt so happy and woke up. God is all powerful, and the Messenger is the intercessor. This suffices.
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