Written in India by an unknown author in the final decades of the 19th century, Ghāyat al-shuʻūr bi-ḥujaj al-ḥajj al-mabrūr (The utmost knowledge of the arguments for the blessed Hajj) describes the various observances associated with the Hajj pilgrimage. The introduction and the text are written in Arabic, but the main text is in Persian, as are two appended texts (by a different author), a taqriz (encomium) praising Ghāyat al-shuʻūr, and a shorter versified text directed against critics of the work. The main text is dedicated by the author to a nobleman by the name of Rahim al-Din. The afterword states that the work is a second edition, printed in 1290 AH (1873) by the famed Newal Kishore Press in Lucknow, the first edition having been printed in Calcutta in 1283 AH (1866‒67). Inserted prior to the discussion of the publication date is a chronogram that stands for 1290 AH, i.e., the date of the second edition of the work. The chronogram is credited to a Sayyid Munawwar Husayn, an employee of the court of Awadh (also called Oudh). The nawabs of Awadh were a Persian Shiʻa dynasty that had migrated to India from Nishapur (in present-day Iran) and that actively promulgated Persian letters and Shiʻa beliefs. The Nawabate of Awadh was stripped of power, however, by the British in the aftermath of the Uprising of 1857 (also known as the Sepoy Rebellion), roughly a decade before Ghāyat al-shuʻūr was first published. The mention of the court of Awadh is therefore somewhat anachronistic—a reference to what was by then at best a ceremonial office.
Associated Name: Ḥusayn, Sayyid Munawwar
Place: Central and South Asia; Afghanistan; Central and South Asia; India
Institution: Library of Congress
Physical description: 366 pages ; 24 centimeters