For anyone interested to learn about the built heritage of the Deccan, Dr Muhammad Abdul Nayeem is undoubtedly the person to be referred to.
Dr Nayeem has proven this, time and again with his earlier books, and the latest one, Safavid Iran and the Deccan Sultanates is another welcome addition to the list.
This is the first ever study of Safavid Iran’s —Diplomatic and cultural relations with the Deccan Sultanates from the 14th to 17th century. Thirty-three of the book’s 210 pages contain original Persian documents.
The book forms the background for the Safavid period beginning from 1501. The study synthesises the triangular nexus of Safavid Iran, Mughals and the Deccan.
A unique and interesting aspect of the relation is that founders of the three Deccan Sultanates — the Bahmanis, the Adil Shahis and the Qutb Shahi were of Iranian origin and Shias, the vital link between the Safavid Iran and the Deccan.
Dr Nayeem has endeavored to present Iran’s relations with the group of five Deccan Sultanates. Beginning with the Bahmani kingdom (1347-1538) as the background, and on its disintegration, its off-shoots — Adil Shahi kingdom of Bijapur (1489-1686), Qutb Shahi kingdom of Golconda (1512-1687), Barid Shahi of Bidar (1538-1619), and the Nizam Shahi of Ahmadnagar (1490-1536).
Dr. Nayeem’s study is based on both primary as well as secondary sources. Besides the Persian history chroniclers, he has consulted several Persian manuscripts, Persian printed books, and Munshaats or Inshas in manuscripts in Deccan and in London.
A master researcher, Dr Nayeem has brought out the fruit of his labour in the book which should be a welcome addition to anyone interested in the Deccan and its glorious past.