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Abd-al-Razzāq Samarqandī (Persian: کمال‌الدین عبدالرزاق بن اسحاق سمرقندی‎, Kamal-ud-Din Abd-ur-Razzaq ibn Ishaq Samarqandi;[citation needed] 1413–1482) was a Persian[1] Timurid chronicler and Islamic scholar. He was for a while the ambassador of Shah Rukh, the Timurid dynasty ruler of Persia. In his role as ambassador he visited Calicut in western India in the early 1440s. He wrote a narrative of what he saw in Calicut which is valuable as information on Calicut's society and culture. He is also the producer of a lengthy narrative or chronicle of the history of the Timurid dynasty and its predecessors in Central Asia, but this is not so valuable because it is mostly a compilation of material from earlier written sources that are mostly available from elsewhere in the earlier form.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Abd-al-Razzāq was born in Herat on 7 November 1413. His father Jalal-ud-Din Ishaq was the qazi and imam of the Shah Rukh's court in Herat. He studied with his father and his elder brother Sharif-ud-Din Abdur Qahhar and together with them obtained an ijazah (license) from Shams-ud-Din Mohammad Jazari in 1429. After the death of his father in 1437, he was appointed the qazi of the Shah Rukh's court.[citation needed]

Travel and writingEdit

Abd-al-Razzāq was the ambassador of Shah Rukh, the Timurid dynasty ruler of Persia to Calicut, India, from January 1442 to January 1445. He wrote a 45-page narrative of this mission to India. It appears as a chapter in his book Matla-us-Sadain wa Majma-ul-Bahrain (مطلع السعدين ومجمع البحرين) (The Rise of the Two auspicious constellations and the Confluence of the Two Oceans), a book of about 450 pages which contains a detailed chronicle of the history of his part of the world from 1304 to 1470 and which takes much of its contents from other writings.[3]

Abd-al-Razzāq's narrative of his visit to India includes describing the life and events in Calicut under the Zamorin and also of the Ancient City of Vijayanagara at Hampi, describing their wealth and immense grandeur.[4][5] He also left accounts of the shipping trade in the Indian Ocean during the 15th century.

Abd-al-Razzāq's Matla-us-Sadain wa Majma-ul-Bahrain also included a detailed account of diplomatic relations between Shah Rukh's state and Ming China.

In particular, it incorporated the first-hand account the mission Shah Rukh sent to Beijing in 1420-1422, written by its participant Ghiyāth al-dīn Naqqāsh.[3]


  1. ^ Donzel, E. J. van (1 January 1994). Islamic Desk Reference. BRILL. p. 10. ISBN 90-04-09738-4. Abd al-Razzaq al-Samarqandi: Persian historian; 1413-1482. He served several Timurid rulers in Samarqand and left a historical work which is an important source of information.
  2. ^ Elliot, H. M. (Henry Miers), Sir; John Dowson (1871). "Matla'u-s Sa'dain, of Abdur Razzaq". The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period. 4. London : Trübner & Co.
  3. ^ a b Bellér-Hann, Ildikó (1995), A History of Cathay: a translation and linguistic analysis of a fifteenth-century Turkic manuscript, Bloomington: Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, p. 11, ISBN 0-933070-37-3
  4. ^ Alam, Muzaffar; Sanjay, Subrahmanyam (2007). Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discoveries, 1400–1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 54–67. ISBN 978-0-521-78041-4.
  5. ^ "Recalling the grandeur of Hampi". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2007.

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