Ghulam 'Ali Azad Bilgrami: Shifa al-'alil: Facsimile of MS Dawawin 1113 in the Government of Andhra Pradesh Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute, Hyderabad
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:12/31/2007 - Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Institute, Hyderabad, India
Ghulam 'Ali Azad Bilgrami (1116-1200/1704-1786) is one of the most significant figures of eighteenth century India, which is saying a great deal considering how momentous that century was. His works in Persian and Arabic are of inestimable value and have been plumbed by scholars and historians ever since they appeared, though Azad's Persian works have received more scholarly attention than his Arabic ones. Azad's skill as a poet, especially as a panegyrist of the Prophet Muhammad, has long been recognized. And his one critically edited Arabic work, the Subhat al-marjan (The coral rosary), is approvingly cited for its praise of India, for Azad's knowledge of Indian languages and culture, and for his literary-critical and poetic sensibilities. The fact remains, however, that Azad is largely unknown outside India, even among scholars of Arabic. This is due in large part to the fact that Arabist scholarship pays little attention to Arabic literature produced after 1517 and before 1798, and to literature produced outside the Arab heartland. Implicit in this neglect is the notion that non-Arabs' knowledge of Arabic is not up to par. This facsimile reproduction of one manuscript of the Shifa' al-'alil (Remedy for the ailing) will, it is hoped, give lie to this notion, and also promote scholarship on Azad and other outstanding Arabic belletrists of eighteenth and nineteenth century India.