A Multifaceted Life
Tabir Kalam
CHINGIZ KHAN: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF AN EMPIRE BUILDER by Sonia Faleiro Primus Books, 2011, 326 pp., 995
March 2011, volume 35, No 3

Syed Anwarul Haque Haqqi’s book is a revised and enlarged version of his doctoral dissertation approved by the Aligarh Muslim University under the supervision of the great historian of the time, Professor Muhammad Habib. The author mentions Ata Malik Juwaini’s Tarikh-i-Gusha as the most contemporary work on Chingiz Khan. He translated this work and later on he got access to the Secret History of the Mongol Dynasty through Wei Kwei-Wei, a Chinese scholar, who came to India to work with Professor Habib. Haqqi found this source exciting as Chingiz Khan came through as a loyal friend, a loving family man, cruel to his enemies but generous to his own.’ He skillfully uses original Persian sources, translation of Chinese sources, thirteenth century travellers’ accounts and classical studies by the modern leading Mongolists to provide details of Chingiz’s early life, his conduct and character as a family man, a friend, a hero and a military general and more on his administration and his contribution as a law giver.

In the introduction the author describes vividly the political condition of Central Asia and each of the contending powers, the Qara-Khatais, Khwarazm Shah, Ghoris and Ghaznivids and their tussle for the control and mastery of the vast region. Haqqi gives a brief sketch of the origin of the Mongols including myths regarding their origin and ancestral history of Chingiz Khan.

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